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Zambeelians Reemerge at StorAD

At the behest of Zambeel's primary VCs looking to salvage at least some of their investment, a group of about two dozen former Zambeel employees is starting a new venture, StorAD Inc., that will try to work the distributed NAS technology the defunct startup developed into some kind of software offering, Byte and Switch has learned.

Zambeel, which built a high-scale, clustered NAS system based on commodity components, officially shut its doors sometime last month. Founded in September 1999, it had raised more than $66 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and other VCs (see Zambeel Znuffed Out).

According to an industry source familiar with the company, Zambeel in mid-April raised a $12 million round of additional funding led by Apex Venture Partners, with both Kleiner Perkins and NEA participating. However, one of the conditions of the funding was that Zambeel be reborn as a new company so that it could shed its debt liabilities. Zambeel had significant amounts of both secured and unsecured debt, says our source.

"There was no other reason to start a new company other than screwing the debt holders," says the source. Kleiner Perkins partner Bernie Lacroute, who was on Zambeel's board of directors, did not respond to requests for comment.

StorAD purchased the intellectual property of Zambeel at an auction held at the end of April. A little bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul, then?

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