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Zantaz Zips Up $20M

Zantaz Inc., one of a tiny but growing handful of companies offering storage management services to help firms deal with securities regulations, has $20 million in new funding (see Zantaz Scores $20M).

Zantaz will use the cash to help it expand this year, possibly through acquisitions and partnerships. The input brings the company's total funding to $90 million -- $70 million of which was secured in five rounds of funding since the company's founding in 1996.

The news is interesting on several fronts. First, it's a big round and it's an "up" round, meaning the company's valuation has increased over the last several years -- though no one's naming figures. In contrast, many firms funded circa 2000, the "pre-bubble era," wound up taking later "down" funding rounds in which lowered valuations slashed the overall equity value.

Today's announcement also points to the growing impact of regulations on corporate storage plans. New rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), New York Stock Exchange, and NASD are forcing firms to find ways of sifting and archiving email and even instant messages related to key transactions (see IM Gets Regulated). For many, outsourcing may be preferable to finding personnel and products to bring such a hefty, complicated task in house.

"The last twelve months increased market focus... There's more pressure to have a plan around archiving email and having it available," says Doug Chandler, program director of storage and data management services at IDC. Zantaz and competitor Iron Mountain Inc., he says, are among the few providers with an outsourced solution.

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