NAS-tronomical Year in Funding

Following the VC money in 2005 to NAS startups

January 4, 2006

2 Min Read
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5:00 PM -- By our count, 31 private storage companies received just under $470 million funding in 2005. Thats down from nearly $600 million in 2004. Considering that many funding candidates were acquired during the year, that's still a nice chunk of change invested in storage.

But $470 million isn't as surprising as the technology that drew the most funding attention -- NAS. Five NAS vendors -- BlueArc, Cloverleaf Communications, ExaGrid, Isilon, and ONStor -- picked up funding for a total of $83.5 million. ONStor led the way with $24 million followed by Isilon with $20 million. (See BlueArc Pulls In $15M More, Cloverleaf Stakes Fresh Claim, ExaGrid Exacts $13.5M, Isilon Lays On $20M Icing, and OnStor OnTap for $24M .) Their VCs were less interested in emerging technology than they were in mature companies -- BlueArc, Isilon, and ONStor are prime candidates for acquisition or to go public in the next two years.

Of course, hot technologies also won a place in VCs’ cold hearts. It's no surprise given the attention continuous data protection (CDP) received last year. CDP startups Mendocino Software, Mimosa Systems, and Revivio were funded in 2005. (See Mendocino Cops $18M, Mimosa Expands Data Management , and Revivio Revs Up With $25M.) So was Topio, which expects to add CDP to its replication software eventually. (See Topio Taps $8M.) Led by Revivio’s $25 million, the quartet picked up $62 million.

The biggest single haul of the year was $30 million for Level 5 Networks, which isn’t a pure-play storage startup but its Ethernet cards can be used to accelerate iSCSI and other storage networks. (See Level 5 Launches.)

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and SwitchOrganizations mentioned in this article:

  • BlueArc Corp.

  • Cloverleaf Communications Inc.

  • ExaGrid Systems Inc.

  • Isilon Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLN)

  • Level 5 Networks Inc.

  • Mendocino Software

  • Mimosa Systems Inc.

  • ONStor Inc.

  • Revivio Inc.

  • Topio Inc.

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