Storwize Secures $19M

Startup grabs Round C and plans to step into SAN-based compression

April 10, 2008

3 Min Read
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Compression specialist Storwize has clinched $19 million in Series-C funding to boost its U.S. business and support the launch of a Fibre Channel SAN offering later this year.

The round, which included Bessemer Venture Partners, Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, and Sequoia Capital, brings the startup's total announced funding to $27 million.

"This money will help us bring the company to the second stage," said Gal Naor, Storwize's CEO and co-founder, describing his plan to expand the firm's 70-strong workforce with new hires in the U.S.

"Were going to have people in the U.S for sales, support, and systems engineering," he explained, adding that more than 20 new bodies will be added during the coming year.

Based in Israel and San Jose, Calif., Storwize is now looking to add more U.S. firms to its customer list, which already includes the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel's Bank Hapoalim. The CEO told Byte and Switch that Storwize has 25 to 30 customer accounts in the U.S., but only one of these, Halliburton, has been made public.Storwize's approach of compressing data "on the fly" as it travels from switch to server or storage competes with wares from Asigra, EMC (via Avamar), and Symantec, which compress data before it is sent to backup.

Up until now, Storwize has focused its attention mainly on the NAS market, but today's cash influx will also be used to develop a SAN system.

"We will be introducing a Fibre Channel SAN appliance -- that will be in the second half of the year," said Naor. "We have finished the development; now we're at the beta stage."

Another vendor playing in this space is startup Ocarina, which emerged from stealth this week with the launch of its optimizer appliance that uses both compression and de-dupe.

Undeterred by the presence of yet more competition in the compression market, Naor explained that Storwize is also looking to exploit the growing demand for Green IT.The startup is currently in discussions with Californian energy giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to set up a rebate package for users that deploy Storwize compression technology, according to Naor.

This would be similar to PG&E's existing deal with Copan, which offers financial incentives to PG&E customers that buy MAID storage gear from Copan.

Storwize is also in similar discussions with a company on the East Coast, although Naor refused to reveal details.

The exec was slightly more forthcoming on Storwize's financial roadmap, explaining that he expects his company to be profitable sometime in 2009.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Asigra Inc.

  • Avamar Technologies Inc.

  • Bessemer Venture Partners

  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Lehman Brothers Venture Capital Group

  • Ocarina Networks

  • Sequoia Capital

  • Storwize Inc.

  • Symantec Corp.0

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