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February 4, 2015 at 4:30 AM

Data-storage startup Qumulo raises $40 million

Stealthy Seattle startup Qumulo is surfacing today to announce that it raised $40 million to boost development and marketing of its enterprise storage platform.

Qumulo was started in 2012 by veterans of Isilon and quickly raised $24.5 million to build a next-generation storage system taking advantage of the performance of solid-state memory, which is becoming a widely used technology. It has kept a low profile while building the product, a team and roster of early customers.

The company began selling its product six months ago — after 18 months of research and meetings with potential customers — and has yet to see a data loss or outage, according to Chief Executive Peter Godman. He said the company isn’t yet ready to name customers or provide details about sales, but it’s on course to potentially become one of Seattle’s next major tech companies.

Qumulo developed software that’s used not just to handle massive storage systems, but to manage the data within those systems. Its software can be used on cloud storage systems, inside a virtual machine or on dedicated storage hardware, including storage hardware that Qumulo may assemble and sell with its software.

Godman. Image provided by Qumulo.

Godman. Image provided by Qumulo.

“It’s really great at telling you things about your data footprint,” Godman said, adding that it’s like having an “active adviser” telling users about their data.

Advanced storage systems are in demand as companies struggle to manage an avalanche of data. Godman said “it’s a moment where so much is changing” and new solutions are needed now that companies are going from managing perhaps 10 million digital files to a billion files.

Based at the Century Square building downtown, Qumulo employs 90 people. That’s up from the 18 people on board when it last raised capital in late 2012.

Godman wouldn’t provide a growth forecast but said he expects the company to be larger than Isilon, which had 500 employees when it was sold to EMC for $2.25 billion in 2010.

The latest round was led by the prominent Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which may raise Qumulo’s profile and lead to introductions in California. Previous investors Highland Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Valhalla Partners also contributed. Including seed funding, the company has now raised $67 million.

Qumulo is poised to disrupt a huge and rapidly growing market,” Wen Hsieh, partner at KPCB, said in a release. “They have quietly assembled a world-class team including ex-Isilon technical leadership to tackle and change the way enterprises deal with the massive explosion of digital data, such as files, music, pictures and videos.”

The company also announced that Hsieh is joining its board, along with Isilon co-founder Sujal Patel and Madrona managing director, Matt McIlwain.

Patel said in the release that Qumulo has “the rare expertise required to build high performance, massive scale-out NAS [network attached storage] software.”

Comments | Topics: Enterprise, Isilon, seattle

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