When It Rains, It Pours (Cash) for Storage Startups

It seems like when it rains for cloud storage startups, it pours, and this week was no exception. Egnyte closed a $10 million round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Scality closed a $7 million round led by IdInvest Partners, and RightScale chose Gluster to provide scale-out NAS within RightScale’s cloud management platform. The concept of big data (i.e., storing and analyzing large amounts of data) gets a lot of press — in fact, we’re putting on an entire event around it — but the huge amounts of money being poured into storage companies utilizing cloud architectures prove there’s still plenty of demand for fast, cheap and scalable file storage.

Since I covered three startups scoring a combined $30 million in three days’ time in November, the spending and funding has only picked up. SolidFire scored $11 million, Nasuni got $15 million, Scale Computing closed $17 million and Cirtas stole the show with $22.5 million. And don’t forget Isilon, the clustered file system vendor that sold to EMC for $2.25 billion (s emc). For Gluster, which contributed $8.5 million of that three-day splurge in November, RightScale is its second big-name, cloud-based customer win of the new year, as it announced Pandora as a customer in January.

With so many cloud storage startups flying about, I’d be lying if I said it isn’t getting difficult to keep track of which one does what. But I don’t think I’ll have that problem for long. Just like consolidation started among cloud computing startups over the past several months, cloud storage consolidation can’t be far behind. Then, the problem will be keeping track of who bought whom, and for how much. Still, I suspect a bit more investment before that happens, but there are a handful of startups in this field that appear too valuable to stay independent for long.

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