Some people think the whole all-flash-storage-all-the-time message is overhyped. Don’t count Pure Storage’s new investors among them.
On Thursday, the company announced a whopping $150 million in Series E funding — what it calls the largest private funding round in the history of enterprise storage. It will use the cash to fuel expansion in Europe and Asia and to boost R&D efforts. The new money brings total funding to an impressive $245 million for the company, which is headed for an IPO. Violin Memory, another flash storage player, quietly filed for an IPO of its own last week.
The massive round was led by T.Rowe Price and Tiger Global Management (and others) plus contributions from existing investors Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Samsung Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures.
In a statement, CEO Scott Dietzen (pictured above) said the funding will help the company “lead the transition from mechanical disk to flash memory in the data center.”
Pure also brought industry veteran Frank Slootman, former CEO of Data Domain (now part of storage leader EMC) aboard as a director. Slootman, along with VMware co-founders Diane Green and Mendel Rosenblum was an angel investor.
The Mountain View, Calif. company netted $40 million in a Series D round a year ago. Pure Storage, along with a half-dozen rivals, evangelizes the use of fast solid-state storage nearly everywhere. Some rivals advocate a tiered storage approach that mixes spinning disks with flash, arguing that the hybrid approach is more cost-effective for most businesses.
Here’s betting that Pure Storage will use its new funding to drive down prices to make all-flash-all-the-time a more attractive option for those businesses.