Flash array startup Kaminario raises $75M in oversubscribed round

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With International Data Corp. ranking all-flash systems as the fastest growing segment of the enterprise storage market, it’s no wonder that Kaminario Inc. has attracted investors’ attention.

The array maker announced today that it has secured a hefty $75 million funding round led by Waterwood Group, a Hong Kong private equity firm that backs growth-stage startups. It was joined by several of Kaminario’s existing investors including Sequoia, Silicon Valley Bank and Globespan Capital Partners.

Dani Golan, the startup’s chief executive, told TechCrunch that his team had originally sought to take in only $40 million but ended up raising the cap after attracting more offers than expected. Kaminario plans to use the extra capital to a range of uses, prime among them the development of new features for its flagship K-2 array.

The system is based on modules called K-Blocks that each pack up to 360 terabytes of usable flash capacity in a 4U chassis. A fully-equipped K-2 deployment can hold more than 1.44 petabytes on the top end while handling as many as a million I/O operations per second, according to Kaminario. The startup ships its hardware with a homegrown management stack that aims to help customers make the most out of their gear.

Among other things, the K-2 features a proprietary implementation of the RAID 6 data distribution model that Kaminario that says allows for particularly high storage utilization. The startup has designed the system to meet the requirements of tech-savvy firms such as software-as-a-service providers that place a big emphasis on hardware efficiency. Its value proposition has won over hundreds of customers, including cloud-based accounting provider Clearwater Analytics LLC and gaming giant Wargaming Group Limited.

Besides enhancing its system, Kaminario will also use its newly raised capital from investment to attract more clients in global markets. The startup said that it will seek to expand its partnership ecosystem as part of the effort with a particular emphasis on Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Kaminario has raised a total of $227.7 million to date. It announced today’s investment against the backdrop of another fast-rising storage provider called Panzura Inc. completing a $32 million round led by prominent technology fund Matrix Partners.

The company’s fundraising comes at a time when buyers look ready to buy more storage, according to a survey released today by Barclays Research. Analyst Mark Moskowitz said some 86 percent of resellers surveyed expect their storage-related revenue to have grown in the fourth quarter and expect more growth this year, which he said in a note to clients was “encouraging after a bumpy 2016.”

But Moskowitz said continued dropping prices could weigh on the sector in coming year. “We remain cautious on the long-term, as our conversations with industry participants and periodic CIO and cloud-related surveys consistently rank storage as a leading segment facing deflationary pressures from customers’ public cloud adoption over the next 3-5 years,” he wrote.

With reporting from Robert Hof.

Image courtesy of Kaminario