Virtualization Tech Vendors Pano Logic, HyTrust Close Big VC Rounds


Venture funding in the fast-growing virtualization market appears to be picking up steam this week as up-and-coming firms involved in virtual desktops and policy management in virtualized environments closed new large rounds of funding.

Pano Logic, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of desktop virtualization devices, said on Wednesday that it closed a Series C round of funding to the tune of $20 million.

HyTrust, a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of software that provides policy management and access control for virtualized infrastructures, also on Wednesday reported closing a Series B round of funding which included the participation of strategic partner Cisco Systems.

Both companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of growing customer interest in deploying virtualized server and desktop environments, especially in virtualized infrastructures built with technology from market leader VMware, but are readying their products for use in other environments such as Microsoft's Hyper-V.

Pano Logic's new round of funding gives the company a grand total of $44 million, which is expected to carry it forward until it has a cash flow-positive operation sometime late this year or early next hear, said Dana Loof, executive vice president of marketing for the vendor.

The company plans to use the funds to expand its European operations where it recently opened offices in the U.K. and Germany, Loof said. It will also invest more in its core technology and in expanding its sales, she said.

Pano Logic's best-known product is a small black or chrome-plated cube which sits on a user's desk to replace a desktop PC in VMware virtualized desktop environments, Loof said.

The company's software, which sits on a server to serve a virtual desktop image to the hardware device, can handle the workload of 80 percent of typical users despite the fact that the cube has no processor inside, she said.

While Pano Logic currently supports only VMware virtualized desktop environments, it plans to extend that support to Microsoft and Citrix environments as well by late 2010 or early 2011, Loof said.

"Or it could be earlier," she said. "We now have a lot of money to spend."

HyTrust's new $10 million round of financing is double the total the company previously received, said HyTrust President and CEO Eric Chiu.

HyTrust, which helps companies ensure that their virtualized infrastructures meet corporate policy and compliance requirements, plans to use the new funds to invest in sales and marketing, Chiu said.

"This could be our last round of funding," he said. "But we don't want to say we'll never consider another round. There may be acquisition opportunities, or opportunities to accelerate sales and marketing."

HyTrust has been working with Cisco, its first strategic investor, for about a year ever since Cisco introduced its Nexus 1000V virtual switch, Chiu said.

The Nexus 1000V allows customers to build separate virtual networks for such purposes as production and test and development, Chiu said.

"Our technology protects Nexus virtual switches so they can't be shut down by accident, such as someone accidentally unplugging a server," he said. "And we keep the network segments separate. You don't want breaches in compliance and security."

HyTrust currently works in VMware environments, but plans to add support for Microsoft Hyper-V environments later this year, Chiu said.

The company's sales model is primarily a direct one, with a handful of indirect channel partners, Chiu said. However, it plans to have a full channel program in place by mid-year, with half of sales coming from solution providers by then, he said. He expects a majority of sales will come from the channel starting next year.