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Pure Storage has closed what it called the largest-eve funding for an enterprise storage company, giving it an extra $150 million in the bank. And, with a new high-level board member and IPO plans, the all-flash storage array vendor has the confidence to stand toe-to-toe with its more well-known competitors.
Included in the Series E round of funding were such high-powered investors as T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Investments and Tiger Global Management, as well as strategic investors including Samsung Ventures and In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the U.S. intelligence community.
Pure Storage also said that Frank Slootman, former CEO of Data Domain before it was acquired by EMC, has joined the company as both a board member and strategic advisor.
With the new $150 million, total funding in Pure Storage now amounts to $245 million, said Dave Hatfield, president of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. Pure Storage estimates the round gives the company a total value of over $1 billion.
Pure Storage, which develops all-flash storage arrays based on the company's own software combined with commodity flash hardware, doesn't necessarily need all that money to succeed, Hatfield told CRN.
"But for us, it's an opportunity to double-down on R&D," he said. "We already have an 18-month to 24-month lead in technology. We also want to extend our market reach. We are currently in 10 markets outside North America, but there others we can reach."
Pure Storage took advantage of the Thursday close of this week's VMworld conference to hold its first-ever user conference, Hatfield said. About 400 people were invited with the expectation that maybe 100 would come, but Hatfield estimated that over 400 people attended, including about 100 personnel from the company's channel partners. Most users came at the invite of their channel partners, he said.
A couple of those users were brought to the meeting by John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and Pure Storage partner.
Woodall said it was pretty amazing to see the vendor pull off such a large user meeting so soon in its history.