Qumulo Closes $32.5M Funding Round To Build Channel, Market For Data-Aware Scale-Out NAS

Qumulo, a developer of data-aware scale-out NAS technology, this month closed a new round of funding with plans to use the money to build out its channel and sales organization.

Qumulo's new $32.5-million C-round of funding brings total funding in the Seattle-based company to $100 million, said CFO Matt Frey.

Qumulo, which was formed in 2012 by key veterans of EMC's Isilon scale-out NAS business, came out of stealth in 2015 promising to bring to market a scalable NAS solution with an integrated database that provides the ability to answer any questions about what is stored without needing to scan the data for metadata that must be stored and managed separately.

[Related: Zerto Closes $50M Funding Round, Hires Ex-HPE Exec For Product Management]

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The company started shipping its first solution in March, Frey told CRN.

Qumulo's three co-founders were all early engineers at Isilon when that company created scale-out NAS infrastructure, Frey said.

"They came together to form Qumulo when they realized the need for a data-aware solution to curate the data in innovative ways, and to scale to support [internet of things] and other solutions which generate huge volumes of data," he said.

Qumulo's technology helps companies in the telecommunications, life science, genomic research and video rendering industries, among others, rapidly inject and categorize data based on its attributes, Frey said.

"It uses a robust index engine to understand each piece of data," he said. "Our largest project to date is a 30-petabyte system."

Frey declined to discuss Qumulo's finances, including whether the company is cash-flow-positive. However, he said, the new funding will be used to expand its North American channel base and develop a European channel base. The company currently has 88 partners in North America; 75 of which are based in the U.S.

"We're looking for systems integrators with experience within their vertical markets thanks to existing relationships with key accounts," he said. "These are partners who can introduce our solution to their customer base."

Qumulo also plans to invest in growing its field sales organization substantially over the next 24 months, Frey said.

Qumulo's engineering heritage is strong, said Dave Van Hoy, president and founder of Advanced Systems Group, an Emeryville, Calif.-based solution provider and early Qumulo channel partner.

Van Hoy, whose company does a lot of business in the media and entertainment market, started working with Qumulo about a year ago. "We really like Qumulo," he told CRN. I have a soft spot in my heart for startups anyway. I live in the San Francisco Bay area, and many of my clients are startups as well."

However, Van Hoy said, his main interest in Qumulo stems from its willingness to work with channel partners.

"I especially like the company's business practices and how it supports the VARs," he said. "Its training support is excellent. And the company is 100-percent channel focused. That inspires my sales reps to be evangelists for them."

Qumulo is still new to the market, making it a difficult sale in many ways, Van Hoy said. "Sometimes it's easier to sell well-known products," he added. "But we're committed to doing the right thing for customers. We have been working with some clients for up to 17 years. Qumulo's value for many of them is there over the long haul. The best value for what they spend. But it's a trade-off in terms of risk because the company's new."

It helps that Qumulo offers "fanatical" customer care, Van Hoy said.

"When a customer purchases the technology, Qumulo assigns an engineer to the account," he said. "That engineer stays with the customer. With most vendors, if there's an issue, the customer has to start with a low-level support engineer and work its way to more experienced support as the issue is escalated. With Qumulo, the support engineer knows the customer."