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Dell Technologies Capital Takes Stake In Storage Startup Calamu

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Calamu is looking for bigger data platforms to integrate with. Dell’s domain expertise and enterprise technology makes them an excellent partner for our long-term vision of integrating into larger data platforms,’ says Paul Lewis, Calamu co-founder and CEO.

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Dell Technologies’s venture capital arm has invested in the seed round of storage startup Calamu, giving it what Calamu hopes is an opportunity to better explore the company’s technology.

The seed round, worth $2.4 million, was originally unveiled in early April when Calamu exited stealth mode.

The dollar value of Dell Technologies Capital’s investment in Calamu was not disclosed, said Paul Lewis, co-founder and CEO of the Clinton, N.J.-based startup.

[Related: The 10 Hottest Data Storage Startups Of 2021 (So Far)]

“It’s significant,” Lewis told CRN. “And it’s really more of an opportunity for Dell to be in with the pole position in our next funding round.”

The opportunity for Calamu includes exposure to other data platform integrations, Lewis said.

“Calamu is looking for bigger data platforms to integrate with,” he said. “Dell’s domain expertise and enterprise technology makes them an excellent partner for our long-term vision of integrating into larger data platforms.”

Calamu expects its A-round of funding to close sometime this coming winter, Lewis said.

Dell is the company’s first strategic investor. However, Lewis said, the company also counts John Stewart, former Cisco senior vice president and chief security and trust officer, as a member of its board of directors.

Calamu was founded with a goal to store data in such a way that it is immune to ransomware attacks, with self-healing of the data should an attack happen.

The Calamu Protect technology is a scalable and automated data protection platform that protects data at rest by breaking data up into fragments that are encrypted and then scattered across multiple clouds, Lewis said. Data stored on-premises is replaced with control files for re-assembling the data as needed, with those control files useless to an attacker if breached, he said.

Should a site storing a fragment be hacked, the hacker would only find meaningless data, Lewis. And if one of the sites goes down, the missing data is immediately replicated to another site to ensure the data is always available without the need to rebuild the enter data set, he said.

“Data breaches will happen,” he said. “But when it happens, the hacker gets only useless data. After we process the data, it doesn’t exist anywhere in the world in a single physical location. The data is fragmented, double-encrypted, and scattered. It’s completely redundant, so it’s completely resilient.”

Because the Calamu Protect technology uses parallel streams to push data to and from the cloud, latency is not an issue, Lewis said.

The technology for now is focused on unstructured data at rest, he said. However, going forward, the company has integration with a database engine on its roadmap.

Calamu is also close to integrating its technology with Microsoft OneDrive, Lewis said.

“So any application that works with OneDrive on the backend will be completely compatible with Calamu,” he said. “So now that data gets ransomware protection. And it’s all transparent to the user. Nothing changes for the user.”

Calamu Protect is currently in beta testing, and general availability is slated for a couple of months later, Lewis said.

Dell Technologies Capital was unavailable to provide more information at publication time.

However, Raman Khanna, managing director for Dell Technologies Capital, in a prepared statement, said, “Calamu has the potential to revolutionize how enterprise data is stored, managed, and secured. Their unique data protection technology brings powerful solution to the ongoing fight against ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.”

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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