Cloud Storage: 10 Startups Who've Scored Big

Investing In Cloud Storage, Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Cloud storage is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40.2 percent through 2018 to reach $46.8 billion, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

That kind of growth continues to draw investors who are funding stealth and startup developers of cloud storage and online disaster recovery solutions.

The first half of 2013 certainly showed no letup in terms of investor interest in this market, with several investments in and acquisitions of cloud storage developers revealed every month.

Here's a look at some companies whose cloud storage technology drew the attention of investors over the past six months.

Atlantis Computing: $20M To Expand Channel, Global Marketing

Atlantis Computing in May got a D round of funding worth $20 million that it plans to use to increase its channel efforts and global presence.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Atlantis Computing offers a variety of technologies to increase the efficiency of shared storage in virtualized data centers. One of those is the Atlantis ILIO FlexCloud solution, which transparently inserts a layer of software into the existing IT infrastructure that allows any storage-intensive application to run in the cloud with little or no storage. It takes advantage of the company's Atlantis ILIO In-Memory Storage technology, which uses server RAM as primary storage for high performance.

Barracuda Acquires SignNow To Add Security To Cloud Storage

Barracuda Networks in May acquired SignNow, a developer of e-signature technology it expects to help foster growth in its fledgling storage business.

Campbell, Calif.-based Barracuda said SignNow targets businesses with its cloud-based digital-signature service, giving customers a way to sign, back up and store electronic documents and comply with data retention and audit policies.

Barracuda said SignNow already has more than 1 million users, including 100,000 small businesses.

Barracuda did not disclose terms of the acquisition.

Inktank: $13M Raised So Far To Support Ceph

Inktank, the startup developer of the open-source Ceph scalable distributed storage system, said in a May blog post that to date the company has raised just more than $13 million.

Los Angeles-based Inktank has not disclosed sales data, nor will it discuss who its investors are yet. "A large component of the raise is under NDA so we will not be releasing the names of all of our supporters at this time. The funds are being used to support our 'give 'er diesel daddy' strategy (I just made that up so it may not stick). (and yes we’re hiring)," wrote CEO Bryan Bogensberger in the post.

Loom: Looking To Fix Photo Management

San Francisco-based Loom is a startup developer of cloud storage technology to store and manage photos and provide access to those photos via any mobile device.

Loom is still in stealth mode, but in May posted its first blog in which the company wrote about how users are taking more photos than ever but have trouble organizing them, sharing them, and especially syncing them between multiple devices without storing inordinate amounts of data.

"Content creation and media file sizes are growing more rapidly than storage space on devices. In other words, we're getting better camera technology that is taking larger files compared to a few years ago, but our flash drives and SSDs are not improving at the same speed," the company wrote.

Loom, according to the blog, was designed to "keep your photos and videos organized securely in the cloud, so you have more space to play."

M-Files: $7.7M For Cloud, Hybrid ECM Solutions

M-Files, a Dallas-based developer of metadata-powered cloud, on-premise and hybrid enterprise content management solutions, in April said it closed a $7.7 million round of Series A funding to help accelerate the company's growth plans in the U.S. market and its worldwide channel partner sales and marketing footprint.

M-Files offers a metadata-based approach that manages information based on what it is rather than where it is stored. That approach is the base on which M-Files builds a variety of targeted solutions for document management, quality management, enterprise asset management, contract life-cycle management and more.

Panzura: $25M To Expand Enterprise Storage Cloud Overseas

Panzura in June closed a D round of funding worth $25 million. That brings total funding in the San Jose, Calif., company to $58 million, which executives said should be enough to carry the company through to profitability.

Panzura develops a FIPS 140-2-certified cloud-integrated storage platform that enables customers to take advantage of public cloud storage services such as Amazon Web Services, Google, the Hewlett-Packard Cloud, Nirvanix and clouds based on EMC's Atmos cloud storage systems.

The new funding will be used to help with overseas expansion, channel expansion, joint project development with strategic partners and internal R&D expansion.

PHD Virtual Buys VirtualSharp, Adds Disaster Recovery To Lineup

Virtual machine backup and recovery software developer PHD Virtual in April acquired disaster recovery software developer VirtualSharp Software in a move to extend its customer reach with automated disaster recovery technology for virtualized and cloud environments.

PHD Virtual offers virtual appliances to do data backup and recovery, with plug-ins that allow management of the backups to be done directly via VMware's and Citrix's management consoles.

VirtualSharp, on the other hand, orchestrates the replication of data to provide for automated disaster recovery, as well as for automatically testing replicated data to make sure it can be used to recover from a disaster.

SageCloud: $10M For Archival And Backup Data

Boston-based SageCloud, which develops storage systems for archival and backup data, in June completed a $10 million Series B financing round the company plans to use for accelerating the deployment of the company's products with initial customers and expand operations.

SageCloud Founder and CEO Jeff Flowers developed the idea of "cold storage" solutions while at cloud backup storage provider Carbonite, where he served as CTO and was a co-founder.

SageCloud combines its proprietary software, based on the open-source, high-performance ZFS file system, with industry-standard hardware and low-cost desktop-class hard drives into an on-premise cloud backup and archival solution that can be delivered as a service. The service supports multitenant operations, which the company said allows it to be used similar to the Amazon Glacier cloud archiving solution.

Zerto: $13M For Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Zerto, based in Boston and Herzliya, Israel, in April got a C round of funding worth $13 million to help deliver its solution for enterprise data replication and recovery designed specifically for virtualized infrastructures and the cloud. The company, founded in 2009, raised more than $21 million in previous funding rounds.

The Zerto Cloud Disaster Recovery Ecosystem includes more than 100 cloud providers that use Zerto Virtual Replication to power their cloud disaster recovery offerings for helping businesses protect production applications both to the cloud and in the cloud.

The new investment is targeted at helping Zerto accelerate its go-to-market strategy for its hypervisor-based replication solution for enterprises and cloud service providers and for expanding its development and cloud product teams and its sales and marketing operations.