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Vast Data CEO Renen Hallak On Not Needing $83M, Competing With Investor Dell

Renen Hallak tells CRN his company has plenty of money in the bank and took the new funding round to reassure everyone the company is here to stay. He also says his company has two strategic investors, Nvidia and Dell, the latter of which never thought it was investing in a future competitor.

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Aiming High

So what does a storage startup that has plenty of cash in the bank and which is already cash-flow positive on fast-growing revenue want with a new round of funding? The answer, in the case of New York-based Vast Data, is an opportunity to assure its stakeholders--customers, potential customers, and channel partners--that it is a company that is here to stay.

At least that’s what CEO Renen Hallak told CRN. Vast Data has only been in the market a couple years with its Universal Storage technology that provides all-flash file and object storage with exabyte scale, but it is already cash-flow positive, something very few IT startups still in their hyper-growth phase can claim. Despite that, the company on Tuesday unveiled a D-round of funding of $83 million, giving the company a total valuation of $3.7 billion.

“We’ve been growing 4x year-over-year into very high numbers, or just around $100 million dollars in terms of the software run rate we closed out last year,” Hallak said. “And we closed out last year cash flow-positive, which is usually not the case. You don’t usually grow at 4x year-over-year and stop burning money.”

Hallak, in a wide-ranging conversation with CRN, talked about the company, its strategy, plans going forward, and its strategic focus on the AI and analytics storage market which needs high-performance, highly-scalable storage. He also talked about strategic investors including Nvidia, which needs high-performance storage to meet the AI workloads running on its GPU-based technology, and Dell, an early investor which probably never realized it was investing in a future competitor.

For a look at this very unique storage play, one that is nearly all focused on the channel, click through the slideshow.

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