This Former VMware Big Shot Just Raised Another $US35 Million For His Startup

PernixData Satyam VaghaniSatyam VaghaniPernixData co-founder Satyam Vaghani

Storage startup PernixData is on a tear. It just raised another $US35 million, in a third-round of investment, bringing its total to $US62 million.

The round was led by Menlo Ventures, but it included some new big-name individual investors, too — notably Salesforce.com co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff; co-founder and managing director of Silver Lake Jim Davidson; and Steve Luczo, CEO of Seagate Technology.

They join other big names like John Thompson (Microsoft’s chairman) and big storage angel investor Mark Leslie, founder of Veritas Software, (bought by Symantec in 2004 for about $US13.5 billion).

These investors all want a piece of PernixData, the startup founded by grad-school buddies Satyam Vaghani and Poojan Kumar.

Vaghani was one of VMware’s first 100-ish employees who helped that company build its storage software. He eventually caught the eye of storage behemoth EMC, which turned around and bought VMware for $US625 million in 2004. Kumar is known as the engineer who created Oracle’s super important database hardware, “Exadata.”

PernixData is turning enterprise storage on its head with its software product that instantly improves the storage a company a already owns. Companies are creating and keeping more data than ever before, but instead of buying more storage, PernixData allows them to stuff more data into the systems they already own and access those files faster.

The company is growing rapidly. At the end of its first fiscal full year in July, PernixData says it landed 200 customers in 20 countries including names like Bank of the West, Sega, Toyota and India’s Tata Steel.

Previous backers also chipped into the new round, including Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed, and Lane Bess (former CEO at Palo Alto Networks, currently CEO of Zscaler).

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