Cisco Is Watching As Nimble Storage Preps For An IPO

Frank Calderoni Cisco
Cisco’s CFO, Frank Calderoni

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With today’s news that Nimble Storage nabbed another $40+ million in venture funding, the company is now worth about $627 million, Business Insider has learned.That’s according to a report by startup valuation specialists VC Experts. This is pretty impressive growth for a company that has only been shipping its product since 2010.

NOTE: The company contacted us and insisted its valuation is much higher, but when asked to share that number, it refused. VC Experts says its valuation is based on data from 18 public regulatory filings.

As we previously reported, part of its growth is because of the company’s hot technology and part of it is because of its founders. It makes enterprise storage systems out of flash memory, the same tech used in mobile phones and thumb drives. These perform faster and cost less than traditional enterprise storage systems from companies like EMC, Dell, or NetApp, Nimble claims.

However, Nimble has another ace in its pocket: the venture capitalists who sit on its board. It’s backed by Sequoia’s enterprise-funding powerhouse, Jim Goetz. (He funded such companies as AdMob, bought by Google, and Palo Alto Networks, a hot 2012 enterprise IPO). Accel’s Ping Li also backs Nimble Storage. (He’s an investor in Steve Wozniak’s Fusion-io and cloud-infrastructure player Cloudera).

Both Goetz and Li were named to Business Insider’s list of the 50 Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech.

Now Nimble is talking up an IPO, perhaps starting the process in late 2013, CEO Suresh Vasudevan told Business Insider.

But if not, we can see Cisco as a natural buyer. Cisco CFO Frank Calderoni is also on Nimble’s board.

Storage is the last area of the data centre where Cisco isn’t playing, thanks to its partnership with EMC. But relations with EMC are increasingly strained, as EMC and its subsidiary VMware look to disrupt Cisco with a new technology called software-defined networking.

So keeping an eye on Nimble Storage is a really good idea for Cisco.

Watch for big things to happen with Nimble Storage in the not-so-distance future.

Updated: VC Experts increased their valuation estimate from just over $500 million.