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Igneous Systems ingests $15 million funding for file data protection

Igneous Systems today closed a $15 million Series B funding round to help expand marketing of its hybrid cloud backup and archiving platform for file data.

Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud consists of the startup’s software packaged on commodity appliances that protects data on-premises and in public clouds. The startup handles all the management of the data, which includes analytics and the ability to replicate it to the cloud.

“We consolidate backup and archiving with as little or as much on-prem, or as much or as little in the cloud as the customer desires,” Igneous CEO Kiran Bhageshpur said. “We deliver all as a service, even if the infrastructure is in the customer‘s data center.  The customer does not monitor anything, they don’t get any alerts, they don’t worry about things completing or not. Our software takes care of all that.”

Bhageshpur said the funding will allow the company to add systems engineers and sales managers, mainly in North America. “We are hyper-focused on expanding our go-to-market side,” he said. Igneous Systems has about 40 employees today, Bhageshpur said.

The Igneous Hybrid Storage cloud has been generally available for less than a year. Bhageshpur said Igneous is still in the “low double digits” of customers but they include Fortune 250 and Global 2000 firms. He said the typical Igneous Systems customer has “lots of file data, as in hundreds of millions of files to billions of files, and hundreds of terabytes to petabytes to tens of petabytes of data. And the data is in multiple systems in multiple locations.”

Igneous handles secondary data today, but Bhageshpur said its analytics features such as auto-discovery could enable it to expand its reach by adding business value to the data.

“We index data no matter where it lives,” he said. “We scan data, store data, and move data off to the cloud. We do a global search of all that data that is being backed up. And we will extend that functionality because we index everything. You’re talking about hundreds of millions to billions of objects. All of that is searchable in Google-like fashion. We tell you things like how much data do you have, what is your change rate, and what’s the rate of access of your data. Our vision is to take that to the next step. Storage analytics is the first piece, but there are other things we can do that looks more deeply into that data.”

Igneous Systems’ subscription pricing starts at about $30,000 a year for 200 TB of usable data under protection. Bhageshpu said Igneous includes all its current core features in the subscription price but will add new functionalities for a premium.

“This is strictly hypothetical, but say we build in compliance enforcement,” he said. “If a customer says, ‘Provide insights into a GDPR violation,’ that would be an added charge.”

Vulcan Capital and Orca Bay Capital joined original Igneous Systems investors Madrona Venture Group, New Enterprise Associates, and RedPoint Ventures in the round. The round brings the company’s total investment to just over $41 million.

Bhageshpu said Stephen Mullaney is joining the board as an independent director. Mullaney was the CEO of network virtualization startup Nicira, which VMware acquired in2012 as the underlying technology for its NSX software-defined network platform. Mullaney left his SVP role at VMware in 2014 and currently sits on several boards, including Barracuda Networks, Metaswitch Networks, Tigera and Tula Technology.

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