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ClearSky Data POPs corks over $20M funding

ClearSky Data today scored $20 million in funding and a partnership with Equinix to expand coverage for its managed storage services.

New investor Pear Tree Partners participated in the funding round, with previous investors General Catalyst, Highland Capital Partners and Polaris Partners joining. Another investor, described by ClearSky as “a market-leading technology provider,” also participated but asked not to be identified. The funding brings ClearSky’s total to $59 million.””

ClearSky Data launched in late 2015 with a managed service that uses on-premises appliances for hot data, its Points of Presence (POP) data centers for warm data and public clouds for data protection.

The vendor has since expanded its technology offerings. In 2017 it added automated backup and disaster recovery services. ClearSky followed with a NAS service for file data and support for object storage through VMware Cloud on AWS this year.

ClearSky founder and CEO Ellen Rubin said the funding as well the Equinix partnership will accelerate its expansion of POP locations. ClearSky has POP sites in Boston, New York, Chicago and Ashburn, Virginia. Rubin said the goal is to triple that total and cover the entire United States within the next year.

“Our goal is to expand westward,” she said.

Geographic expansion is crucial because ClearSky Data caches warm data at POP within 120 miles of customer sites.

Rubin said ClearSky has around 35 employees, and she expects to double sales, marketing and customer support staff with the funding.

“We’re looking for ways to be more accessible and in more places in short order,” she said.

The Equinix deal will also help ClearSky’s expansion. ClearSky uses Equinix data centers for its Ashburn and Chicago POP sites, but now will integrate its technology on Platform Equinix  interconnected global data centers.

“We’ve been a customer of Equinix. This is a deeper level integration,” Rubin said. “They feel and we feel enterprise customers are looking to have more services that build a nice balance of what’s going on at the customer data center or at the edge. Connectivity from the data center to the edge is still hard. We’re a data management layer, and it’s always the data that’s hard.”

Rubin said ClearSky’s revenue for the first half of 2018 doubled the full-year 2017 revenue. She expects revenue in the second half of 2108 to also at least double 2017 revenue. She won’t say how many customers ClearSky has, but the provider lists Partners HealthCare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Nuance Communications and Unitas Global  as customers.

Rubin said some of those companies use ClearSky for all their backup and disaster recovery needs, while some large organizations turn specific workloads over to the cloud storage startup.

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