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Cloudian raises $41 million in a Series D funding round

Cloudian today closed a $41 million in a Series D funding round that it will use to help increase its sales footprint in Europe and Asia in the second half of 2017.

New Cloudian investors in the round included Lenovo, City National Bank, Epsilon Venture Partners and Delta Venture Labs. Previous investors Intel Capital, INCJ, Eight Roads, Fidelity International Limited, and Goldman Sachs also contributed to the round.

Cloudian’s largest funding round brings total investment in the object storage vendor to $79 million.

Cloudian’s software is based on Amazon S3 APIs for on-premises and public cloud storage. Cloudian secured partnerships with Amazon, Google and Lenovo this year.

Customers now can purchase Cloudian’s flagship object storage-based HyperStore through Amazon Web Services marketplace. They can deploy the software in their data center and centralize usage while getting billed through a monthly AWS invoice. They can also purchase both on-premises storage and Amazon S3 storage on a metered-by-usage basis and manage it as a single pool.

Lenovo sells a DX 8200C appliance with Cloudian software integrated. Cloudian HyperStore software. HyperStore is also integrated with Google Cloudline, allowing customers to migrate files based on age, frequency of access and file type. Customers can search data locally for discovery purposes, and administrators can manage it as a single pool.

“We need to scale our team to work with them,” Michael Tso, Cloudian’s CEO and founder, said of the startup’s partners. “The marketplace that we are attached to is starting to take off. We are at the convergence of the demand for our product. We have been relatively quiet (but now) we are ready to step up on the marketing side.”

Cloudian claims it has experienced a 300% increase in bookings and 100% growth in its customer base over the past year.

The company raised $11.58  million in a Series A funding round in April 2012, followed by $5,1 million in October 2013 and another $24 million in June 2015. The initial investment money that took place in May 2007 was not disclosed.

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Well, Cloudian's $79M in funding is about the same as Scality, which is one of its major competitors. Scality also received a $10M equity investment by HP which gives it a closer look at Scality's operations. This could lead to an acquisition by HP which already has a joint marketing agreement with Scality. Scality has mentioned an interest in going public in 2017 which is surprising given that no object-based storage software vendor of this size has actually gone public. Getting acquired seems to be the likely next step for most of the promising object-based storage software vendors. Amplidata was bought by HGST. Ceph was bought by Red Hat. Cleversafe received approx. $128M in funding before IBM paid $1.3B for the company last November. Cloudian has never mentioned going public. Cloudian's investors are probably interested in a big payday like Cleversafe.  The current Cloudian funding round could get the company to the point where Lenovo might be interested in making an acquisition. Cloudian already markets their storage software running on Lenovo storage server hardware. All of these acquisitions and possible acquisitions validates the market for object-based storage as a relatively new and important storage tier that is gaining momentum.