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Dell Ventures plants a stake in Exablox

Dell Ventures is the newest investor in object-based storage startup Exablox after leading a $16 million funding round this week.

Dell joined previous Exablox funders DCM Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and US Venture Partners in the round, bringing the startup’s total funding to $38.5 million.

Exablox OneBlox appliances consist of object storage integrated with a distributed file system, and serve as primary storage or backup.
Exablox CEO Doug Brockett said the funding round does not include any product or marketing partnerships between his company and Dell. But it does show that Dell sees value in Exablox technology.

“Dell certainly understands this market that we sell into extremely well, and Dell understands storage extremely well,” he said. “There is no agreement in place to do anything [with ExaBlox technology] yet. Over time we can see what happens. We both see the same market opportunities out there.”

Brockett said OneBlox has sold in the United States and Canada since launching in 2013. Exablox will use the funding to expand its international sales, including channel recruitment. Brockett said the company has a “rich roadmap” for product upgrades in 2015 and will add engineering with the funding, but that expansion “will pale in comparison to what we’re doing and the sales and marketing side.”

Exablox’s upgrade strategy has been to make changes in software that customers install on the same hardware that they bought initially.

“We’re software-defined storage. We don’t ask people to adopt new hardware,” Brockett said.

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