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Panzura's $25 million may be its last funding round

Cloud storage gateway startup Panzura pocketed $25 million in a Series D funding round this week, and CEO Randy Chou said he expects it will be the last funding the company needs before becoming profitable.

Chou said he expects to double the company’s headcount to 200 people with the funding. He also plans to expand Panzura’s presence in Asia-Pacific and increase research and development for its products.

The Panzura is one of several startups that popped up in the past few years selling gateways to move data to public clouds. The main function of their controllers is to translate object storage to work with applications written to communicate with file and block storage. Others included Ctera Networks Ltd., TwinStrata, Nasuni Corp., and StorSimple Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft in late 2012.

Chou said Panzura’s business has accelerated since Microsoft purchased StorSimple last year. “The market picked up as a whole in the third quarter last year,” he said.

He said 75 percent of Panzura’s leads come from partners such as EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, Nirvanix, Dell, Google and Amazon.

In December, Panzura clinched a multi-million dollar deal with the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, a huge win that Chou said he hopes will open up doors for Panzura in other areas of government. He attributed the deal largely to Panzura’s Storage Controller receiving the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 security validation. Its product also has Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The company also has a deal with the Department of Justice.

Founded in July 2008, Panzura raised $6 million in a Series A funding in September 2008 and another $12 million in October 2010. Venture capitalist Meritech Capital Partners led the latest round with participation from previous investors Matrix Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Opus Capital and Chevron Technology Ventures.

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