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Tintri picks up $125 million, targets NetApp, IPO

Tintri, which sells storage built for virtual machines, today closed a $125 million funding round that it plans to use to step up its attack on NetApp’s installed base and take the startup public in 2016.

Tintri’s Series F round brings its total funding to $260 million. Its founder and CTO Kieran Harty said Tintri will use the funding to grow its sales and marketing to continue to make inroads in a storage market in transition. He sees Tintri as one of the hot newcomers that are hurting the established storage vendors. As a file storage vendor built for virtual environment, Tintri’s main target is NetApp, which has struggled for more than a year.

“We’re going squarely against NetApp,” Harty said. “We will be going up against NetApp aggressively, and you’ll see that in our marketing. You can’t avoid EMC in the market, but we don’t go after EMC specifically. We are seeing the market separate newer companies who are large enough and have enough capital to be players in the market while others are falling behind. We see Nimble, Pure and Nutanix, and we don’t see much of anybody else.”

Harty said Tintri’s goal is to become cash-flow positive in 2016, and then move toward an IPO. Tintri executives last year said the company would have an initial public offering (IPO) in 2015 but market conditions are unfavorable for an IPO. Investors want to see profitability, not only growth.

Industry sources say Tintri generated around $50 million in revenue in 2014 with plans to double that in 2015. Tintri said it grew revenues more than 100 percent in 2014. The company has not had a profitable quarter, however.

“We want to be a public company. We expect to be in position to start that process at the end of this year,” Harty said. “Our focus is on going public when we’re ready and when the market is ready. There is no longer just a focus on growth. The market cares about being cash-flow positive and seeing that you will be profitable. That’s the new reality of the market.”

He said Tintri plans to add “a few hundred people” to its current 450 employees with the new funding. Along with beefing up sales and marketing, Tintri is also planning a new product launch for later this month.

Silver Lake Partners led the funding round with previous investors Insight Venture Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Menlo Ventures and NEA participating.