Eyeing An IPO, Enterprise Data Company Nimble Storage Raises $40.7M From Sequoia And Accel

Nimble Storage, the developer of flash-optimized, hybrid storage and backup solutions for the enterprise has raised $40.7 million in funding from led by existing investors Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. Artis Capital Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners and GGV Capital also participated in the round. This brings Nimble Storage’s total funding to $98 million.

Founded by former Data Domain and NetApp executives Varun Mehta and Umesh Maheshwari, Nimble Storage offers enterprise-grade data storage and backup appliances for small and medium businesses. Nimble’s suite of four appliances combine storage, backup and disaster-recovery into a single solution, with each box offering different levels of raw storage capacity (up to 24 terabytes), flash capacity and connectivity speed.

Additionally, Nimble offers flash-accelerated primary storage performance, instant backup and restores, application-integrated data protection, and offsite disaster recovery, all from a single iSCSI system. This helps lower equipment costs and streamline storage management.

As Suresh Vasudevan, CEO of Nimble Storage, tells us in an interview, the company is a more attractive option for businesses for three main reasons. First, Nimble delivers four to five times more performance and two to five times more capacity than competitors.

Second, he says that with Nimble, data recovery only takes seconds. And third, Nimble is relatively simple to deploy, Vasudevan adds.

“Nimble Storage has delivered groundbreaking innovations and fundamentally reinvented the modern storage system,” said Jim Goetz, general partner, Sequoia Capital in a release “The company has emerged to become a dominant force in data storage, and its market traction far outpaces other storage entrants of the past few years.”

And the company is growing fast. In two years since first shipping in August, 2010, Nimble
Storage has sold over 1,000 deployments. Customers include leaders across a range of industries, among them Grocery Outlet, City of Cupertino, First Choice Health, Plaxo, Berkeley Research Group, San Mateo Credit Union, Premier Medical, Northrim Bank, San Diego Convention Center, Vision Critical, Imagine Learning and Graniterock. In the most recent quarter alone, Nimble Storage acquired more than 175 new customers.

“Right out of the gate, Nimble Storage established itself as a company that could redefine the data storage landscape – and it has,” said Ping Li, principal, Accel Partners. “Nimble has clearly pulled away from the storage giants and flash-based start-ups alike, and proven its value across an amazing 1,000-plus deployments in the enterprise. Our investment in Nimble continues to deliver high long-term value.

Vasudevan says that funding will be used for growth in sales, engineering and international market development. Specifically, Nimble will be looking to broaden its European presence and to expedite plans to establish a presence and partnerships in the Asia Pacific region.

And Nimble, which faces comptition from Dell, EMC and others is preparing for the possibility of a public offering. “The IPO is the goal,” Vasudevan says. He estimate that the opportunity for an IPO will exist in the second half of next year at the earliest. Vasudevan declined to reveal the valuation of Nimble in the round, but he did say that the valuation was similar to that of 3Par at the same stage. And he says that he’s confident that Nimble’s valuation was “substantially ahead of” the other storage companies that have raised recently.