Pure Storage has raised $150 million for its super-fast and feature-rich flash storage technology. The round was led by T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global Management and “other public market investors,” along with participation from previous investors Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Samsung Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. The new funding brings the company’s total capital raise to $245 million. The company said in its announcement that the funding puts it on track to pursue an IPO.
Flash storage is a hot sector of the enterprise market. Hard drives with mechanical disks can’t move data as fast as customers want. Solid-state flash does not have the encumbrance of all those moving parts, which enables data to move at a scale far faster than with hard disks.
Pure Storage has capitalized in the market by providing a pure-flash system. It is in direct competition with EMC, the storage technology leader, which has led the market for years by providing storage that pooled hard disk drives to store the data needed to keep applications performing well. The company acquired XtremIO last year, giving it a foothold in the flash market. In June, it announced the purchase of ScaleIO, which uses the hard disk on application servers to create high-performance, shared virtual storage array networks (SAN), which offer the easy scalability and elasticity of “block storage.”
So it makes sense why Pure Storage is building such a war chest. It costs a lot to build out a channel and hardware systems to compete with a powerhouse like EMC.
Howard Marks of Network Computing wrote in June that Pure Storage has built out a deeper feature set than competitors, such as IBM and Violin Memory. But the question remains if the company can close the sales to join EMC and companies like NetApp, another giant of the storage market.