[Updated] Cloudian Raises $24 Million Because Not Everything Needs To Live In “The Cloud”

As the cloud storage provider Box continues to slouch toward its public offering (staggering under the weight of new invested capital), a number of startups continue to raise cash on the premise that sometimes sensitive data needs to remain grounded.

The latest of these players is Cloudian, which said it raised $24 million in new capital from a menagerie of foreign and domestic investors. New investors include the Innovation Corporate Network of Japan (INCJ), the roughly $20 billion public-private partnership between the Japanese government and the country’s biggest industrial and tech companies and Fidelity Growth Partners Japan, the Japanese investment arm of the international money management firm; and previous investors like Intel Capital and Goldman Sachs.

The Foster City, Calif.-based company says it will use the money to expand its sales and marketing as it capitalizes on early customer wins in the Japanese market.

“When we launched our first solution, our first major customer wins were in Japan,” says chief executive Michael Tso. “We landed NTT and a few other Japanese operators as well. We got some early traction there [and] then we got attention from some of the Japanese firms.”

Cloudian has a two-tiered sales system, selling to 40 customers through long-term recurring contracts, and there are another 400 customers on a community edition of the product where it gives away a certain amount of storage for free, Tso says.

Now, the company intends to push its marketing campaign into high gear through joint marketing agreements with Intel and through channel partners like Amazon Web Services, which just inked a partnership with Cloudian earlier this year.

The reason why Cloudian has been able to raise its cash — along with other hybrid storage offerings like Egnyte — is basically as a hedge against the idea of completely cloud-based storage.

Not everyone wants everything to live in the “cloud” all the time. Companies have sensitive data that they’re loath to part with — and always will be goes the argument. So why not give them the flexibility to determine what is and what isn’t meant for public clouds, private clouds, or semi-public clouds.

“Storage is going to be the substrate that allows you to move your data between and among all of these clouds,” says Tso.

[This post has been updated to indicate that Cloudian raised $24 million, not $29 million as originally reported – because I’m a moron.]