Nutanix, a five-year old converged infrastructure provider, announced $140M in Series E funding today, based on a whopping $2B+ valuation. The funding comes from the two biggest Boston public market investors, which chose to remain nameless (but Boston isn’t that big so we’re probably talking Wellington Management and Fidelity).
The company most recently scored $101M in January, bringing their total money raised to date to over $312M. Chief financial officer, Duston Williams says this is a way to build relationships with investment firms as a precursor to eventually going public. He couldn’t and wouldn’t say when that would be, but he hinted an IPO would seem to be the next logical step for the company.
Nutanix is part of a growing converged infrastructure market that combines storage and compute power in a single box greatly reducing the space, power and cooling required to run it -and the overall cost of buying these items separately. How much? They claim they can take 10 ru boxes and compress them into just two, saving 20 to 50 percent, depending on the workloads and how much compute power they were purchasing before. Since companies tend to over-estimate what they need, they tend to over provision. The overall savings depend on just how much they have over-estimated their requirements.
CEO Dheeraj Pandey explained to TechCrunch in January during their last funding announcement, “Traditional storage appliances are merely a black box, dual-controller devices that communicate with servers 3 or 4 hops away. Nutanix bring storage intelligence into the server and combines it with compute power to create an app centric infrastructure. By leveraging the two, a company can push out apps without having to integrate across multiple boxes,” he told TechCrunch at the time.
As company spokesperson, Scott Beaver explained, it’s useful to think of it in terms of a smartphone. We used to carry around a device for talking on the phone, another for taking pictures and a third for getting email and keeping our calendar. Today we have a converged single device. And this is what’s happening in the data center as well.
“Speed and agility comes from the simplicity of the solution. The data center has a lot of specialized devices for storage and networking,” he explained and Nutanix reduces that number in the same way the smartphone reduced the number of devices individuals have to carry.
Howard Ting, senior vp of marketing says the hardware is only part of the equation though. It’s the software they’ve developed that stitches the layers together.
Williams says the company, which has been running for five years and selling product for just three, has around 650 employees, and hopes to use the funds to continue to expand its markets. It already boasts 800 customers in 43 countries. He said last year, 40 percent of bookings came internationally, which is fairly remarkable for such a young company.
As with any company with such a quick influx of cash, a total of $241M this year alone, Williams says it gives them flexibility to open new offices, put more money into personnel and expand their product offerings, but he says they don’t necessarily plan to spend all of it.
He says what the money provides is flexibility to determine the best next steps for the company. Williams views such a large cash influx as a kind of mini-IPO. “In some ways it is like an iPO in terms of the investors and size. We view it as like that in many ways, but in a way that allows us to grow the business [while remaining private],” he explained.