Storage Vendor Tintri Lands $125M Round With Eye Toward IPO

Tintri, a company that develops storage solutions for virtual applications, announced a $125 million round today.

The company also indicated the next logical step is probably going to be an IPO in the first half of 2016 if market conditions are right.

The round was led by Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Existing investors Insight Venture Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Menlo Ventures and NEA also participated. Today’s round brings the total raised to $260 million.

Tintri builds a flash-hard drive hybrid storage appliance and works with companies specifically building virtual applications. “If you look what’s happening in the enterprise, applications are moving from physical to virtualized workloads. We [developed] a purpose-built appliance targeting high performance workloads running on virtual machines,” company CEO Ken Klein told TechCrunch.

He called it ‘smart storage’ because it uses algorithms that monitor the virtual machines, assigning the heaviest workloads to faster flash storage (while backing up to cheaper hard drives) and moving virtual machines with less activity onto hard drives.

In a blog post, Klein wrote that the company was oversubscribed for this round, and he believes it’s because it’s sitting at the intersection of three important trends: virtualization, cloud and flash storage. He believes putting these three elements together in a single company made it very attractive to investors.

The company has actually defined its own storage category it calls ‘VM-aware storage (VAS)’. It may be a buzz word, but it seems to be having an impact with over 800 customers so far, according to Klein.

Customers include some heavy hitters, such as Chevron, Comcast, GE, MillerCoors, Rogers Communications, SK Telecom, Sony and Time Warner, as well as many government agencies.

The company recorded triple-digit growth for fiscal year 2015 over 2014, according to Klein.

As for that IPO, he says the company is hoping to pull the trigger in the first half of 2016, but it will depend on market conditions. “We are not ready today, but we will be ready. Market conditions need to be there. We can’t control the market. We can only control our own execution,” Klein said.

The management team is experienced in executing IPOs and he said they have a plan to be IPO-ready that they will implement over the second half of the year.

The company will be using the new money to get the word out. Klein believes the company has been too stealthy to this point and wants to use the money to increase brand awareness, build out the channel and execute an “aggressive product road map.”

He said it would be making several product announcements later this month ahead of their Tintricity user conference.