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Avere Cloud NAS receives Google funding injection

Google is throwing its investment weight behind the Avere Cloud NAS technology.

Google joined Avere Systems’ $14 million Series E funding round that closed today, highlighting the importance of Avere’s focus on the private cloud over the past few years. The vendor created virtual versions of FXT Avere Cloud NAS filers for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud in 2014, Google Compute Engine in 2015 and Microsoft Azure in 2016.

Avere founder and CEO Ron Bianchini said revenue from the cloud should save Avere from having to raise more funding after this round, which brings the vendor’s total to $97 million.

“This is it,” Bianchini said of Avere’s funding. “Our goal is for this to take us to break-even in 2018. We’ve been waiting for this day for a while.”

Most of the funding will go toward outbound marketing, with plans to invest in the product development to keep up with the latest cloud technology.

Bianchini said Avere’s Avere cloud NAS revenue almost doubled in 2016, with close to half of new bookings coming from cloud business.

“We started in 2008 very much as a data center company. Then we started our transition to the cloud in 2014, and it’s been a really big change in the company since then,” Bianchini said.

‘Not a one-trick pony’

The change began with Avere’s FXT Edge Filers in 2012. Until then, its FXT Core Filers used flash to accelerate the performance of NAS on disk systems. FXT Edge Filers serve as gateways to move data into the cloud. Avere followed with Virtual FXT (vFXT) Edge Filers starting in 2014 that serve as NAS on public clouds, allowing customers to connect on-premises storage to AWS, Google Cloud and Azure services.

Bianchini said many Avere customers use the vendor to store data both on-premises and in the cloud.

“People don’t want one product in the data center and a different product in the cloud,” he said. “We can do both. We can play in the data center, in the cloud or as a hybrid. We’re not a one-trick pony.”

In addition to NFS and SMB protocols, Avere Cloud NAS appliances support object storage from IBM Cleversafe, Western Digital, SwiftStack and others through its C2N Cloud Core NAS platform.

As a private company, Avere does not disclose its revenue, but a source close to the company put its bookings at $7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $22 million for the year. Those bookings were up from $4.8 million in the fourth quarter and $14.5 million in 2015.

Previous Avere investors Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital and Western Digital Technologies participated in the Series E funding.

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