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Elastifile grabs $16M to stretch sales staff

Startup Elastifile, which sells a distributed file system that spans flash and cloud storage tiers, picked up $16 million in funding today. The startup also gained a new strategic investor in Western Digital.

Western Digital led the round, which Elastifile CEO and founder Amir Aharoni calls an extension of the B round the startup closed in mid-2016. Elastifile now has more than $65 million in total funding.

Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) runs on-premises on flash storage, and uses its CloudConnect feature to store and manage data on public clouds.

Aharoni describles ECFS as a “cross-cloud data fabric.” The goal is to run hot data on flash and colder data in the cloud.

“We don’t believe everybody will move 100 percent into the public cloud, but they want those public clouds to be an agile extension of their IT infrastructure,” Aharoni said. “Managing enterprise data in such environments is a complex task. You have to mobilize the data, and make sure it is available on premises and in the cloud. Our core value is to take data from silos and share it.”

Although venture firms CE Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Battery Ventures have invested in Elastifile, it has strongly courted strategic investors. Dell (through EMC), Cisco and Lenovo are among early investors. EMC – before the Dell merger – took part in Elastifile’s first funding round in 2014. Elastifile founder and CTO Shahar Frank also founded all-flash array startup XtremIO, which EMC acquired in 2012.

“EMC believed in our vision from the early days,” Aharoni said.

He pointed out that Western Digital has been an active investor and acquirer of storage companies, particularly in the flash market.

Aharoni said Elastifile will use the funding mostly to bulk up its sales team. The vendor has about 40 customers and Aharoni said the funding will help it grow headcount from 85 to around 100.

Elastifile sells its software through subscriptions, but also has server vendor partners who resell it and channel partners who bundle it on appliances.

“We need to do two things now,” Aharoni said. “First we have to build our sales organization beyond the early deals we have done. The majority of investment will go towards go-to-market and channel sales. And then we also still have a lot to do on the research and development side on our product.”

Elastifile has headquarters in Israel with its sales team based in Santa Clara, California.

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