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Hyper-converged vendor Gridstore picks up funding for expansion

Gridstore closed a $19 million funding round today with plans to substantially expand engineering and sales of its all-flash hyper-converged systems built for Microsoft Hyper-V.

The round brings Gridstore’s total funding to $45.5 million over three rounds. While $19 million is small compared to some of the storage funding rounds over the past year, Gridstore CEO George Symons said it is more than enough to fund Gridstore’s growth plans.

“I’m a believer in not going out and raising stupid amounts of money, even if you can,” he said. “If the goal is to go public in a year and lose large amounts, that’s the way you do it. Our goal is to build a business.”

He said the funding is enough to allow Gridstore to more than double from its current 38 employees by the end of 2016. Symons said most of the growth will hit the vendor’s two largest departments, sales and engineering.

Gridstore has already hired a chief strategy officer and chief financial officer – two positions it never had before. Former Del CTO James Thomason will fill the CSO role. Kevin Rains is the new CFO. Rains also worked at Dell as director of operations for its Enterprise Software Group. Gridstore also hired Phillip Lavery as VP of sales for the Americas and Nariman Teymourian, most recently senior vice president and general manager of the Converged Systems Division of HPE, replaces Imation CTO Geoff Barrall as Gridstore’s chairman.

Gridstore started selling storage appliances for Microsoft in 2013 and added all-flash hyper-converged systems in 2014. Symons said Gridstore revenue grew 343% last year, with new new customers “almost exclusively hyper-converged. It surprised me how quickly it happened and how completely it happened. I don’t think we had more than one or two new standalone storage customers last year.”

Symons said Gridstore will drop its storage-only system but will expand its hypervisor support by adding KVM. As for market leading hypervisor VMware, Gridstore will continue to leave that space to other hyper-converged players – including VMware.

“We’ll continue to watch that market,” he said. “Just jumping in as another hyper-converged infrastructure player doesn’t seem to be the right move for us.”

Atlantic Bridge Capital led the funding round with previous investors Acero Capital, GGV Capital and Onset Ventures participating.

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