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Scality Rings up $60 million funding round

With a fresh $60 million in funding, Scality CEO Jerome Lecat said he expects the object storage vendor to become profitable within two years.

Scality, which launched its Ring object storage in 2010 and added a distributed file system five years later, has now raised $152 million over five funding rounds.  Its previous largest round before today brought in $57 million in August of 2015.

The vendor relies largely on partnerships with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco to drive sales, so Lecat said most of the new funding will go into product development. Lecat said the new Zenko multi-cloud management software will be a main focus but he expects more product launches in 2018.

“We intend to show we can run a profit,” Lecat said. “We intend to be a break-even profitable company by 2020. From there, who knows where we go? We can raise more money and make acquisitions, but that’s not a decision I’ll make now. Sixty million dollars is a lot of money, and our goal is to strengthen our product strategy.”

Scality, which has more than 200 employees, finished 2017 with nearly 90 people on its engineering team. Lecat said that number will grow  with the funding.

The 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage lists Scalilty as a leader, along with Dell EMC and IBM.

Zenko, based on open-source software, stores data and applications under one interface regardless of whether they reside on-premises or in clouds.  Scality uses the Amazon S3 API that works with RING or other back-end cloud storage. Scality released Zenko code to the open source community in 2017 and is preparing to make a commercially supported version available in 2018. Zenko can complement Scality Ring or run as a standalone product.

Lecat said he expects Zenko to go GA within a few months. By then, he expects beta customer Bloomberg Media to put Zenko in production.

Multi-cloud management is important for Scality, whose customers include service providers and organizations with large data stores. Lecat said the average Scality Ring implementation is for 4 PB of data, often spread across clouds.

“The future of enterprise IT and storage is multi-cloud,” he said. “What we mean by multi-cloud is large enterprises will continue to operate some storage by themselves in a private cloud and also leverage several public cloud services. A few years ago, people said everything would go in Amazon, but we’re not seeing that trend. We see people also want [Microsoft] Azure, Google and possibly other public clouds.”

As a private company, Scality does not disclose revenue but Lecat said the vendor added 51 enterprise customers in 2017. He put its total customer count at more than 200.

Nearly 80% of Scality’s sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 came through partners. HPE sells Scalable Object Storage with Scality Ring and Cisco sells UCS Storage Server with Scality Ring.

The funding round included new investor Harbert European Growth Capital, with previous Scality investors Menlo Ventures, Iris Capital, Idinvest Partners and Galileo Partners participating.

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