Qumulo has spent the past five years building out its cloud-based platform that helps companies store and manage their data usage. Now the company is ready to attract enterprise customers from around the world and become a globally-recognized brand.
The Seattle startup today announced a $30 million investment round led by new investor Northern Light Venture Capital, with participation from previous investors like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Madrona Venture Group, Top Tier Capital Partners, and Tyche Partners.
This follows a separate $32.5 million investment in June of last year. Total funding in the 5-year-old company is now $130 million.
Qumulo helps clients in a variety of industries like film production, oil and gas, life sciences, and more not only store data, but also monitor it with real-time analytics.
Qumulo CEO Bill Richter, who joined the company this past November, said the fresh investment is “all about fueling growth.”
“This round is all about taking a best of breed product that’s built for the modern world, marrying it up with a world class leadership organization, and really going out and prosecuting a large, growing, and uncontested market,” Richter told GeekWire.
Richter took over for Qumulo co-founder Peter Godman, who is now CTO. The two colleagues previously worked together as executives at Isilon Systems — as did Qumulo’s two other co-founders Neal Fachan and Aaron Passey — which sold to EMC for $2.25 billion in 2010, marking one of the biggest acquisitions in Seattle tech history.
Richter, also a venture partner at Madrona Venture Group — one of Seattle’s top venture capital firms and one of Qumulo’s earliest backers — said he’s more bullish about Qumulo compared to what he experienced at Isilon.
“Our opportunity is so much bigger than Isilon because the rate of data creation in the world is only accelerating,” he said. “The problem is even more pronounced; the market is so much larger; and the choices are much fewer for customers.”
The “problem” Richter referenced is all about how to manage and monitor a company’s unstructured data usage. Qumulo helps companies understand where the consumption of resources is coming from and learn why so much data exists in the first place.
Qumulo’s Core product helps answers questions like, “What was my data like six months ago?” or, “What data do I need to back up?” or, “What is driving my data growth?” Qumulo Core can run on commodity hardware, dedicated appliances, or in virtual machines.
“Every business out there is becoming a digital business,” Richter noted. “Data is becoming the most important asset for any organization.”
Qumulo has more than 100 customers including companies like Crafty Apes, which used Qumulo to help with the 2D compositing for the opening scene in La La Land, and Sinclair Oil, which uses the technology for its new digital repository.
Richter said Qumulo is in a $10 billion market, with few competitors given the complexity of the problem and potential solutions. He said three qualities — software-defined (can run both on-premises and in the public cloud); built for modern scale; data analytics — help separate Qumulo from other similar products.
“Customers today have really lousy choices,” he explained. “They can buy legacy solutions built in the 1990s or early 2000s from companies like Dell, Hitachi, or Net App, but those systems just fall over under today’s definition of scale. They were never built to be able to store and manage information like the type of data we have today.”
Richter said some companies can rewrite their applications and try to leverage public cloud solutions like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure — Qumulo views them as “strategic partners” — but that most don’t have the time, money, or expertise to do so.
Qumulo employs 150 people and recently made a few key hires. In November it brought on tech industry vet Eric Scollard as its vice president of worldwide sales, and in February it hired Amazon and Chef veteran Jay Wampold as its vice president of marketing.
“There’s been a lot of momentum around the leadership team and bringing in a new level of horsepower to really grow the business,” Richter noted.
As for a potential public offering, Richter said Qumulo “certainly has the opportunity” and will raise additional capital at some point in the future.
“But we’re not really focused on things like an IPO,” he said. “We are focused on growing a long-term, highly successful and independent company. This financing round gives us a lot of flexibility and fuel to grow.”
Feng Deng, founding managing director of China-focused Northern Light Venture Capital, described Qumulo as a “high-growth company at the crossroads of innovation and disruption.”
“We are seeing a massive explosion in digital file data worldwide,” Deng said in a statement. “Qumulo addresses the challenge of unstructured data growth and management that incumbents have found impossible to solve. Northern Light is committed to helping entrepreneurs build world class companies through our expertise and resources and Qumulo fits that investment profile as a high-growth company at the crossroads of innovation and disruption.”