Fusion-io, a company that wants to make data storage faster and cheaper, has raised $47.5 million in a second round of funding. It also announced a new chief executive, David Bradford, whose experience includes 15 years as an executive at networking software company Novell.
The company’s announcement notes that in Bradford’s last three years at Novell, he reported directly to then-chief executive Eric Schmidt (now CEO of Google). Not that Salt Lake City-based Fusion-io really needs to play a “six degrees of separation” game to find connections to tech superstardom — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently joined as chief scientist.
The company’s storage technology is built around high-speed flash memory chips, rather than traditional hard drives. By packing those drives together, Fusion-io says it lets customers store large amounts of data with much less hardware and access that data at much higher speeds. Fusion-io debuted its first product, the ioDrive, at the DEMOfall conference in 2007, and it announced another product, the ioSAN, which connects the ioDrive’s speed to a company network, at the DEMOfall conference in 2008. In the video below, you can see Fusion-io’s demonstration from 2008, in which company executives say ioSAN lets users transfer a DVD’s worth of data across servers in three seconds. (VentureBeat writer Dean Takahashi selected Fusion-io as one of his 10 favorite presenters at the conference.)
The company now has $66.5 million in funding; the new round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from previous investors New Enterprise Associates, Dell Ventures, and Sumitomo Ventures. Back in February, Fusion-io said it had more than 300 customers.
Pliant Technologies, another company using flash drives to improve data storage, raised $15 million last month.