Cleversafe scores $31.4M to pull governments securely into the cloud

Cloud storage platform provider Cleversafe said today it had closed an extended fourth round of funding to the tune of $31.4 million, as it further expands into target markets such as government and public safety where storing sensitive data is increasingly critical.

The Chicago-based startup’s technology breaks data apart and stores it in multiple locations.

That makes it cheaper and more secure than traditional data storage methods, Chris Gladwin, CEO and founder of Cleversafe, told VentureBeat, because it avoids duplication and offers clients the choice of warehousing  information within a corporate data center, across multiple data centers or in a storage cloud.

Cleversafe does this by dispersing data into slices and then spreading them across multiple storage nodes, usually three or four data centers. With each of these slices secure, the company then takes a defined threshold of slices that can be used to recreate the original data.

That approach avoids the usual practice of making multiple copies to protect against system failures. Multiple copies increase the security risk surrounding a piece of data, because the more copies are available, the more likely they are to be compromised.

Storing data this way is also much cheaper than traditional methods: Cleversafe said its clients see around a 50 to 70 percent reduction of storage resources once they switch to the company’s “dispersal” method.

“Cloud computing and cloud storage are hot within the technology sector,” said Gladwin. “Cleversafe was able to anticipate the trend six years ago, and this gave us the time to build the depth within our product to really address the market.”

Gladwin said the company would use the new funding to stimulate ongoing product development for the Cleversafe object storage platform and reach out to “mission-critical” sectors, such as the military, where keeping data completely safe is crucial.

“This investment gives us the capital necessary to deliver the promise of dispersed storage to the general market,” said Gladwin.

Today’s funding round follows closely on the heels of Cleversafe’s revelation on Monday that they had received an undisclosed amount of investment from In-Q-Tel, the investing arm of the Central Intelligence Agency. IQT has been investing heavily in tech security and venture capital funds that are familiar with Silicon Valley’s most-promising new tools.

The $31.4 million infusion announced today was lead by Motorola Ventures, early stage IT investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), OCA Ventures, and clients of Virginia-based investment placement firm Anderson & Strudwick.