Nimble Storage doesn’t need $25M, but they’ll take it anyway

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Nimble Storage, a startup that provides data storage, backup and disaster recovery (DR) on one device (left), closed a fourth round of funding for $25 million today. The news comes six months after the company received $16 million in their third round. They have now raised a total of $58 million. Nimble says it doesn’t really need this new round of funding, it just “demonstrates the excitement about the market opportunity.”

As the old Silicon Valley saying goes, the best time to raise money is when you don’t need any.

“Absolutely,” said Nimble Storage CEO Suresh Vasuderan in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’ve got an accomplished team, differentiated technology, strong early sales traction, and large market opportunity. This attracted the attention of many potential investors, giving us the opportunity to raise capital at a very strong valuation before we really needed it.”

Today’s funding is led by stealthy Artis Capital Management, notorious for being quiet about their investments. Existing investors Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital were also involved in today’s funding round.

Nimble Storage was founded in 2008 by Umesh Maheshwari and Varun Mehta, pictured to the left (in order) with CEO Vasuderan. Mehta was vice president of engineering at PeakStream Inc., a startup that was acquired by Google. He was also the twelfth employee at Data Domain, where he met Maheshwari, who developed parts of their deduplicating file system. Nimble Storage currently has 80 employees. The founders say their biggest company goal is to reach profitability.

“We raised our Series C funding round last fall and still have the majority of those proceeds in the bank,” said Vasuderan.  “We didn’t plan to seek additional funding until next year, but after receiving many inbound inquiries from prospective investors, decided to raise our round early.  This funding is expected to see the company through to profitability.”

Nimble Storage targets data storage managers or IT generalists at companies with 200 to 5000 employees who want to combine multiple storage devices into one. Nimble emphasizes their ability to reduce data backup windows from hours or even days to seconds. They do this with Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) architecture, based on flash memory and high-capacity drives. Competitors include Dell/ EqualLogic, EMC, and NetApp.