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Storage company Egnyte has continued to pick up speed in the past two years. The company provides enterprise file-sharing and storage, but unlike cloud-only storage providers like Box, it supports storage across a mix of local, private, and public cloud. And investors are continuing to take notice.
Huge mounds of money aren’t necessary for Egnyte, its chief executive and cofounder Vinneet Jain says. The important thing is to pick up enough new money to get the operation more widely used in more geographical regions. And good partnerships can help, too.
Today Egnyte is announcing $29.5 million in new funding. New “strategic partners” CenturyLink and Seagate are part of the round, which also received contributions from Northgate Capital Group, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Polaris Partners.
The new money will pay for Egnyte’s expansions in the United States and in Europe, including a research-and-development center in Poland. Constructing effective sales channels will also be important.
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The money will come in handy as the company strives to get more enterprises on board as customers. That’s a major focus for the newly rebranded company, just as it is for its cloud-only competitors.
The company’s product certainly has a shot at resonating with companies that don’t want to deal with the security implications of moving files to a public cloud or the complexity of such a move.
The way Jain sees his technology space, the choice shouldn’t be binary. “My point is on-premise (storage) along with cloud will have a critical role to play,” he said. “It cannot be either-or.”
Jain is fond of saying the cloud is not enough. It’s a line that’s picked up more validation in the aftermath of leaks about government spying on popular services, including Google, that former government contractor Edward Snowden has made.
“My bet is the cloud-is-not-enough message is going to have a higher resonance with the increasing adoption of these classes of services within the enterprise,” Jain said.
Jain said he and his team could easily have gone to its venture capital investors and asked them for a few million more. But money isn’t the biggest thing Egnyte is after from Seagate and CenturyLink. Jain says he sees these partners as “distribution channels,” where Egnyte can find better ways to sell its products.
The investments from those companies could also pave a way toward deeper business relationships with them, or perhaps a major product integration. The announcement of the new funding doesn’t explicitly make note of that possibility. It’s more of an implied opportunity.
If everything goes well, an exit could come in the form of a public offering as soon as the second quarter of 2015, once the company is profitable, Jain said. An exit that pays off for Jain and his employees is important to him, but at the moment, taking on more business sounds like a higher priority.
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