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Cloud storage start-up Nasuni collects $15 million in second round funding

Posted by Scott Kirsner  December 20, 2010 08:00 AM

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Natick-based Nasuni, which helps companies gain more flexibility as their data storage needs grow, has collected another $15 million in funding. Flybridge Capital Partners is leading this second round of funding; Nasuni has now raised $23 million in total.

The company's first product is called Nasuni Filer. It's a free software gateway that makes off-site, "cloud-based" storage look just like local storage. Customers pay the company a monthly fee based on the storage capacity they're using.

"It's like having your home directory extended by the cloud," says Nasuni CEO Andres Rodriguez. "You have access to the files whenever you need it, and it never fills up." Nasuni doesn't actually run the data center where files are stored; instead, customers choose whether to use cloud storage services from Amazon, Microsoft, Iron Mountain, Rackspace, or others. Nasuni charges fifteen cents per month, per gigabyte stored, and it bundles that cost and the cloud providers' storage costs into one monthly bill.

Rodriguez says it wasn't tough to raise the company's B round, given all of the mergers and acquisition activity in data storage. "It started with Data Domain [acquired by EMC], then 3PAR [acquired by HP], and then Isilon [acquired by EMC]. All three were modular designs that let you scale storage needs cheaper and more smoothly," Rodriguez says. "The cloud is the ultimate scalable system. It's designed for nothing if not very smooth scaling." In 2007, Rodriguez sold his last start-up, Archivas, to Hitachi Data Systems for about $120 million.

In talking to investors about the company's second round (North Bridge and Sigma put the initial money into Nasuni), Rodriguez says he was impressed by Flybridge partner Chip Hazard's ability to pinpoint the strategic challenges that Nasuni would face. "Flybridge wasn't at the top of my list," Rodriguez says. "But Chip came back on a red-eye, and he'd done an analysis on us that was surprisingly accurate. And then he presented it in such a humble, straight-forward way. He won me on brains."

The company has about 30 employees, Rodriguez says, and is hiring for sales and marketing roles.

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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