Field sales alignment brings WDC into Komprise Series C Funding round as strategic investor

Komprise, which sells entirely through the channel, has been growing their footprint by 600 per cent in existing customers, and last year doubled their revenues every quarter.

Krishna Subramanian, Komprise’s COO

Intelligent data management provider Komprise has parlayed their strong momentum into a new $42 million funding round. The company’s strong results generated investor interest that led to the decision to have a Series C round now. Those investors include Western Digital Capital, the strategic investment fund of Western Digital Corporation [WDC]. WDC is already a strong vendor partner of Komprise, and has now become a strategic investor in the company. In addition to using the money to expand their sales, marketing and customer service activities, particularly in Europe, Komprise is also using it to expand the analytics capabilities within their offering.

“We didn’t actually need money right now,” said Krishna Subramanian, Komprise’s COO. “We raised the round because we had investor interest. The company is growing really rapidly. Last year was excellent, with every quarter more than doubling sales from the quarter before. Existing customers grew their footprint by 600 per cent, increasing the amount of data we have under management. We are expanding significantly, and last year we hired a European head. Based on all this growth, we got additional investor interest, and all the existing investors participated again.”

The $24 million Series C funding round is led by Top Tier Ventures, with participation from existing investors, Canaan Partners and Walden International. The new wrinkle however, is the addition of WDC as a strategic investor in Komprise.

“WDC started out as a customer, who used us to switch NAS platforms after their acquisitions of SanDisk and HGST,” Subramanian said. “They liked the product a lot. Their field teams then began to engage with us around their ActiveScale object storage solution, which they originally acquired with HGST. They then proposed to invest in this round. So they moved from being our customer, to a partner, to an investor.”

WDC’s being a strategic investor involves a deeper relationship than simply providing them with funds.

“They aren’t like a venture fund,” Subramanian said. “Their business unit, Data Center Systems, had to sponsor the investment. They have become highly aligned with Komprise and see a go-to-market benefit. They are very aggressively attacking the market, and they see an opportunity with us in ingesting the data to the ActiveScale object store.”

At the present time, WDC is not actually selling Komprise.

“It is a meet-in-the-channel relationship with WDC right now,” Subramanian said. “They are not reselling Komprise, although a partner can put together a solution that includes both. We are heavily engaged with them in the field though.”

Komprise sells entirely through channel partners, and will use some of the new funding to expand their presence in Europe, where they already have significant customers and partners in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

“We will also use money to add very significant Deep Analytics capabilities to the products,” Subramanian said. “Customers want us to go even further there, and add even more metadata information across their storage to give more visibility. They can get knowledge like what data they keep just for compliance from the visibility from our analytics, effectively enabling Big Data on their entire storage.”