Flash Array Maker WhipTail Secures More Than $10 Million for NJ Expansion

WhipTail_CEO_Dan_Crain

WhipTail, the Whippany-based maker of all-flash memory array storage aimed at the enterprise market, recently received a Series B round of funding said to be worth more than $10 million from New York venture capital firm RRE Ventures, which led the round, with Ignition Partners (Bellevue, Wash.) and Spring Mountain Capital (New York) participating. WhipTail would not disclose the exact amount because of one of its investors’ policies, but the company did confirm it was “an eight-figure round.”

CEO Dan Crain said the startup, which now employs about 30 people in N.J., would use the funds to “double our headcount in engineering, marketing, quality assurance, operations and other core functions.” Crain said his company is proud to be located in the N.J. tech corridor, surrounded by pharmaceutical, telecom, defense, software-development and other high-tech firms that form a strong backbone for the N.J. economy, and that WhipTail plans to stay here.

The company also expects to use the financing to expand its sales program. The firm is ramping up sales efforts in the U.S., Europe and Asia through hiring, strategic partnerships, reseller programs and marketing support to the channel, Crain indicated.

Crain says WhipTail is the only company to have delivered all-flash-based storage arrays to the commercial and enterprise markets in the past two years. Industry analysts see the firm facing competition from Violin Memory (Mountain View, Calif.) and Texas Memory Systems (Houston) as well as other larger disk drive makers who may drop into the flash market as the enterprise flash sector gets hotter.

“We have been quietly executing for some time, addressing the storage bottleneck for high-performance enterprise applications,” Crain said. WhipTail has been growing, tripling its staff in 2011 and increasing its client base to more than 100 customers using its flash arrays. A company spokesman said sales increased 400 percent last year.

Will Porteous of RRE Ventures and Richard Fade of Ignition Partners will join WhipTail’s board of directors. Spring Mountain Capital’s Raymond Wong and Avi Faliks will continue on the board. Spring Mountain has been a majority investor since July 2011, when it led the company’s first round.

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