Holy shmokes! Pure Storage just netted an insane $225M in Series F funding! Taking their total VC cash haul – after 6 rounds – to a not too shabby $470M! That's right, 470 meeeeellion dollars! US dollars. Not Jamaican dollars!
So what does that mean?
On the Plus Side
Well for starters it means they've got enough cash to pay the legal bills EMC are landing them with (cheap old story – i know!).
More interestingly though, it gives them a gigaton more capital to throw at developing technology and products. Now the products bit I can see. They're brining new products to market all the time. But new innovative tech……..? Not sure how much of that I'm seeing form them recently? Don't agree? Well…. I wrote an uber-deep-dive about Pure Storage in May of 2012, not long after visiting them in California as part of Tech Field Day event. And looking back at that article I'm not sure much has changed! In fact, it's probably still one of the best resources on the web for deep tech info on the Pure platform…. 2 years later!
Sure new versions of the product – bigger and may be faster – but it looks and feels pretty much the same. Looks and feel like a classy product and tech. Just hasn't changed much. Just saying!
May be it makes it easier for them to keep, and entice top, talent. Top talent demands top dollar. May be hire more sales guys, more tech support, evangelists….? Meh.
Where next for Pure on the Tech Front?
So in saying they haven't been innovating so much recently….. suppose I should say where I'd expect/like them to innovate...
An obvious one is VMware integration – everyone's shmoozing up to VMware. I know they have good integrations already, but they need SRM for starters.
And there's branching out from just being an all-flash array (AFA). May be make some moves into server-side caching. There's a lot of buzz in that space (rightly so) and they don't want to miss that boat.
May be a VSA version? Hell, if you don't have "Software Defined" in your sticker book then you're not part of the in-crowd. And in the grand scheme of things a VSA shouldn't be too hard, after-all, they're an Intel based architecture, so no nasty HW dependencies.
May be more of a full-stack offering. Seems like there's a growing market for this kind of stuff. I'm thinking SimpliVity and Nutanix style. Though I appreciate you don't cook one of those up over night!
Reason I mention some of the above is that I'm just not certain there's enough oxygen in the enterprise tech world for a storage-only company these days!? Sure, I think customers want choice, and storage-only companies are something customers still like (I stand by that). And I think Pure look awesome in that space. Sadly, customers don't always get what they want – hell, I'm still boycotting Starbucks since they changed their uber-cookies to the crappy ones they sell now.
Where next for Pure on the Company Front?
Well onwards and upwards no doubt. Apparently they're the fastest growing in the history of storage companies – though I'm not sure of the small print behind that metric. That said, I laughed at a comment Nick Dyer (currently working at Nimble) made on Twitter about the potential of Pure Doing a Leeds. One does have to be careful not to get carried away with massive growth 😉
Obviously they don't want to sell. And apparently don't want to IPO….yet.
I'm sure folks tend to want as little VC funding as possible in the bank when they IPO, so they're gonna struggle with that one… Though on the plus side, I'm told that it's a lot easier to innovate and hang on to good staff in pre-IPO companies – so that's a positive! Oh and if pre-IPO is swimming with sharks, post-IPO is like cutting yourself open, and goading the sharks! So less chance of being bought if they remain pre-IPO – and of course another 225,000,000 smackers of VC cash behind pushes your price north.
So it looks like they ain't going anywhere yet – and in my opinion that's great news for the industry.
As if this whole thing isn't just me thinking out loud anyway…. 😀
I like Pure. Cool cool tech and great people. Good product. Lacks scalability IMO. And they're may be starting to look a little like a one-trick-pony company. Hope they don't get bought, and hope they continue taking the market by storm. I like what they do! Just want more of it!
But, when all is said and done…. I'd rather it were "Shw me the Technology!" or "Show me the Innovation" than "Show me the Money!"