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Cohesity comes out of stealth with $70 million in VC funding

Storage startup Cohesity has emerged from stealth and announced its early funding. The company wants to reinvent secondary storage and take on dark data.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Cohesity emerged from stealth mode and announced a total of $70 million in venture capital funding.

Cohesity was founded in June 2013 by former Nutanix founder Mohit Aron, who serves as the company's CEO. Aron previously worked on the Google File System at Google from 2003-2007.

The company's foundational product, the Cohesity Data Platform, folds storage, backup, development, and analytics onto its single platform. According to a Cohesity press release, the main value add is the lower overhead that comes from eliminating separate products and lowering data redundancy.

Secondary storage is basically all the storage that isn't directly accessible by a computer system. Aron said it's kind of like an iceberg.

"Think about the top of the iceberg, which is above the surface of water," Aron said. "In our minds, that's primary storage, that's where your production apps run. But everything else, stuff that's beneath the surface of water -- that's secondary storage."

Existing secondary storage solutions are typically narrow in focus and created for a specific aspect of the data process such as backup or development. Additionally, people are spending tons of money on data protection, but only using it as an insurance policy, Aron said.

Cohesity wants to offer a fuller approach to secondary storage that touches more parts of the process.

One of the key problems that Cohesity is looking to address is that of "dark data." The term dark data refers to data that is collected by an organization but isn't properly used. Usually the data is unstructured and untagged, so it is rarely accessed by the parent organization.

A lot of times, this data comes from standard operating activities, and it is sometimes only held onto for the sake of compliance. Still, it presents its own unique challenges to enterprise storage and data analysis, meaning work is cut out for a company like Cohesity.

The $70 million of capital is split between a $15 million Series A round and a $55 million Series B round. The Series A round was led by heavy hitters Sequoia Capital and Wing Venture Capital last year. And, the Series B was oversubscribed with investments from ARTIS Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Battery Ventures, Accel Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Google Ventures.

The money will be used to grow Cohesity's engineering, sales, and marketing teams in order to better prepare for the release of the data platform. The company's existing teams includes former employees from Google, Netflix, and VMWare.

"It's all about scaling the company at this point, and investing in the vision, investing in research and development," Aron said.

Cohesity is currently running a pilot program for the product, and working on availability through its Early Access Program. Pilot customers include Tribune Media and GS1 Canada.