Pure Storage, an all-flash enterprise storage company, has landed a mammoth $150 million Series E funding round led by T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global Management and other public market investors. The deal marks the single largest VC financing in the IT storage sector’s history. The new financing values the Mountain View-based company at a whopping $1 billion, more than doubling the $480 million valuation it had after raising $40 million of Series D funding in 2012. Pure Storage has now raised a total of about $245 million in funding to date and is on track for an anticipated IPO.
The new funds will be used to accelerate continued expansion of the company’s European and Asia-based operations; to grow its sales, support and marketing teams worldwide; and to increase its investment in research and development. Pure Storage has also announced that former Data Domain CEO Frank Slootman has joined its Board of Directors as a key strategic advisor. A veteran of the enterprise data storage and software industries, Mr. Slootman was one of the company’s earliest supporters and angel investors. He guided Data Domain from its market entry through IPO and currently serves as CEO of ServiceNow.
In general, VC investment in the U.S. IT storage industry has been on the rise in recent years. Not counting 2013, the previous three years (’10-’12) each had higher capital invested totals than any other years, taking in $403 million, $422 million and $343 million, respectively. Though the current year’s deal count is behind recent years' pace, total capital invested so far in 2013 ($392 million) has already neared the all-time high-water mark ($422 million in 2011). Besides Pure Storage’s massive deal, large financings contributing to this year’s record pace include Series D financing rounds for both Cleversafe ($55 million) and Actifio ($50 million).