December 4, 2022

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Distributed file system startup WekaIO closes on bumper $135M funding round

4 min read

Big data platform provider WekaIO Inc. said today that it has closed a solid $135 million late-stage funding round led by Generation Investment Management, doubling its valuation in the process.

A number of other investors participated in the rewritten Series D round. They include 10D, Atreides Management, Celesta Capital, Gemini Ventures, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi Ventures, Key1 Capital, Lumir Ventures, Micron Technology, Mirae Asset Capital, MoreTech Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners , Nvidia Corp., Qualcomm Ventures and Samsung Catalyst Fund.

WekaIO attracted so much interest and money because it created a popular file system platform that was designed to accelerate workloads like machine learning models and data analysis applications that process massive amounts of information.

Weka Data Platform can be seen as a software abstraction layer that can transform flash drives in a cluster of local servers or a public cloud infrastructure environment into a federated storage pool. It manages all the logistics involved in allowing applications to retrieve records and store newly generated data. What sets Weka Data Platform apart from other file systems that provide similar features is the speed at which it processes large volumes of information.

According to WekaIO, the software can be used to build storage environments with the capacity to store trillions of individual files and perform tens of millions of data operations every second. This speed is due to WeakIO’s unusual design.

Weka Data Platform is built to run on Linux servers, but also installs its own custom real-time operating system to speed up processing. Low-level tasks, such as passing input and output instructions to the machine’s flash drives, are also handled by specially designed software components inside.

In addition to its high speeds, the platform provides management features that help with day-to-day operations. Administrators can distribute their companies’ data across multiple locations to protect against outages, create backups, and move rarely accessed information to less expensive storage hardware to free up resources.

In an October 2021 interview with theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile live streaming studio, WekaIO Chief Technology Officer Shimon Ben-David explained that the company was founded by a group of storage experts who combined their knowledge to build a scalable, a fast storage solution aimed at simplifying data management in a hybrid environment.

“We wanted to take the best of all worlds and put it into one storage solution,” said Ben-David. “We are a fully software-defined, parallel file system, born in the cloud. We put all of that into the product from day one.”

WekaIO said today’s round came amid unprecedented growth and expansion. In September, for example, it closed a record third quarter that far exceeded its performance for the full fiscal 2021. It highlighted a 255% net dollar retention rate, along with a 250% achievement of its Q3 financial plan, and a 635% increase in total value of the contract, a 225% increase in annual revenue, as well as a significant expansion of the platform in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

WeakIO is recognized in other ways as well. Last month, the company was named a visionary for the second consecutive year in Gartner Inc.’s Magic Quadrant. for distributed file systems and object storage. And last year it was named ‘Data Storage Company of the Year’ in the 2021 Data Breakthrough Awards.

“Data matters, and those startups that can provide cross-device deployment options will do well,” said Holger Müller of Constellation Research Inc. and investors. This shows that there is room for innovation beyond the big cloud providers, as enterprises want a way to keep their data agnostic to whatever cloud platforms they use.”

WeakIO co-founder and CEO Liran Zwibel said the company was founded in 2013 with the bold vision of creating a fundamentally new approach to data management and storage.

WeakIO President Jonathan Martin said the need to unlock the potential of next-generation workloads has never been greater. “Weka is trusted by leading global enterprises and research organizations because our platform can solve their data challenges without compromise and be an impact accelerator for their creativity and vision,” he said.

Looking ahead, WekaIO said the funding will be used to expand its platform’s feature set and create new cloud integrations, while adding support for new use cases. The company is also looking to reach profitability and said it will achieve this by accelerating its global expansion and rapidly growing its cloud, customer success, sales, marketing, operations and human resources teams.

Here’s Ben-David’s full interview:

Photo: WekaIO

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