Why Strategic Investors Are Funding WekaIO

Liran Zvibel. May 14, 2019
Why Strategic Investors Are Funding WekaIO

WekaIO announced a $31.7M Series C funding round on May 14, 2019.  Liran Zvibel, CEO and Co-Founder of WekaIO, shares his perspective on the company’s continuing accelerated growth, market factors, and the reasons why strategic investors are funding WekaIO.

This latest round of funding with participation from existing investors and the addition of new strategic investors is a major milestone for WekaIO for many reasons.  We will use the funding to fuel and continue our accelerating market growth, building on our 400% growth in revenues in 2018.  The additional capital will allow us to increase our global presence and continue our technology innovation to surpass the evolving needs of our customers.

First of all, I would like to thank our great customers, who trust us in their journey to reach unprecedented infrastructure effectiveness for their cutting-edge applications and steered us to deliver our industry-leading product, and to the WekaIO team, who have developed ground-breaking technology, with over 50 patents already filed and many more to come.

Beyond that, if we consider some of the reasons why strategic investors are funding WekaIO, we can gain a broader context and perspective of where we and the industry are going.  This investment in our company is an affirmation of the colossal promise of our technology and company trajectory, as it came from a diverse set of leaders in different IT practices.  Our strategic investors, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), , NVIDIA, Mellanox Technologies, Seagate, Western Digital Corporation, and Qualcomm, buy into our vision of unleashing storage performance regardless of the application and are committed to helping us fulfill it.

There is a perfect storm of converging factors that favors WekaIO.  Over the years, networking technology performance has improved exponentially while traditional NAS protocols did not catch up, and are now the limiting factor in saturating the network links.  Storage I/O has become the bottleneck, especially for high-performance, data-hungry applications running on CPU and GPU clustered computing; and WekaIO is the only company that solves this performance challenge. As GPU performance continues to grow, NVIDIA, the world leader in high-performance parallel computing on GPUs, sees the need for a modern parallel file system to meet the increasing demand to feed data to GPU nodes.  Leveraging low-latency networking from Mellanox, WekaIO has demonstrated that it can fill the performance gap between storage and network/computing capabilities.  Mellanox has enthusiastically supported WekaIO in this round of funding because of demonstrated performance improvements for mutual customers since WekaIO launched from stealth in 2017.  The combination of WekaIO software and Mellanox Ethernet and InfiniBand technology delivers a high-performance storage solution that can address a broad range of use cases.  Indeed, our flash-native parallel file system leverages a low-latency storage protocol to natively enable our customers to get faster-than-local storage performance for a broad range of applications.

NVMe SSD technology is maturing and becoming more economically attractive, and industry leaders such as Seagate and WDC realize that WekaIO is perfectly positioned to fully unleash the potential performance benefits.  We realize that solid state technology is best suited for active workloads, but customers also have to retain, backup, and archive enormous amounts of data that is infrequently, if ever, accessed.  For that, spinning magnetic media (“Hard Disk Drives” or HDDs) are best suited, and WekaIO has implemented tiering to S3-compatible object storage as part of our solution, both on-premises and in the public cloud.  Furthermore, thanks to our ground-breaking Snap-to-Object functionality, which can save differential snapshots to S3, we enable our customers to use large, economically effective, HDD-based object storage for archival, backup, and disaster recovery.  In addition, if more than one WekaIO Matrix cluster is connected to the same bucket, customers can also do workload migration.  If the customer leverages public cloud object storage, such as AWS S3, we also enable cloud-bursting, where processing can happen on the cloud and results are shipped back to an on-premises datacenter.

WekaIO MatrixTM is the world’s fastest file system, and we have claimed the #1 position in both SPEC and IO-500 benchmarks.  Matrix delivers the benefits of sharing as well as performance, scalability, and cloud object storage support with a single namespace that spans storage tiers.  There are no tradeoffs!

Our solution is hardware-agnostic and can be installed on any industry-standard Intel x86-based server, enabling broad coverage and flexible implementation.  We are also cloud-native, empowering customers to leverage the same IT stack both on-premises and in the public cloud, while seamlessly moving workloads between the two.

HPE recognizes WekaIO’s paradigm-changing technology, and has chosen us to be a partner in the Pathfinder program because we are strategically aligned to drive innovative customer solutions and benefits.  HPE is seeing an explosion of artificial intelligence (AI), machine and deep learning (ML/DL) along with high-performance computing in the enterprise market.

The new wave of applications in AI/ML/DL, financial services, life sciences, high-velocity analytics, engineering, and HPC ingest and output massive amounts of data in the petabyte scale.  WekaIO supports trillions of files, billions of files per directory, and huge file sizes, all in a single namespace that eliminates data silos.  The ability to scale performance, capacity, and the number of files perfectly matches the requirements of these I/O-intensive workloads.  Now that we make it possible, more applications that require fast data transfer rates will surely proliferate and become a greater part of the enterprise mainstream.  In a very real sense, you can say that not only is WekaIO meeting the needs of the modern market, but the market is moving toward WekaIO.  That is a compelling thought about the lofty promise and bright future of WekaIO!

Again, I would like to thank WekaIO’s employees, customers, commercial partners, and of course, the new investors who have demonstrated their trust in our ability to transform IT.

To read the announcement on this latest round of funding for WekaIO, please click here.

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