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Cleversafe Building a Valuable Cloud Company

Posted on Monday, Oct 20th 2014

According to an IDC report on Big Data storage, the market is estimated to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $17 billion in 2015. Others peg the enterprise storage market alone at a $20 billion market opportunity.

Cleversafe’s Offerings
Chicago-based Cleversafe was founded in 2004 by engineer and serial entrepreneur Chris Galdwin. The company was founded in response to the growing demand for data storage that was driven by the continued creation of data in both structured and unstructured formats. Chris successfully deployed the techniques he had learnt as part of his experience within the networking and wireless segments to solve the problem of massive storage. Using these principles, Cleversafe was able to develop a system that could be used to store data and work as a network as well.

Their impressive technical portfolio has helped them amass a significant patent portfolio. As of July this year, they had 186 patents and they add nearly three to five new patents to their list every week.

Cleversafe uses their patented object-based storage solution that uses smart Information Dispersal Algorithms to expand, virtualize, transform, slice, and disperse data across a network of storage nodes spread across the cloud. The method of data storage works more efficiently and is able to offer customers the ability to scale to large levels at lower costs while ensuring data security. Cleversafe claims superiority over traditional data storage models because it relies on an object storage approach which accesses the data through a HTTP-based protocol. This technique also makes their system best suited for data storage and retrieval of unstructured data such as photos and video clips that are traditionally more difficult to organize.

Cleversafe’s Financials
Cleversafe concentrates on organizations that need petabytes of storage data. They started generating revenues in 2010 and since then have seen revenues grow rapidly. While they do not disclose their revenues, in a recent discussion with Chris, he had mentioned that they were doing “many tens of millions of revenue” a year. They have been doubling both their revenues and their customer base over the last four years. Their customer list includes organizations in the Fortune 20 space along with others like Shutterfly and Zen Folio.

Cleversafe is venture funded with $100.4 million in investments from New Enterprise Associates, In-Q-Tel, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, OCA Ventures, Presidio STX, Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, and Alsop Louie Partners. Their last round of funding was held last year when they raised $55 million from New Enterprise Associates in an undisclosed valuation.

They have been using these funds to invest in technical talent as well as sales and marketing efforts in new geographies. As a result of this effort, they recently announced that KDDI Corporation, Japan’s second largest mobile carrier, became their first big customer in the country.

Earlier this year, Cleversafe’s founder stepped aside from the role of a CEO and passed on the baton to John Morris, who was earlier the Executive Vice President at Juniper Networks.

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