Violin Memory nears IPO filing

Mar 30, 2012

Violin Memory now worth $800 million.

Flash storage company Violin Memory has raised $50 million in new funding, at a valuation north of $800 million. SAP Ventures and Highland Capital Partners were joined by return investors like Toshiba and Juniper Networks .

A formal announcement is expected Monday.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has now raised over $140 million since the beginning of 2010, including a $40 million infusion last June that valued Violin at just $400 million. Following that last round, Violin CEO Don Basile said that he was closely watching the pending IPO of rival Fusion-io (fio), to see if Wall Street "likes the story." He also was interested in how Groupon (fio) fared, to learn if it's "okay to have a short track record, if that track record is strong?" If both companies succeeded, which they did, the plan was to pick bankers for its own public offering by late last summer.

Violin's timing got delayed a bit due to some difficulty in hiring a public company CFO -- Cory Sindelar joined last December -- but Basile says that the company recently completed its "banker bake-off" and probably will have an organizational meeting soon about when to file public registration papers.

Basile adds that today's deal is most likely Violin's last private funding round, but that the company would "always find a way to take new funding if there's a strategic reason" -- such as adding a partner like SAP.

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