Israeli-U.S. Data-storage Startup Infinidat Raises $95 Million

Fundraiser led by Goldman Sachs values company at $1.6 billion, confirming Infinidat’s status as one of Israel’s handful of unicorns

FILE PHOTO: Moshe Yanai, founder of Infinidat, that raised $95 million in new capital this week
Nir Keidar

Infinidat, a data storage startup founded by industry pioneer Moshe Yanai, said on Tuesday it had secured $95 million in new capital in a fundraising round that values the Israeli-U.S. company at $1.6 billion.

The round was led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing and was joined by existing investor TPG Growth, and it brings total equity raised by the company since it was formed in 2011 to $325 million, Infindat said.

The company says it has “several hundred” corporate and institutional customers for its InfiniBox platform, including the world’s largest telecoms, banks, cloud service providers and healthcare providers. Though it has been profitable for more than two years, nevertheless, it needed to raise cash.

“The company is profitable but we want to expand globally so we decided to raise additional money,” said Yanai.

FILE PHOTO: Moshe Yanai, founder of Infinidat, that raised $95 million in new capital this week
Ofer Vaknin

The $1.6 billion valuation confirms Infinidat’s status as one of Israel’s handful of unicorns – startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more – although the company was claiming a $1 billion valuation already two years ago.

The company’s flagship InfiniBox product, launched in 2014, differs from traditional enterprise storage systems that rely on expensive flash hardware. Instead, InfiniBox takes a software approach, using machine learning algorithms to extract very high performance and reliability out of low-cost hardware.

Each InfiniBox system manages over five petabytes – equal to five million gigabytes – of data.

Yinai is one if the pioneers of global data-storage industry, with a history going back to the 1970s. He spent much of his career in the United States at EMC, now Dell EMC, then the world’s largest company in the field.

He returned to Israel in 2002 and promptly formed two startups of his own – one called XIV that he sold to IBM in January 2008 and a second called Diligent he also sold to IBM three months later for $165 million.

After he left IBM in 2010, he took a break from high-tech to invest in LageenTubes, a kibbutz-based maker of collapsible plastic and aluminum packaging tubes used for beauty and other products.

The market analyst firm IDC forecasts that, by 2025, the global data-sphere for storage will grow to 163 zettabytes, or 10 times the 16.1 zettabytes of data generated in 2016.

The last decade storage growth was driven by the explosion of social media content and other user-generated data, Infinidat said. The coming decade of growth is driven by machine-generated data with the rise of Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, analytics and genomic science.

Infinidat, is dual-headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, and Herzliya, Israel and has offices in 17 countries. It counts has 500 employees, 170 of them in Israel.