Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Exclusive: Violin Memory Boosts Latest Funding Round to $80 Million

Last month AllThingsD reported that Violin Memory, the flash memory technology start-up, had raised $50 million in a Series D round at an implied valuation of more than $800 million.

That funding round, I’ve since learned, was so oversubscribed that it reached $80 million and now includes a significant new investor: GE Asset Management. A filing is expected with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.

GE Asset Management is joining a funding round that includes strategic stakes from Toshiba, the Japanese chip and electronics maker, and networking gear player Juniper Networks as well as Highland Capital and SAP Ventures, the investment arm of German software giant SAP.

The funding is Violin’s latest step toward filing for an initial public offering. Violin CEO Don Basile told me that the company has selected four banks to work with on the offering, following the bake-off process we mentioned last month: J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill-Lynch and Barclay’s, confirming a report from Bloomberg News last month.

Basile told me that he expects Violin’s road show will take place during the summer and that the company is now well within what he says is a 180-day window during which it will go public. That would place the offering no later than October 27.

It would make Violin the second company using flash memory in the data center to go public within roughly a year. Fusion-IO went public last June in a successful offering that boosted the company’s valuation above $2 billion.

And if the interest of pre-IPO investors is any indication, and it often is, Violin’s public offering, whenever it finally does occur, should prove popular.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik