Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Seagate Catches Flash Madness With $40 Million Virident Investment

flash_madnessHard drive manufacturer Seagate has long been facing questions about its response to the competitive threat of solid-state storage technology. Today it responded: It is investing $40 million in Virident, a company that specializes in storage-class memory.

Seagate, which is the world’s biggest supplier of hard drives to PC and server manufacturers, will offer a complete line of flash-based products to its OEM and distribution partners. It will also work jointly with Virident on developing new flash-based storage products.

The investment is a strategic round, and Seagate will nominate someone to Virident’s board of directors. Virident launched in 2006 and has raised more than $63 million in four rounds of funding. Its most recent round was a $26 million series D led by Mitsui Global Investments. Other investors include Globespan Capital Partners, Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital, Cisco Systems and Artiman Ventures.

Separately, Seagate reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $492 million, or $1.30 a share, on $3.7 billion in revenue. The results were better than the $1.27 analysts had expected. The company also said it shipped 58 million disk-drive units in the quarter ended December 28. Seagate’s shares rose 2.7 percent in after-hours trading.

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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