Seagate Catches Flash Madness With $40 Million Virident Investment
Hard 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.