SanDisk has launched a new venture capital initiative, SanDisk Ventures, which will put $75 million into startups developing technology around flash memory. The initiatives first deal was in Whiptail, a data storage company that announced its funding Thursday. SanDisk Ventures is particularly interested in solid-state memory technology, enterprise storage, storage technologies managing what it called “the vast influx of so-called “big data,” and cloud-based computing technologies.”
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced it has launched a new venture capital initiative to invest in companies aligned with SanDisk’s key strategic priorities. SanDisk also announced it has made its first investment in WHIPTAIL, a data storage company that designs fast, energy-efficient enterprise infrastructure equipment using flash memory technology.
The new venture initiative – SanDisk Ventures – will manage a $75 million fund for investment in startups that are developing innovative solutions based on flash memory technology. Specific areas targeted for investment include next-generation solid-state memory technology, enterprise storage, storage technologies managing the vast influx of so-called “big data,” and cloud-based computing technologies.
Over the past 18 months, SanDisk has grown its capabilities in enterprise storage through its acquisitions of Pliant Technology, FlashSoft, and Schooner Information Technology. Today, the company possesses a diverse enterprise storage portfolio spanning solid-state drives (SSD) and Software caching and data optimization solutions. SanDisk Ventures will look to expand SanDisk’s presence in the enterprise by investing and partnering with ecosystem companies that are developing solutions built around flash memory and SanDisk solutions.
“Flash-based solutions continue to gain momentum, with exciting growth possibilities ranging from enterprise storage to mobile consumer products,” said Sumit Sadana, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, SanDisk. “Our investments in innovative startups and new technologies can help accelerate market growth, provide deeper insight into potential disruptive uses of flash and promote closer ties to key industry players, particularly in the fast-evolving segment of enterprise storage solutions.”
SanDisk will be a strategic investor in WHIPTAIL’s $31 million series C round of funding. In addition to SanDisk, some of the investors included in the C series round are Ignition Partners, RRE Ventures and Spring Mountain Capital. Individual investment terms were not disclosed.
“WHIPTAIL provides a leading storage array solution using flash memory technology,” said Sadana. “It is a perfect example of the innovative technologies around flash storage that we seek to support as part of the SanDisk Ventures initiative.”
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) is a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, from research and development, product design and manufacturing to branding and distribution for OEM and retail channels. Since 1988, SanDisk’s innovations in flash memory and storage system technologies have provided customers with new and transformational digital experiences. SanDisk’s diverse product portfolio includes flash memory cards and embedded solutions used in smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, camcorders, digital media players and other consumer electronic devices, as well as USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSD) for the computing market. SanDisk’s products are used by consumers and enterprise customers around the world.
SanDisk is a Silicon Valley-based S&P 500 and Fortune 500 company, with more than half its sales outside the United States. For more information, visit www.sandisk.com.
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