Hedvig, Founded by Apache Cassandra Creator, Raises $18M
Avinash Lakshman, Hedvig CEO, took experience building distributed computing systems for Facebook and Google and applied it to Hedvig’s software-defined storage platform (Source: Hedvig promotional video)

Hedvig, Founded by Apache Cassandra Creator, Raises $18M

Startup looks at software defined storage through a distributed-systems lens

Software defined storage startup Hedvig has closed an $18 million Series B, two months after the company’s official launch and announcement of its Series A funding round. The latest round will fund global expansion. The company has raised $30.5 million in financing to date.

The startup was founded by Avinash Lakshman, the engineer who created Apache Cassandra while working at Facebook in 2008. Cassandra is a popular open source distributed database management system originally built for Facebook's Inbox Search feature.

Hedvig combines disparate storage systems into a single virtualized pool controlled from a single platform that manages both public and private cloud infrastructure. It also enables complete protocol consolidation by collapsing several layers of the storage stack into a single software platform, resulting in faster provisioning time, lower costs, and a more flexible storage picture, according to the company.

Companies like Hedvig look to help customers avoid the need for constant refreshing by providing a platform that makes commodity storage more future-proof by pooling resources. Another benefit of such pooling systems is providing an avenue to achieving web scale.

Hedvig was built by software engineers with expertise in distributed systems. Lakshman, the company's CEO, is credited with having built some of the most successful distributed systems in the world: Amazon Dynamo and Cassandra. The startup wants to redefine data storage by looking through a distributed-systems lens.

Vertex Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors True Ventures and Atlantic Bridge.

“Avinash and I worked together at Facebook where he built a reputation for tackling transformational problems,” said Jonathan Heiliger, general partner at Vertex and former vice president of infrastructure and technical operations at Facebook, in a release. “Apache Cassandra, which Avinash invented, has been lauded for its robust design and inimitable scalability—attributes Hedvig brings to modern storage for modern business. Hedvig’s product initially seems like sci-fi, the good kind that leaves you wanting more.”

The storage market is fragmented and currently undergoing a "software defined" evolution, with many startups vying to be the transformational platform. Data center modernization is currently considered the second most important IT initiative for enterprises, according to Enterprise Strategy Group, and data is growing at 10 times the rate of storage budgets, according to Forrester.

Software defined storage companies continue to see healthy rounds. Last week, converged data management provider Rubrik announced a $41 million round, mere months after a $10 million round.

Vertex general partner In Sik Rhee also joins Hedvig’s board of directors.

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