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Seattle Data Startup Qumulo Is Now a Unicorn

The company is riding the pandemic-induced wave of migration to the cloud, its CEO says.

Sarah McBride (Bloomberg) -- Seattle has minted another unicorn: Qumulo Inc., the data-management service, said extra business created by the coronavirus pandemic helped it raise an additional $125 million in funding, bringing the company to a $1.2 billion valuation.

The new round, led by BlackRock Inc., will help the company capitalize on a wave of interest in the type of service it provides, which moves huge amounts of data to remote cloud-based servers and manages it once there.

The pandemic is nudging more companies toward embracing cloud services as they try to minimize the number of visits information-technology employees need to make to servers at offices or data centers, said Qumulo Chief Executive Officer Bill Richter. It is also vastly increasing the amount of data that some companies need to handle. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which tracks Covid-19 cases in detail around the country, is one customer that stepped up its use of Qumulo’s services, the company said. 

“When people talk about big data, it’s really, for us, small data,” Richter said.

Seattle, home to computing giant Microsoft Corp. and Inc. with its leading cloud computing business AWS, has become known as a hub for enterprise-focused companies. Last year, the greater Seattle area took in $3.7 billion in venture dollars, according to research firm PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association trade group.

Qumulo last raised $93 million in 2018, in a round also led by BlackRock, and has raised a total of $350 million to date. Other backers include Highland Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Kleiner Perkins.

TAGS: Cloud
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