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Portworx: Providing Data Management for Container-based Applications

We are thrilled to be co-leading Portworx’s Series C financing along with the Mubadala Investment Company and helping bring in new strategic investors like HPE, Cisco and NetApp. We led Portworx’s Series B financing about two years ago and decided to increase our investment and commitment by co-leading this current financing given Portworx’s leadership position in helping enterprises deploy stateful applications in containers on public and hybrid clouds.

According to polling results of Gartner’s IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies (IOCS) Conference 2018, 22% of enterprises will use containers as their primary computing abstraction by the end of 2022, and 27% already deploy containers in production. However, until quite recently containers were optimized for deploying stateless applications. Due to the increased ease-of-use for deploying applications in containers with Kubernetes, enterprises have started deploying stateful applications like MongoDB, MySQL and Cassandra in containers on public clouds or on hybrid clouds.

Stateful applications deployed in containers need to share application data while having access to persistent data storage systems and advanced data services (e.g., encryption, data reduction and data protection). Enterprise customers are increasingly using Portworx to provide data persistence and data management services when they deploy stateful applications in containers, validating Portworx’s unique value proposition as the only cloud-native storage solution solving non-negotiable business requirements like High Availability, Data Security, Multi-Cloud Data Management and Disaster Recovery in a fully-automated manner using Kubernetes. This product leadership has led to a nearly 400% year-over-year bookings increase for Portworx in 2018 and has helped expand its customer base by over 100%. Portworx now works with dozens of the Fortune Global 2000 and government agencies including HPE, GE Digital and Lufthansa Systems.  The company has also expanded partnerships and reseller agreements with leading companies including IBM, Intel, HPE, Toshiba, Red Hat and Mesosphere.

It has been quite a pleasure to have worked with Murli Thirumale, Gou Rao, Eric Han, Vinod Jayaraman and Venkat Ramakrishnan to help them build the company, fine-tune the product and hire the talent to help them scale the company. Sarvesh Jagannivas, Steve Ackley and Michael Ferranti have joined the management team over the last 12-18 months and have each contributed to a dramatic improvement in the way Portworx goes to market and closes deals. The Sapphire Ventures Portfolio Growth team will continue to work with the entire Portworx management team to help them scale and penetrate more Global 2000 enterprises as these enterprises adopt containers and Kubernetes for deploying applications.  

The market for data management of stateful applications deployed in containers is still evolving and maturing. Some of the largest storage vendors like HPE, Cisco and NetApp saw that this burgeoning space is growing fast and decided to invest in Portworx as part of this financing. We are excited by their participation and the help they will provide in building the Data Management platform for this new DevOps focused container ecosystem.

All of us at Sapphire look forward to working with the existing and new investors, as well as the Portworx team, to help them build a Company of Consequence in the container-based data management market segment.