Thursday, January 15, 2004
Interview: Brendan Kinkade, Nexsan Technologies
Brendan Kinkade is VP of Marketing for Woodland Hills-based Nexsan Technologies (www.nexsan.com). Nexsan recently received a round of venture funding for its storage products, and I thought it would be interesting to hear about what the company is up to.
Kuo: Tell me a little bit about Nexsan -- what are your products, and how are they used?
Kinkade: Nexsan is a global storage solution provider based in Woodland Hills, CA. We offer a full line of advanced storage products for businesses of all sizes. Our high-capacity and highly scalable storage solutions are used for a wide variety of applications by companies from the Fortune 500 down to your local print shop.
Kuo: How many users do you have of your product?
Kinkade: We ship over a petabyte of storage per month to a customer base numbering in the many, many thousands.
Kuo: Why is Nexsan raising a round of funding?
Kinkade: Nexsan has experienced sustained and rapid sales growth along with increased worldwide demand for our storage products. In order to meet the continually growing demand we have raised 17 million dollars for expansion and growth.
Kuo: Who are your investors, and how did you hook up with them?
Kinkade: Vantagepoint Venture Partners was the lead investor in this round along with RRE Ventures and Gesfid First Gen-e. This is our first round of Series A preferred stock funding. We have had 3 previous rounds of seed funding that totaled 11 million and have operated profitably since 2002. Nexsan has been on the radar of the financial community since originating disk-based backup and walking away with the Best of Comdex award back in 2001. When it came time to seek expansion capital we were well positioned and received substantial interest.
Kuo: How many employees does Nexsan have?
Kinkade: Currently around 60.
Kuo: What is Nexsan's competitive advantage in the storage market, and how do your products compare with offerings from EMC, HP, and others?
Kinkade: Simply put, Nexsan has changed the playing field in the storage marketplace. We introduced disk-to-disk (D2D) backup to the industry and pioneered the use of ATA in enterprise environments. Through the innovative marriage of Nexsan's core RAID controller technology with low cost, high capacity ATA disks, Nexsan provides end users with robust, high capacity storage systems that provide exceptional price/performance benefits. We have built an extremely efficient business model that supports our ability to continue to lead the market in delivering storage products with enterprise-class features and performance while setting new standards of affordability. We currently ship enterprise-class storage for under $3 per GB. Other storage players have followed Nexsan's lead and have begun jumping on the ATA and D2D bandwagons. Where these are Nexsan's primary markets, larger storage companies are being faced with the challenge of being competitive in these markets while sustaining their economic models and not cannibalizing their other revenue streams, meaning, in many cases, their tape and "higher end" disk systems . Nexsan has no ulterior interests. We simply want to provide the best storage systems we possibly can for the best price.
Kuo: Finally, what is Nexsan's biggest challege in the next year?
Kinkade: Nexsan has been very fortunate. We've gained industry acceptance. We've built a broad customer base and we continue to innovate and produce products that businesses want. Ultimately, I see our biggest challenge as being the management of our growth as a global storage company. Our rapid growth during a less-than-stellar economic period has placed Nexsan in rather unique and not entirely unpleasant position. As we look forward to 2004, I believe that as a company we are taking the very necessary steps to ensure that, even as we grow, our evolving customer base receives even greater levels of support and satisfaction.