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2/1/2008
10:02 PM
Joe Hernick
Joe Hernick
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Follow The New Money

VMware may be cold at the moment, but VCs are saying virtualization is still hot.

VMware may be cold at the moment, but VCs are saying virtualization is still hot.Quick re-cap: VMware went public last year. Earnings and projections aren't quite as stellar as folks hoped, so as of week's end VMW is trading around $57, down from the post-IPO fervor of a buck twenty-five a share. Everyone's been talking about it.

Apparently the tech IPO market has cooled off.

What's an intrepid venture capitalist to do? Go with first and second round funding for up & coming 'virtualization' prospects.

Follow the money this week:

VirtenSys, Ltd., (yes, it's trademarked), a player in the virtual I/O space, brought in $12M from Series B funding, all from its original investment pool. More money, no external players, but they have picked up two well-seasoned exec members: new CEO Ahmet Houssein and a new board chairman, Andy Roberts. Add in a new US-operations headquarters and plans to use some of that new scratch to get product out the door and start the revenue train and you've got some happy folks in Manchester, UK.

$4 million for AuoVirt's Series A round. Nashua-based AutoVirt has come out of the dark (perhaps 'cause the primary candidates finally left town?), securing funding from two Massachusetts VCs, Sigma Partners and Kepha Partners. The name says it all, as does the splash on their front page: Automation + Virtualization. 'AutoVirt uses these two concepts to provide greater powers to the people in IT' They are developing data migration tools for Windows. Using virtualization. And automation.

Ontario-founded CiRBA brought in $12M US (is that more or less than $12M Canadian nowadays?) also led by Sigma Partners. Sigma now has a seat on CiRBA'S board. Hands up if you think Sigma thinks virutalization might be a good bet. CiRBA is planning to leverage the proceeds from this round to expand their datacenter presence on a 'global scale.' CiRBA provides high-end virtualization management and analytics tools for large-scale VMware shops. Legacy enterprise tools are still playing 'catch-up' with virtualized resources; I'd wager CiRBA hopes the old guard takes their time getting up to speed.

VirtualIron, coming out strong for the Xen camp, scooped up another $20 million from a raft of VCs, bringing their total venture funding to date over the $60 million mark. Funding from Highland Capital Partners, Matrix Partners, Goldman Sachs, Intel Capital and SAP Ventures to go towards continued product development and market expansion. VirtualIron announced a channel partner for Europe, Tech Data/Azlan, to work through VARs in France, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia and the UK. Over 40% of Virtual Iron's revenue and customers now come from outside North America.

Pano Logic released their first desktop virtualization product last August. The CEO of Pano is Nick Gault, the founding CEO of XenSource. The company makes really, really small, purpose-built boxes that streamline server-based desktop virt. Relying on VMware. This week's tally from Series B funding? $12M.

Fine, we're not talking hundreds of millions here. But tens of millions are nothing to sneer at. Even $US millions; 1 USD = 0.99385 CAD at last check, by the way.VMware may be cold at the moment, but VCs are saying virtualization is still hot.

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