Copan Catches On

Just seven months after coming out of stealth mode and four months after shipping its first products, Copan Systems has netted a cool $25 million in second rounding venture funding.

The round, one of the largest series B rounds for a storage company in recent years, was led by Pequot Ventures, with participation from new investor Pinnacle Ventures and existing investors Austin Ventures and Globespan Capital. The company has raised $39 million to date.

Copan just announced general availability of its Revolution 200T disk-based storage library two weeks ago. The funds will be used for growth and to hire sales and marketing staff to meet demand, says Copan CEO Dave Davenport.

Pequot Ventures kicked the tires quite a bit before deciding to commit the money. “Our in-depth research concluded that their advanced MAID architecture meets a fundamental need in industries such as financial, manufacturing, aerospace, media and government,” says new Copan board member Greg Rossmann, general partner of Pequot Ventures. “Their experienced leadership, market position and technical superiority will allow Copan to become a leader in the growing market for long-term disk-based storage.”

Copan’s Revolution 200T uses a MAID-based architecture (massive arrays of idle drives) to deliver 56TB to 224TB of storage on as many as 896 serial ATA (SATA) drives for $3.50 a gigabyte, compared to 75 cents to $3.50 a gigabyte for tape, Davenport says. Copan’s disk-based library provides faster access times and easier management and migration than tape, he says.

“It’s the only enterprise-class storage system bringing that concept to market,” Davenport told Enterprise Storage Forum. “We feel we are very, very well positioned to meet the market’s needs.”

“What Copan has done is indeed revolutionary,” says Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at the Taneja Group. “They are trying to commercialize MAID technology for the first time. In essence, it allows a massive density of disk drives packaged in such a way that the package can be used instead of a tape library. They get advantages of disk (random access, easier maintainability, etc.), but at tape’s cost. I can see a lot of
opportunity for them, given what is happening with compliance requirements and the general desire of companies to store information for easy access.”

Copan boasts 10 customers so far in the financial services, government, media and service provider industries, “with a significant customer pipeline in front of us,” Davenport says. One of those customers is Yahoo . Customers are using the Revolution 200T to take the place of tape in archive, backup/recovery and scientific research applications, Davenport says.

Partner Bill Loomis of FileTek likes what he’s seen so far. “Copan has been a terrific partner,” Loomis told ESF. “They have exceeded expectations. They have delivered on their commitments, and have provided the foundation for a very positive long-term relationship.”

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