SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced it has launched a new venture capital initiative to invest in companies aligned with SanDisk’s key strategic priorities. SanDisk also announced it has made its first investment in WHIPTAIL, a data storage company that designs fast, energy-efficient enterprise infrastructure equipment using flash memory technology.
The new venture initiative – SanDisk Ventures – will manage a $75 million fund for investment in startups that are developing innovative solutions based on flash memory technology. Specific areas targeted for investment include next-generation solid-state memory technology, enterprise storage, storage technologies managing the vast influx of so-called “big data,” and cloud-based computing technologies.
Over the past 18 months, SanDisk has grown its capabilities in enterprise storage through its acquisitions of Pliant Technology, FlashSoft, and Schooner Information Technology. Today, the company possesses a diverse enterprise storage portfolio spanning solid-state drives (SSD) and software caching and data optimization solutions. SanDisk Ventures will look to expand SanDisk’s presence in the enterprise by investing and partnering with ecosystem companies that are developing solutions built around flash memory and SanDisk solutions.
“Flash-based solutions continue to gain momentum, with exciting growth possibilities ranging from enterprise storage to mobile consumer products,” said Sumit Sadana, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, SanDisk. “Our investments in innovative startups and new technologies can help accelerate market growth, provide deeper insight into potential disruptive uses of flash and promote closer ties to key industry players, particularly in the fast-evolving segment of enterprise storage solutions.”SanDisk will be a strategic investor in WHIPTAIL’s $31 million series C round of funding. In addition to SanDisk, some of the investors included in the C series round are Ignition Partners, RRE Ventures and Spring Mountain Capital. Individual investment terms were not disclosed.