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Voltaire Scores Another Round for InfiniBand

VCs continue to show strong interest in the InfiniBand space, with Voltaire the latest beneficiary.

Voltaire announced this week that it has secured $15 million in funding in an oversubscribed fourth round, bringing the company's total funding to date to $50 million. The round is comparable to the $15-$20 million rounds garnered by competitors Topspin and Infinicon last fall.

With a strong presence in the high performance computing (HPC) market and partnerships with major vendors, Voltaire spokesperson Christy Lynch says "the funding round is another strong indicator that Voltaire's business is good."

Big InfiniBand endorsements from the likes of IBM and Oracle have boosted interest in the technology, Lynch reports.

"Over the last six months, there definitely has been increased interest in InfiniBand and business for the company," Lynch says.

Voltaire has nabbed a number of major customers in the HPC space, including Sandia National Labs, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, Mississippi State University, and the Ohio Supercomputer Center, and the start-up also boasts partnerships with IBM, Oracle, Hitachi, SUN, SGI, and Apple.

"Voltaire has made impressive gains in the high performance computing market over the last year," states Vernon Turner, IDC's group VP for global server solutions. "It has achieved acceptance by the HPC market based on its complete solution for clustered supercomputers and Grids, and is poised to lead the next phase of growth for InfiniBand in the enterprise data center."

IDC expects the market for InfiniBand products in the high performance computing and enterprise data center markets to surpass $750 million by 2006.

Baker Capital, Pitango Venture Capital, and new investor Vertex Venture Capital led the round, and existing investors Platinum Venture Capital, Tamir Fishman Ventures, and The Challenge Fund also participated.

"Voltaire has perhaps amassed the largest customer base of any InfiniBand vendor in a significant and growing market," claims Moshe Shahaf, managing partner at Vertex Venture Capital.

Voltaire offers intelligent InfiniBand hardware and software solutions that let high performance applications run on distributed server, storage, and network resources.

"The quality of our investors and the speed with which we closed this round sends a clear message to the market that InfiniBand represents a sizable opportunity and that Voltaire is well-positioned to be a market leader," states Voltaire CEO Ronnie Kenneth.

Kenneth says the new funding will be used to grow sales, marketing, and customer support initiatives, and will be enough to fund the company to breakeven.

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