Mellanox spread bets on high performance storage startups

Mellanox has pumped an undisclosed sum of money into Excelero, its second announced investment in a storage startup in a week. The amount is likely to be small, as with its investment in WekaIO, announced yesterday.

Excelero provides NVMesh block storage accessed over an NVMe fabric and WekaIO provides file access which also uses an NVMe link between its front-end software and the target storage drives.

Both companies’ products are likely to be used where Mellanox’s Ethernet and InfiniBand switches are deployed. Excelero supports RoCE (Remote Direct Memory Access over Converged Ethernet) as well as InfiniBand.

In a scripted quote, Nimrod Gindi, head of investments at Mellanox Technologies, said: “Strategic partnerships with storage leaders such as Excelero and WekaIO are critical to develop the high-performance storage ecosystem and enable our customers to achieve efficient and scalable data processing and analytics capabilities to drive their businesses forward.”

Excelero CEO Lior Gal was equally effusive: “Mellanox’s low-latency networking and leading support for RDMA on both Ethernet and InfiniBand help us deliver the fastest distributed block storage solutions to our customers. We have partnered closely with Mellanox and welcome their investment in Excelero.”

Israeli-based Excelero was founded in 2014 and took in a $3.5m A-round and $12.5m B-round in 2015. In 2017 it received strategic investments from Micron, Qualcomm and one other unnamed business.

The company’s last reported funding round was in 2018 and involved Western Digital Capital. Total funding is $35m.

Update: Investment timing

Mellanox did not say when it invested in Excelero or the amount. We asked Excelero and Gal told Blocks & Files: “Mellanox’ investment with Excelero was an extension to Round B that was already announced last year. I can’t share the exact time or amount but it’s the fourth strategic investor we didn’t name last year.

“Mellanox, now with announcing us and WekaIO, decided to change strategy and be public about their bets in the future data center SDS technologies.”