Datera completes defensive funding round and lays off staff

Update: May 19. Two more exited execs listed.

Datera is cutting staff and reducing some salaries to reduce cash burn. The storage software startup last week raised an undisclosed sum in a funding round, CEO Guy Churchward wrote on LinkedIn, which involves “a plan-pivot from ‘foot jammed on gas’ to ‘get to cash flow positive by the end of FY2020”.

Datera said the reorganisation is its response to the covid-19 pandemic and its effect on the storage market.

Blocks & Files understands the company has laid off 10-15 per cent of the workforce and that Churchward has taken a temporary 80 per cent salary cut.

Last week Datera’s website stopped working briefly and CTO Hal Woods posted an ‘I’ve been laid off‘ message on LinkedIn. This prompted speculation on Reddit that Datera was in trouble. Churchward posted this response on the website.

1. I’ve been the operating CEO of Datera since late 2018 and I am still here.

2. Website had a brain fart yesterday due to an expired credit card on file and was back up shortly after.

3. To the funding point we just concluded another round with a plan-pivot from ‘foot jammed on gas‘ to ‘get to cash flow positive by the end of FY2020’. (of which I posted last week – LinkedIn update Post on Q1 and beyond .)

Even coming off a stellar 2019 result followed recently by >150% growth in Q1 bookings, we felt we should (like many others) be cautious in our forward planning. 

As such we ratcheted back expenses that were being incurred to prime a faster/riskier growth trajectory and took a very small reduction in workforce mainly aimed at pairing back executive coverage to the fundamentals of customers and product support.

Every company is adapting and flexing to the current market conditions, I could already see CFBE (Cash Flow Break Even) on the near horizon, so a plan adjustment to accomplish this in 2020 would be an epic achievement. This without question would make Datera stronger for future growth and open many more avenues and opportunities to us.

Update: Two other execs are no longer listed on Datera’s leadership webpage;

  • Claudio Fleiner, Co-founder and Chief Architect,
  • Chris Cummings, CMO.

Datera supplies scale-out enterprise-class clustered block and object storage software as an alternative to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and traditional external SAN array storage. It has a reselling partnership with HPE, with its software part of HPE’s Complete program.

The company reported 325 per cent revenue growth in 2019 compared to 2018, and has transitioned from perpetual license sales to a subscription business model.