Nvidia plus Excelero equals acquisition – maybe

We have heard that Nvidia could be buying Excelero, an NVMe storage software startup – and Excelero did not deny it.

Nvidia is the GPU  server giant that just withdrew its attempt to buy Arm. Excelero makes and sells NVMesh software which provides a virtual, distributed flash array supporting converged (in-server SSDs) and disaggregated (all-flash array) architectures. 

When we asked about the acquisition rumor, Excelero CEO Yaniv Romem responded: “Decline to comment.”

Excelero was started up in Israel in 2014 and has raised more than $40 million in funding – possibly $45 million – from VCs and other investors including Micron, Qualcomm and Western Digital. Mellanox put in an undisclosed amount in May 2019, shortly after being acquired by Nvidia in March that year. Excelero’s founders were CEO Yaniv Romem, Chief Scientist Omri Mann and Engineering VP Ofer Oshri.

Israel’s The Marker media outlet suggests the acquisition price is less than the total funding amount. If true, that would be a disappointing exit for Excelero’s founders and backers. Nvidia declined to comment on The Marker‘s questions.

E8, a similar NVMe storage startup led by Israelis, was bought by Amazon in July 2019 for between $50 million and $60 million.

By buying Excelero, Nvidia would gain NVMe storage software technology which it could use in or alongside its GPUDirect host server CPU/DRAM bypass software to bring data from external servers and arrays to its GPUs, and also its BlueField SmartNICs.