Is it Too Hot or Just Warming Up?

There is no easy answer to this question but our sense is that there are certain segments that appear to be over funded with valuations and corresponding expectations at record highs. Top of mind is the solid state/flash sector which covers a broad array of pure flash system companies, hybrid players and sub-system players. While there are likely to be multiple “winners” in each sub-sector, we are not seeing significant differentiation in some of the start-ups. On the other hand, multiple start-ups such as Actifio, Nexenta, Violin, Nimble Storage and others are claiming significant customer wins and revenue growth. These and other late stage start-ups could see solid exits through M&A and IPOs later this year or in 2014. The cause for concern is the next batch of start-ups that are arriving late to the game with “modest differentiation” vs. “game changing” or truly disruptive technology. We are on the cusp of a truly transformational time for storage with new software defined approaches posing real threats to the incumbents and converged architectures that render storage as a discreet market, “old school” and a thing of the past. Hence, this wave of disruption is already occurring and one of the main risks we see in venture is paddling in too late.

Human Engines / Motorola Mobility

SASI Engagement:
SASI led the negotiations of the letter of intent through the definitive agreement.  SASI was also involved in negotiating key employment terms and other critical post-acquisition matters.  Keys to success included evaluating the strategic options facing the client, understanding the unique dynamics and sensitivities on both sides of the transaction and running an efficient due diligence process.

About Human Engines:
Human Engines is an innovative software development company dedicated to redefining user experiences. Human Engines brings together video gaming, mobile, chipset, software and graphic design expertise for a totally new category of user experience.

About Motorola Mobility:
Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people’s lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit motorola.com/mobility.

Gear6 / Violin Memory

SASI Engagement:
SASI had existing relationships with Gear6 through previous transactions. Gear6 was at an inflection point and engaged SASI to advise them on strategic options including M&A. SASI identified, selected and approached a strategic set of acquirers who could leverage Gear6’s core solution set. Communicating the core value proposition and larger vision were critical to moving the process forward.

About Gear6:
Gear6 provides scalable Memcached solutions, enabling high-growth web sites to deliver and scale dynamic applications and content. By focusing on the emerging need for a dedicated web caching tier, Gear6 solutions dramatically improve the scalability of web applications and databases, improving quality of service and reducing infrastructure cost.

Gear6′s flagship offering is Gear6 Web Cache, a Memcached protocol-compliant solution that enables web site developers and operators to scale web services and applications, to save money, rack space, power and time, to protect users and sites from failures and traffic spikes, and to manage all aspects of caching operations.

About Violin Memory:
Violin Memory provides a scalable flash memory array that delivers unprecedented sustainability and spike-free latency at price points challenging HDD performance storage. Violin Memory’s solutions are designed for the company who is looking to accelerate their business critical applications and virtualize their Data Center storage.