SASI Q1 2016 Storage Market Review: Private/Private M&A – More Than Just Talk

Storage M&A:

  • Deal volume keeps steady at 8 announced transactions but total consideration drops to $211M, the lowest level since Q1 2014
  • Of the 8 deals, only two were led by public buyers, HPE/Trilead and J2 Global/Intercloud
  • Last year we saw the beginning of the private/private and PE led M&A and we expect to see more through 2016
  • With all the consolidation and restructuring occurring in storage, it is great to see HPE enter back into the M&A market with its first deal since the HP breakup

Storage Venture Funding:

  • Q1 2016 marks the third consecutive quarterly decline in storage related venture funding.
  • The number of rounds stays level at 10 rounds while average round size drops to $24M
  • We do not see this as “Doom and Gloom” but rather a promising mix of earlier stage, smaller rounds coupled with a bit more “Sanity” in later stage venture investing
  • There is plenty of opportunities for further market disruption and the consensus is we are just starting to see true cloud infrastructure innovations being adopted by larger enterprises.  Winners will be looking for even higher levels of virtualization and convergence across applications, compute, storage and networking

 

About SASI:
SASI is a boutique M&A advisory firm focused on serving investors and entrepreneurs in the IT industry. We represent private companies that are exploring strategic M&A options. SASI was founded on the belief that stakeholders in private companies have a need for a new class of M&A advisor. They require a banker with high integrity who brings not only transaction and financial expertise but also has intimate knowledge of the industry, the strategic buyers and the customer, technology, and competitive trends shaping the industry. Our market focus is the IT industry with core areas of expertise across Data Protection and Storage, Cloud Computing/infrastructure, Networking and Security. SASI has deep domain knowledge of these segments and has represented companies across core technologies areas including semiconductors, systems, software, SaaS, and related IT services.

GEORGE SYMONS JOINS SASI AS SENIOR ADVISOR

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Strategic Advisory Services International, LLC (SASI), a boutique M&A advisory firm to technology companies, today announced that George Symons has joined the SASI team in the role of Senior Advisor. George’s career spans more than 20 years in the high tech industry, most recently at C-level positions including CEO and Board member of Gridstore, provider of all-flash hyper converged infrastructure. Prior to Gridstore, George was Chief Strategy Officer at Nexsan, which was acquired by Imation. Prior to Nexsan, he held executive roles in storage companies including Xiotech Corporation (COO), EvoStor (CEO), Yosemite Technologies (CEO), EMC (CTO for Information Management), and Legato (CTO, VP of Development and Product Management).

“We are extremely fortunate to have George on our team. His senior executive experience at market leading firms coupled with multiple CEO roles at start-ups gives George a unique perspective on not only technology trends but also what it takes to successfully bring disruptive products to market. George has been a trusted advisor since we founded SASI in 2005 and we look forward to working even closer with him in the coming years.” said John Rotchford, Managing Director of SASI.

About SASI
SASI is a boutique M&A advisory firm focused on serving investors and entrepreneurs in the IT industry. We represent private companies that are exploring strategic M&A options. SASI was founded on the belief that stakeholders in private companies have a need for a new class of M&A advisor. They require a banker with high integrity who brings not only transaction and financial expertise but also has intimate knowledge of the industry, the strategic buyers and the customer, technology, and competitive trends shaping the industry. Our market focus is the IT industry with core areas of expertise across Data Protection and Storage, Cloud Computing/infrastructure, Networking and Security. SASI has deep domain knowledge of these segments and has represented companies across core technologies areas including semiconductors, systems, software, SaaS, and related IT services.

2015 was a Strong Year for Storage Venture Funding

Storage Venture Funding:

While down from 2014, 2015 was a strong year with $1.4B in funding across 45 rounds with an average round size of $30.9M – Simplivity led with the largest round of $175M followed closely by Infinidat with $150M.

Looking forward, 2016 will likely be another strong year of 40+ rounds of funding with even more focus on start-ups proving their business cases and ramping revenues along the way.

The storage venture market has certainly been hot but VCs will closely track IPO hopefuls such as Nutanix and others as they contemplate adding more unicorns to the mix.

We are also bullish on 2016 as there is plenty of innovation coming out of the 13 companies that raised their 1st round of funding and also the 15 start-ups that closed on their 2nd round of funding.  Later stage funding still leads in terms of total consideration but 28 out of 45 funding rounds being earlier stage is a great sign that the storage disruption engine has plenty of fuel in the tank.

For SASI’s complete 2015 Storage M&A and Venture Funding Report, please contact Christine Tosney at christine@sasillc.com.