Foundation Capital has co-led Cohesity’s $250 million Series E. As an early stage investor, it’s unusual for us to take part in funding at this phase of a company’s development, but we’re doing so for two reasons. First, the founder-CEO, Mohit Aron, is extraordinary and not to be underestimated. And second, the company he’s built is a proven rocketship. The latest round puts the company’s valuation at an impressive $2.5 billion, but we believe this is just a small fraction of the value Cohesity will create, as it continues on its current trajectory to becoming one of the dominant enterprise platforms.
I’ve known Mohit for over a decade now. We first crossed paths when Mohit was co-founder and CTO of Nutanix. He has spent his career curing data-center headaches. When he founded Cohesity in 2013, everyone was getting into the data business because data was exploding. Iterations of the same data were appearing again and again and again within a single organization. Businesses were generating hundreds of copies of the same data for different use cases and different purposes across the company. Mohit’s core insight was that the non-linear growth of data was not scalable and enterprises needed to find a way to have all their data be managed in a unified manner.
The challenge for Mohit was, while everyone agreed with him about the data management problem, almost everyone thought his solution was too radical. The Cohesity data management platform is a new approach to an old problem. For large-scale enterprise companies, access to, and storage of, data can be cumbersome. Historically, data infrastructure has required multiple vendors: a vendor for primary storage, a vendor for back-up software, a vendor for cloud migration, a vendor for NAS, etc. This litany of resources can be tough to keep track of. Cohesity built one unified platform to rule them all.
This cohesive (wink) platform saves businesses time and money by consolidating the full stack of data-center and hybrid-cloud needs. Most people in the industry were skeptical that you could get the market to embrace something this transformative. But seven years later, Mohit has demonstrated that use case after use case can be radically simplified and easily accomplished by the Cohesity way of doing things. And the company’s untrammeled growth in revenue, new contracts, and size of customer orders is clear indication that the IT industry has taken notice.
Cohesity plans to use this new round of funding to fuel its go-to-market growth, especially outside North America. With established success in backup and recovery and scale-out files, the company also expects to use the capital injection to expand the use cases it addresses in areas such as disaster recovery and development testing. For starters, you may have seen the recent introduction of the Cohesity Helios application, which helps companies monitor data-center infrastructure on the go. With the mass movement to remote work, Helios could not have come at a better time.
Even with the tremendous progress the company has already made and the stellar growth trajectory that it’s on, this feels like just the beginning for Cohesity. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the company. Congratulations to my friend Mohit and his team! The sweetest flavor of success is proving everyone wrong.