Memory maker Virident raises $20 million

The startup gains Cisco and Intel as new investors and unveils a new flash-based drive.

Virident, a Milpitas, Calif.-based company creating flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs), has raised $20 million in its third round of funding and landed Cisco and Intel as new investors. Virident has raised $50 million to date.

Virident's new FlashMax memory drive was made possible by $20 million in funding.

The five-year-old company says today's funding will fuel the creation of a new memory solution called FlashMax that it claims will run databases ten times faster than older drives.

Virident hopes to create partnerships with large data centers, businesses such as systems integrators and consulting firms, and potential investors. Besides Cisco and Intel, the company also has an unnamed investor who is a "big name in the data center space," according to Gigaom. Virident also expects EMC, the largest storage vendor, to become a customer.

SSD technology is getting popular as more companies tap into cloud-based data centers. It has higher storage capabilities and uses less energy than traditional "spinning disk" hard drives. SSD memory is getting steadily cheaper to manufacture, and is now approaching the cost levels of regular hard drives.

Virident competes with Fusion-io, a company that went public in June and has Facebook as a client. There are several other flash vendors including Violin Memory, SolidFire, Pure Storage, Nimbus Data Systems (eBay is a client) and Nimble Storage.

Today's funding was led by Globespan Capital Partners. Prior investors Sequoia Capital and Artiman Ventures also participated.

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