Following the successful exit of grid storage company XIV, Network Appliance (NASDAQ:NTAP) announced the acquisition of Israel/Boston based Onaro, a private company co-founded in 2002 by four Israelis, veterans of Israeli military intelligence: Roy Alon (VP of development and customer service), Assaf Levy (CTO and VP of business development), Dr. Raphael Yahalom (Chief scientist) and Shai Scharf (former CEO). The four founded the company headquarters in Boston, MA, but kept a small office of five in Israel, managed by Roy Alon. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the merger is estimated at approximately $120 million. That would be a highly profitable exit, as Onaro raised approximately only $10 million in two rounds from Cedar Fund and Newbury Ventures.
Onaro solves a big problem for Storage area networks – the ability to extend datacenter automation to storage in real time. In simple words, Onaro develops software that allows non-technical storage users to manage the storage with high data availability for only a fraction of the normal operating costs. Onaro’s main product family is called SANScreen. It’s reported to reduce operating costs and capital spending on storage by as much as 20%.
See Onaro’s product demos and screenshots below:
Onaro has a headcount of about 60 employees and has self reported to be profitable since January of 2006. Onaro’s earnings last year were $20 million, but its sales prospects can be very optimistic as Onaro has successfully deployed its software with over 80 clients, more than 30% of the Fortune 50 companies.
NetApp said Onaro’s products are complementary to its existing offerings, which include its V-Series virtualization systems; ReplicatorX data recovery and replication software; and its Decru DataFort storage encryption appliances. In the official statement, NetApp stated that the deal will close in the first quarter of this year. Shares of NetApp stock were trading at roughly $25 Thursday morning, a rise of approximately $0.25.
Tom Georgens, executive vice president, Product Operations at NetApp said:
“This deal is not just a first for the industry, but also a new opportunity for customers to rethink their large-scale storage infrastructures—and gain extra confidence in the strength of modular systems to manage the biggest data challenges out there.”
This is NetApps second acquisition in Israel. In 2006, NetApp snaged Israel’s Topio for $160 million.