back to article Fusion-io founders' stealthy startup: We uncloak THIS YEAR... but don't expect product

Primary Data, the stealthy storage virtualisation startup set up by Fusion-io's founders, has scored more cash and says it will come out of stealth later this year. After resigning from Fusion-io, CEO David Flynn and marketing head Rick White set up Primary Data and received $50m of B-round funding in October last year. There …

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  1. Don Jefe

    Implied Value?

    You absolutely cannot derive estimated valuations of an entity based on the amount of equity investment(s) it has received. Whoever said you could do that played a trick on you. I hope you didn't give them any money...

    Even in a straightforward equity deal with a clever, but inexperienced, young person in the big chair the terms of investment are terribly complex. If your potential investment is being run by someone who has successfully done this before you've entered the realm of truly arcane and esoteric contract law and accounting voodoo.

    There are far too many variables involved for any valuations to be remotely valid if all you've got are investment amounts. If you're dealing with protected IP, real estate, natural resources, R&D or significant physical plant costs the funding amounts are less than useless. Legal and government/regulatory issues cloud things further. If the execs are proven and/or heavily leveraged the sweat equity/delayed compensation and personal expense funds alone can be staggering.

    What I'm getting at, is the amount of investment is a really, really vague thing and does not translate directly to company valuation. It's kind of like an insurance company valuation on art/antiques. If you actually tried to sell it for that much people would be very angry when they didn't find platoons of hot, topless women inside skiing on giant piles of cocaine.

    Even our little group has fairly complex structures that knot things up pretty good. Depending on the specifics, we've got scads of milestone based NRE conversions and liability transfer vehicles that only very specialized lawyers and finance people from the darkest pits of hell understand and enjoy. Generally they are the same people we job out for supplemental income from WaterBoarding services. (As an aside, my phone automatically did the first letter caps in WaterBoarding. It is hilariously awful that US hospitality services being subjected to commercial product marketing polices)

    Going forward, feel free to just make up a figure. On that front, I am a huge advocate for the theory of strange figures. That dictates that if you throw really weird figures at people they will generally stop to look at least (so +10 for marketing right there) and if they question that figure you can apologize for the typo, blame the refrigeration contractors and provide a more accurate made up number (so +10 more for marketing message cohesion and +25 for good use of executive blame shifting (with precedent) and situational dominance by turning the occasion into an opportunity to pitch the company. An additional +10 is available if you are able to segue the situation into supplemental income by getting the subject company's management to toss you a few bones for your contribution to their success. You'll know they've got funds available, (use the figure from the story for calculating your ask) and might even add a little extra if they've got any co-op marketing programs. If they don't, suggest they get one and send them an invoice for consultation).

  2. James Gosling

    Sounds like....

    The emperors new clothes to me!

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