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CloudSwitch and EqualLogic vets pocket $12 million for stealthy new startup, ClearSky Data

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 15, 2014 08:00 AM

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Serial entrepreneur Paula Long played the role of the fairy godmother in the story of ClearSky Data, a quiet new startup currently operating out of the Kendall Square offices of Highland Capital Partners...

laz-rubin.jpgLong, a founder of DataGravity and EqualLogic, introduced ClearSky's two founders, Ellen Rubin and Lazarus Vekiarides, last year. Rubin had previously been a founder of CloudSwitch (acquired by Verizon) and Vekiarides was an early team member at EqualLogic (acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion as it was preparing to go public.) Long also introduced the duo to investors at Highland and General Catalyst, who decided late last year to put $12 million into their new venture.

What is ClearSky up to? There's no website yet, and Rubin didn't want to get specific. "We're solving an enterprise infrastructure problem for medium and large enterprises," she said. "It's something that leverages both of our backgrounds in a really exciting way." The funding round came together just before the holidays.

The team is still in the single digits in terms of employees, Rubin says, adding that "we're looking to hire a large number of people this quarter, with experience in areas like storage, security, virtualization, and networking." Rubin says the company is looking at office space near Government Center and South Station. (Vekiarides and Rubin are pictured at right, in Highland's offices.)

Joining the company's board are David Orfao from General Catalyst and Sean Dalton from Highland. Long is also on the board, and former EqualLogic CEO Don Bulens is an advisor to the company. Jit Saxena, Rubin's old boss at Netezza and investor in CloudSwitch, is also taking a board seat at ClearSky.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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