Israel data storage startup raises $140m, attains ‘unicorn’ status at $1.6b valuation

Nvidia-backed Weka is a developer of a software-based platform to help businesses manage AI workloads that demand massive volumes of data and computing power

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

An illustrative image of a cloud concept for data. (Arkadiusz Warguła via iStock by Getty Images)
An illustrative image of a cloud concept for data. (Arkadiusz Warguła via iStock by Getty Images)

Israeli data storage and management platform Weka said Wednesday that it has raised $140 million in fresh capital from investors at a valuation of $1.6 billion, more than double the startup’s previous valuation.

The fundraising makes the Tel Aviv startup a new Israeli “unicorn” — a company valued at $1 billion and over.

The funds from the oversubscribed Series E round were raised by current investors led by Valor Equity Partners. Other existing investors, including Nvidia, Generation Investment Management, Atreides Management, Hitachi Ventures, Ibex Investors and Qualcomm Ventures, also joined the financing round. At its previous financing round in November 2022, Weka raised $135 million from investors at a company valuation of $750 million.

Founded more than a decade ago by CEO Liran Zvibel, chief architect Maor Ben-Dayan and chief strategy officer Omri Palmon, Weka built a software-based platform that helps businesses and organizations manage and store workloads across public and private clouds that demand massive volumes of data and computing power, including artificial intelligence-based applications, machine learning and high-performance computing.

The platform consolidates the utilization of diverse data types and seeks to meet the growing needs of running and training generative AI and large language models on-premises, in the cloud and between locations.

Weka said the funds will be used to bolster its “considerable” cash reserves to rapidly grow its business to “meet accelerating global demand for AI-native data infrastructure while expanding its investments in developing its data platform software and providing liquidity to Weka employees.”

“The recent acceleration of generative AI and enterprise cloud adoption has triggered a sharp increase in customer demand, driving an unprecedented number of eight-figure ARR [annual recurring revenues] deals,” said Weka chief financial officer Intekhab Nazeer. “It was an opportune time to fortify our cash reserves, allowing our investors to increase their position in the company while minimizing share dilution for our employees.”

“Weka pioneered the concept of a software, platform-based approach that is revolutionizing modern enterprise data, then forged and hardened its technology in some of the largest, most demanding AI projects on the planet,” said Valor Equity Partners CEO and chief investment officer Antonio Gracias, who is joining Weka’s board of directors.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley with its R&D center based in Tel Aviv, Weka said it has a customer base of over 300 brands including AI startup Stability AI, 12 of the Fortune 50 companies, and several undisclosed domestic and foreign government agencies.

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