Perhaps Dheeraj Pandey is a closet Disney fan.
On Tuesday, the chief executive of San Jose-based Nutanix is expected to announce his startup's latest funding round. And the amount is one Walt Disney himself might have fancied: $101 million.
Nutanix is a "virtual computing" company that lets customers combine their data storage and server needs into one device. Proprietary software performs some of the functions traditionally handled by hardware.
Pandey, in an interview, likened the approach to the way the introduction of the iPhone allowed users to replace multiple gadgets -- Walkmans, BlackBerrys and pocket cameras -- with one.
The hefty funding haul, the company's fourth, was led by Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures.
"When you think about the size of the market they're addressing, the dramatic cost-savings they deliver for the customer puts them in the Workday or VMware class of company," said Riverwood co-founder Jeff Parks, who joins the Nutanix board as part of the investment.
Steve Agee analyst Alex Kurtz, in a recent research note, said Nutanix and other buzz-laden startups such as Tintri and Pure Storage could eat into the business of VMware parent EMC and rival NetApp. However, he cautioned that resellers have yet to fully embrace these new technologies.
Also participating in the funding round were Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and previous Silicon Valley investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and Battery Ventures. Nutanix has now raised a total of $172 million.
Tuesday's news is just the latest example of an enterprise software startup scoring a $100 million-plus funding round. Pandey said the recent trend lets CEOs make decisions for long-term growth rather than worry about pleasing Wall Street every quarter.
"Companies are not trying to go out the (IPO) door before they understand themselves," he said.
Contact Peter Delevett at 408-271-3638. Follow him at Twitter.com/mercwiretap.