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By | Chris Mellor 22nd February 2010 09:47

Iron Mountain thinking about a long, cool drink of Mimosa

Archiving to the rusty mountain cloud

Comment The Iron Mountain repository could be getting an email and file archiving software wrapper with strong rumours that Iron Mountain plans to buy Mimosa.

Iron Mountain is a paper and tape records repository company, famously started to store mushrooms in an old iron-ore mine. Then it branched out into what became its core business; holding paper, microfilm and tape records for long-term store in both underground and above-ground vaults. Latterly it has branched out into providing cloud storage services, with suppliers such as Nasuni and CommVault.

Privately-held Mimosa Systems started up by offering NearPoint, an Exchange e-mail archiving software product in 2005. It added unstructured file archiving in 2008. Its strategy was to build a unified archiving content services software platform, offering data ingest modules for mail and various file types, and apply indexing, search, retention, compliance and legal discovery services to the ingested content. This was stored on third party suppliers' disk arrays and, at one time, Plasmon optical storage.

SharePoint content support was added last year.

Mimosa has more than 1,000 customers and its president and CEO is T M Ravi. Total venture capital funding is about $65m. with $17m added in a C-round in 2007, when Ravi was talking IPO as a goal. Mimosa scooped up another $17m in 2008, followed by $3m in 2009, as well as $4m of debt finance, a financing pattern suggesting revenues and expenses were not in balance.

Mimosa was said to be still not profitable at that time, and the recession, together with possibly poor results, stifled its IPO urges. There has been a rumour that staff were laid off in early January and another that the VC backers were refusing further funding.

What Iron Mountain is looking at is a combined multi-content data ingest and archive content services product, that could use Iron Mountain cloud storage as a back-end storage vault. That seems pretty compelling and El Reg Towers has received information from a source fairly close to Iron Mountain that a Mimosa buy is a strong possibility. NetApp had previously been suggested as a possible purchaser.

If Iron Mountain values the company's products and channels highly enough, then the VC backers of Mimosa could be hoping to share out $80m - $100m. On the other hand, purchasing a distressed Mimosa could be a lot cheaper - $50m or even less. ®

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