Exablox, a two-year-old start-up that's devised off-premises storage solutions for small- and medium-size businesses, said it had raised $22 million from bluechip venture capitalists.

The Mountain View, Calif-based company had been bootstrapped by its founders, who'd previously sold companies to powerhouses including Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), the No. 3 PC company, and EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC), the No. 1 provider of storage systems and software.

“We understand data centers,” said CEO Doug Brockett, 45, a former VP of SonicWall, now part of Dell. Now Exablox has developed and installed with initial customers an unnamed cloud storage product that lets businesses store data securely in the cloud.

A name and suggested pricing may be announced sometime in early 2013, Brockett said. The product is also focusing on unstructured data, the component of so-called “big data” systems.

The new lead funders in a combined Series A and B financing round are DCM Ventures, of Menlo Park, Calif.; Norwest Ventures, of Palo Alto, Calif., and US Ventures, also of Menlo Park, the company said.

DCM and Norwest Ventures invested $7.5 million, with US Ventures adding about $15.4 million.

Brockett said Exablox has already applied for “several” patents but declined to give a number. He acknowledged competition in the sector from private rivals in the consumer storage space including Dropbox, of San Francisco, and SugarSync, of San Mateo, Calif., which also is targeting enterprise customers, as well as Nimble Storage, of San Jose, Calif.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, has also been offering Google Drive for consumers since earlier in 2012, and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has targeted business for its thriving Amazon Web Services.

Brockett said Exablox was using a “third party provider” for technical support but declined to identify it.

Marketing VP Sean Derrington said Exablox wanted to ensure the storage products were secure, scalable and simple to manage. “We don't want the customer to require a Ph.D in storage,” he said.

The two Exablox officers said storage data and its retrieval have become far more complex in the past decade, simply because of the sheer amount created by all kinds of media.

No matter how successful Exablox becomes, the market capitalization of EMC alone is $53.2 billion, based on Monday's closing share price.