Cloudian, a California-based cloud storage company is the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions with a huge presence in Japan. The company announced today that they have raised about $24 million through a new round of funding to expand its global sales and marketing initiatives to speed up its expansion into the cloud market.

The funding was provided by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Fidelity Growth Partners and existing investing, Intel Capital. With this funding, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan will join Intel Capital as its board of directors.

“This substantial investment is strong validation of our unique and leading approach to enterprise on-premises storage and hybrid cloud storage,” said Michael Tso, CEO and co-founder of Cloudian said in a press release. “The rapid growth of unstructured data is transforming the data storage landscape. With this funding, we will accelerate the deployment of our production-proven storage solutions and revolutionize the cost, scalability and availability models for storing unstructured data in the enterprise.”

This investment shows how much investors want to be part of this new wave of new and innovative companies dealing with internet services.

Cloudian broke away from Gemini Mobile Technologies and was relaunched in 2011 in Foster City, California – it has offices in Tokyo and Beijing.

Cloudian is an Amazon S3-compliant cloud storage platform that allows service providers to build reliable and affordable storage solutions. Cloudian offers businesses and organizations a plug-and-play software that they can apply using any commodity hardware to create private storage clouds.

Using the hybrid approach of facilitating the creation of cloud storage via third-party providers, Cloudian claims to offer unlimited capacity expansion, access, and optimum use of the ecosystem of S3 applications while staying behind the firewall.

Cloudian’s competitor, EMC, announced today that it has acquired TwinStrata in an effort to push hybrid cloud solutions.

It will be interesting to see how these companies play out in the next couple of years; perhaps Cloudian will be the next to be acquired.