Amidst all the venture investments this year in startups that generate gobs of data -- from those focused on everything from apps to drones to the Internet of Things to Big Data -- are a batch of newcomers aiming to help organizations store and access all that information. Yes, storage companies are pulling in big bucks in 2015, as they did in 2014, and a couple have even double-dipped this year and announced two rounds of funding.
What's more, these new storage companies actually have a bit of flair. Rubrik, for example, cites the "industry luminaries" backing it, channels H.G. Wells by referring to its product as a "time machine" and claims to be able to "eliminate backup software." Tachyon, out of UC Berkeley, gets to play the open source card with its lab-hatched technology. Others, such as Kaminario and Tegile Systems, are heavily into flash storage, while SimpliVity and Rubrik go beyond storage as "hyperconverged" players.
These companies are largely clustered in California and Massachusetts, though a solid Israeli influence can also be seen.
We've only included companies in this roundup that have announced venture funding in 2015, and together they've snagged more than half a billion dollars so far this year (see our enterprise networking & IT startup funding timeline here). So we're not ignoring the likes of IPO-ready Nutanix (see an Infoworld product review here) and Pure Storage (whose CEO we recently interviewed) -- they just don't fit the criteria we've used to contain the list. Neither is this roundup intended to be all-inclusive, but rather a sampling of some of the hottest young storage companies around:
Headquarters: Santa Clara
Focus: Software-defined enterprise storage
Why they're worth watching: Hedvig has already announced two rounds of funding in 2015, and we're only in June. The company announced a seed/Series A round of funding in March, upon coming out of stealth mode, valued at $12.5 million and led by True Ventures and Atlantic Bridge. Then in June Hedvig revealed an $18 million Series B round of financing led by new venture fund Vertex Ventures. The company's CEO, Avinash Lakshman, is a serious draw given his expertise in distributed systems: He was one of the co-creators of the Dynamo NoSQL database service while at Amazon and of the open source Apache Cassandra distributed database management system while at Facebook. The company's Distributed Storage Platform exploits the cloud and commodity hardware to make its storage affordable. (Note: We actually included Hedvig in a roundup of cloud companies to watch earlier this year, after its first round of funding.)
Headquarters: Needham, Mass.
Focus: Enterprise storage systems
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