The 10 Hottest Storage Startups Of 2023
Shifts in the data storage market mean opportunities for smaller nimble startups to push the edge of technology and help discover new ways to store data, as exemplified in this list of 10 storage startups for 2023.
Storage Startups: Looking Beyond The Horizon
Where customers may be turning away from legacy storage technologies to the cloud or to hybrid on-premises and cloud infrastructures, the opportunity arises for startups to demonstrate new ways to do it. It might be new hardware or software that ties cloud and on-premises storage, or new technologies to better monitor and manage capacities, or more commonly, new ways to protect data against ransomware.
And customers appear to be looking over the horizon at new ways to handle storage.
They may need to improve how they manage object storage, which was growing fast but is now growing uncontrollably thanks to the AI and GenAI wave. They need new ways to protect data in general or on particular clouds, particularly in the face of unrelentless ransomware attacks. They need to improve the performance of on-premises data. They need ways to make mainframe applications easily access cloud-based data and vice versa.
[Related: The 10 Hottest Data Storage Startups Of 2022]
All these technologies are available today, thanks in part to the continuing influx of new ideas and new money into the storage business.
CRN takes a look at 10 startups looking to bring new storage capabilities to market and in the process stake their claim to a bigger part of the business going forward.
CEO and Co-founder: Rob Stevenson
BackupLabs, which came out of stealth mode in January 2023, develops secure automated backup technology specifically for SaaS cloud applications including Trello, GitHub, GitLab, Notion, Jira, and more. The company has a strong SMB pedigree, being founded by the team behind SMB data backup developer BackupVault. BackupLabs protects SaaS platform data with automated daily backups, rapid restores with granular recovery, protection against accidental or malicious deletion, 256-bit AES encryption, audit logs, and compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, and more.
CEO and Co-founder: Kai Wawrzinek
Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany
Impossible Cloud provides a decentralized, enterprise-grade cloud for Kubernetes-friendly and AWS S3-compatible object storage with built-in data resilience and immutability and no single point of failure. It claims it can do so in a way to save customers up to 75 percent of the cost of other providers. Impossible Cloud Storage targets storage for big data, backup, and archive use cases, and integrates with other cloud storage technologies as Veeam, MSP360, and AWS. The company in September was also certified to work with Veritas Backup Exec, and is now a Veritas elite partner. This Summer also saw Impossible Cloud launch its first partner program.
Impossible Cloud in March unveiled a seed funding round 7 million euros or about $7.6 million, bringing total funding to date to 10 million euros or about $10.9 million.
Co-Presidents: Mike Shapiro and Jeff Bonwick
Headquarters: Mill Valley, Calif.
Iodyne manufactures the Pro Data line of all-NVMe SSD-based Thunderbolt RAID systems. The Pro Data combines multiple SSDs and multiple Thunderbolt port pairs in a single package that stores up to 48 TBytes of capacity and includes RAID-6 and XTS-AES-256 encryption protection. The devices are portable, making their capacity available where necessary. Up to six Pro Data devices can be daisy-chained to each Thunderbolt port pair, and multiple daisy chains can be connected to computers with multiple Thunderbolt host ports.
CEO and Co-founder: Aleksandr Ragel
Headquarters: Tallinn, Estonia
Leil Storage in March, 2023 launched its scalable data backup and archiving technologies based on purpose-built hardware and its own SaunaFS distributed file system. The company does that via a close relationship with strategic partner Western Digital. Leil Storage has partnered with Western Digital to take advantage of the latter’s host-managed shingled magnetic recording, or HM-SMR, hard drives and its Power Disable HDD management technology, which Leil Storage said helps reduce per-terabyte energy consumption by 18 percent over other technologies while improving performance over existing storage systems. It plans to introduce a power disable feature to decrease storage power draw by 25 percent.
CEO and Co-founder: Tapesh Goyal
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
Nimesa is a developer of data protection and copy data management technology aimed at enterprise users of AWS EC2 instances, RDS, load balancers, S3, and more. It is available as an AMI (Amazon machine image) that can be securely run as an EC2 instance to help transform various data center operations and reduce OpEx for use cases such as backup and recovery, TestDev, analytics, application rollouts, disaster recover, and more. It provides policy-based backup, instant restore, and cloning of EC2 instances. Cloud admins can use it to create fast, space-efficient, point-in-time copies of EBS volumes and EC2 instances for use in backups and AWS disaster recovery strategies, or as a way to use production data in various secondary use cases.
CEO and Co-founder: Valéry Guilleaume
Headquarters: Liege, Belgium
Nodeum builds a services-oriented storage system designed with scalability and redundancy which indexes all metadata files into a single catalog to allow users to easily search and move data. It provides data discovery, copy, migration, control, and deletion via its policy-based automation engine. Nodeum’s plugin connectors provide hybrid storage management across NAS, cloud, and tape storage, while its virtual file system allows access to any type of secondary storage.
CEO: David Bennett
Object First, a startup developer of purpose-built data protection appliances, in June 2022 exited stealth with $12.5 million in investment and a simple focus on providing a high-performance tier of protection for data managed by Veeam. The tie to Veeam is no accident given that the co-founders of Object First, Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov, were also co-founders of Veeam, and continued to support Veeam after it was acquired in early 2020 by Insight Partners. Object First developed a turnkey hardware appliance it calls Ootbi, short for out-of-the-box immutability. Ootbi is based on the company’s proprietary software designed to reside in an end customer’s on-premises environment and provide immutable storage tied specifically to Veeam environments.
CEO and Co-founder: Jeanne Glass
Storage startup VirtualZ in December exited stealth mode with technology that moves data between IBM Z mainframe servers and cloud or on-premises applications and vice versa. It’s $2.2 million seed funding round gives the company a total funding of $4.9 million. VirtualZ tackles issues around the fact that data on mainframes and distributed systems is incompatible, and custom coding is typically needed to bridge the two, with three applications that eliminates that need. These include Lozen, which provides real-time read and write access to mainframe-based data by cloud, SaaS, distributed, and custom applications; Zaac, which allows data in hybrid cloud, physical storage and SaaS systems to be accessed by mainframe-based applications in real-time; and PropelZ, a utility for quickly creating a copy of mainframe data as needed for experimentation or analysis in hybrid cloud environments.
CEO: Amir Faintuch
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Volumez develops composable infrastructure software to help developers request storage resources instead of relying on conventional on-premises or cloud storage. Its controller orchestration software uses Linux to execute modern data infrastructure workloads using a declarative interface aimed at deploying a wide variety of applications in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. The result is a controller-less architecture that composes direct Linux data paths between media and applications to help solve latency and scalability issues and unlock high performance and high resiliency of data large-scale data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning applications. Volumez in April 2023 unveiled a series A funding round that brought the company $20 million, and in November joined both the Azure and AWS marketplaces.
CEO: Coby Hanoch
Headquarters: Hod Hasharon, Israel
Weebit Nano develops an advanced semiconductor memory technology, Resistive RAM (ReRAM), targeting the growing need for significantly higher performance and lower power memory solutions in a range of new electronic products such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smartphones, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 5G communications, and artificial intelligence. ReRAM helps reduce the cost of semiconductor memory while increasing performance and energy efficiency when compared to existing flash memory technologies, the company said. Weebit Nano works with GlobalFoundries as its wafer manufacturer using that company’s 22nm process. Weebit Nano in April 2023 closed a $40 million funding round.