The 10 Coolest Storage Startups Of 2017 (So Far)

Storage Startups: Many Roads, Many Destinations

Investor interest in the storage industry has continued to grow as businesses looked for better ways to manage their data, whether it was higher-performance or higher-capacity SSDs, new ways to manage data in the cloud, or better ways to handle object storage.

That interest knows no boundary, with storage startups popping up all over the world including the U.S., Canada, China and Korea.

Here's a look at 10 independent storage developers that either came out of stealth or introduced their first offering so far this year.


CEO: Alan Armstrong

CNEX Labs is working with NAND technology developers and data center, storage and networking vendors to develop a new generation of SSD controllers with host interface flexibility from NVMe to LightNVM to other connectivity interfaces. The San Jose, Calif.-based company in March closed its C round of funding, led by Microsoft Ventures, giving it a total funding of $60 million as it enters mass production.


CEO: Pierre Arys

Diamond is developing a personal layer of secure intelligence to make it easy for users to access and query data across all their devices and cloud services including Google Drive, Gmail and Dropbox, regardless of where it is stored. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company in March closed an investment round which brought it over $2 million.


CEO: Lior Gal

Software-defined storage technology startup Excelero in March came out of stealth with the introduction of its NVMesh Server SAN software, which the company designed to pool NVMe storage from multiple servers as a high-performance base for serving mission-critical applications to enterprises but with the kind of block storage performance used by hyper-scale public cloud providers. Israel-based Excelero has received $17.5 million in funding so far.


CEO: Jihyo Lee

Fadu is a startup developer of SSD technology. The Korea-based company claims its first product, the FREE EC800F, is the best-performing PCIe NVMe SSD with up to 5.0 GBps of sequential read and write performance, with a random read performance peak of over 1.1 million IOPs and sustained performance of 400,000 IOPs.


Chairman: Michael Gaffney

Leonovus develops software-defined object storage technology for enterprise on-premises, hybrid or public cloud users that addresses governance, risk management and compliance requirements. The software is designed to run on existing storage hardware. The Ottawa, Ontario-based company in March closed a round of funding that brought it $1.3 million for expanding production and sales capabilities.

NGD Systems

CEO: Nader Salessi

NGD Systems, formerly known as NxGn, said it is shipping the storage industry's highest-capacity SSD. The Irvine, Calif.-based storage startup said its Catalina SSD offers capacities of up to 24 TB using 3D TLC flash storage technology in a PCIe edge card form factor. The SSDs are targeted at content delivery networks, media servers and other capacity-focused applications.

Smart IOPS

CEO: Ashutosh Das

Smart IOPS said its PCIe NVMe SSDs, based on its TruRandom technology, are the world's fastest, with up to 1.7 million I/Os per second performance per SSD, or over 1 billion IOPs inside a rack. The Milpitas, Calif.-based company also plans to offer a data center-class all-flash appliance with up to 400 TB of capacity and 200 million IOPs.

Storj Labs

CTO: Shawn Wilkinson

Storj, pronounced "storage," is a developer of the Storj open-source decentralized cloud storage platform. The Storj utilizes spare storage capacity of its community members to store data that has been shredded and encrypted. The Atlanta-based company is unusual in that it uses its own cryptocurrency because other forms of currency are not granular enough to be used for micropayments needed to pay for shared capacity.


CEO: David Friend

Cloud storage startup Wasabi Technologies in May came out of stealth mode with a promise to store customers' data in its cloud six times faster than can be done with Amazon S3 while charging only $0.0039 per GB, per month. The Boston-based company, which has raised $8.5 million in funding, provides an open service that is 100 percent compatible with the Amazon S3 API.

XSKY Beijing Data Technology

CEO: Xin Xu

XSKY is a China-based developer of software-defined infrastructure with a focus on future-ready scale-out storage technology. The company is the third-largest contributor to the open-source Ceph object storage project solutions. The company targets both enterprise and cloud service providers.