Tech 10: Startups Standing Out With New Ways To Look At Storage

These 10 storage startups are tackling mission-critical business data issues as they build their own momentum.

Gaining recognition as a startup in an industry as advanced as storage can be difficult. Finding the funding and people and developing the technology can be a race against time and a race against other vendors, some of which are new and some of which have a long history of technical innovation and the deep pockets to stay competitive.

Despite the barriers, the storage industry remains a true startup engine where someone with an idea for a new way to bring value to customers’ data--or find value in that data--has a chance to make a huge difference.

Here we highlight 10 startups, all of which have come to market with their first products in only the past couple of years. These companies look to grab attention by tackling customers’ mission-critical business data issues as they build the momentum to take them to new levels of success.

AFI SAAS Backup Service

Afi develops intelligent data protection technologies for SaaS environments with native support for Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The company enables full-fidelity data protection and security for G Suite and Office 365, leveraging AI to help ensure security, assist with data governance and provide visibility into data.

Cloud Daddy

Cloud Daddy Secure Backup provides data backup and disaster recovery, advanced security and information management for managing and organizing backups and scaling via a single pane of glass. Designed for Amazon Web Services environments, it provides cloud-native capabilities including AI alerting, anti-malware and anti-ransomware intelligent threat detection, and infrastructure management to help AWS customers of any size protect and manage data across public, private, government and hybrid clouds.

Fungible Storage Cluster

Fungible is the developer of the Fungible Storage Cluster, a scale-out all-flash, NVMeover-Fabrics disaggregated storage platform. The company, which in 2019 closed a $200 million funding round, in October unveiled its first line of data-centric platforms, the Fungible Storage Cluster based on its own Fungible Data Processing Unit. The Fungible Storage Cluster is a high-performance, secure, scale-out, disaggregated data storage platform, delivering an unprecedented 15 million IOPS in a 2RU form factor, scaling linearly to 300 million IOPS in a single 40RU rack, and extending further to many racks.

Grax SaaS Data Archive

The Grax SaaS Data Archive was designed to keep archived data completely accessible in production. The software schedules autoarchiving jobs to manage storage costs and application performance, removes data from an application without removing access, and makes archived data available for reports and analytics, all within Salesforce Einstein environments.


InCountry develops what it calls Data Residence as a Service to let businesses run best-of-breed SaaS applications with data residency in over 80 countries. Customers’ data can be stored in country of origin or citizenship with end-to-end compliance and audit support with data residency for profile regulation with encryption in both single-tenant and multitenant environments. Accenture is an investor.

Lightbits Labs LightOS

Lightbits Labs develops software-defined storage technology for target-side NVMe/TCP clustered storage offerings. The company’s LightOS technology provides for high-performance disaggregation of storage from the compute, with advanced flash management technology to extend SSD lifetime along with persistent storage for container load-balancing. The technology is available as software-only, software plus hardware acceleration or a preconfigured appliance.

MemVerge Memory Machine

MemVerge Memory Machine is enterpriseclass software that virtualizes DRAM and persistent memory so that data can be accessed, tiered, scaled and protected in-memory. It is a Linux-based software subscription deployed on a single server or in a cluster. Unlike cache memory, Memory Machine makes 100 percent of the DRAM and persistent memory available for high-performance applications. It also includes memory snapshot and replication for fast recovery in case of a system crash.

Molecula Enterprise Feature Store

The Molecula Enterprise Feature Store provides acceleration and control to extract features, not data, from data sources, and stores them into one centralized feature store that has been optimized for machine-scale analytics and AI. It works with data from a variety of sources including Kafka, MySQL, Snowflake, Cassandra, Teradata, Apache Spark, Parquet, Amazon S3 and Google Big Query.

Nebulon Cloud-Defined Storage

The Nebulon Cloud-Defined Storage is on-premises, server-based storage for mission-critical applications managed by the Nebulon cloud. Cloud-Defined Storage combines a cloud-based control plane with PCIe cards in customers’ servers to provide enterprise-class data services for critical applications to address modern workloads like containers and NoSQL databases as well as traditional workloads like VMware and clustered SQL databases.


StorageOS develops cloud-native storage technology to provide persistent container storage for customers’ stateful applications in production. The software, StorageOS V2.2, delivers rapid failover, replication, in-memory cache, data reduction with access controls, and a rules engine. When deployed anywhere in a single container, StorageOS dynamically provisions highly available persistent volumes. ■