The 10 Hottest Data Storage Startups Of 2019 (So Far)

CRN looks at 10 startup storage vendors that made recent headlines as they came out of stealth or unveiled their first storage products.

Looking For Winners: Investment In Storage Continues Unabated

See the latest entry: The 10 Hottest Data Storage Startups Of 2022

No one ever said being a storage startup is easy. The industry is one in flux, where it sometimes feels that two new vendors pop up for every vendor that closes or gets acquired. No matter how many storage vendors get acquired or get lost in the dust, and no matter how few actually make it to the IPO stage, there is one constant: More storage-focused companies will get investment dollars and try for glory.

Investors are finding no lack of storage startups in which to place their hopes, whether those companies are developing general purpose storage, storage for specific applications, or storage for the clouds.

Here's a look at 10 independent startup storage developers that only recently either came out of stealth or introduced their first products.


CEO: Tod Earhart

Burlywood develops flash storage technology aimed at cloud data centers. The Longmont, Colo.-based startup, which last September unveiled a $10.6-million series A round of funding, is the developer of Burlywood TrueFlash, a modular flash storage architecture targeting lower cost and higher performance for cloud storage, storage arrays, and hyper-converged offerings. The technology allows storage builders to use multi-sourcing of 3D TLC and QLC flash for a single SSD controller. The performance can be tuned to specific customer environments and workloads, with scalability up to 100 TBs using a single controller.

Cloud Daddy

CEO: Spencer Kupferman

Cloud Daddy is the Princeton, N.J.-based developer of a secure backup and disaster recovery platform for AWS. The company's Cloud Daddy Secure Backup features cloud-native capabilities including AI alerting, anti-malware/ransomware intelligent threat detection, and intuitive infrastructure management. Cloud Daddy works with AWS customers of any size and location to protect and manage data across public, private, government and hybrid cloud environments.


CEO: Aaron Ganek

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Cloudtenna takes aim at the problem of trying to search through the huge file stores companies accumulate with its Cloudtenna DirectSearch technology. Cloudtenna DirectSearch searches across a users cloud storage and on-premises storage, as well as communications and SaaS applications simultaneously to find files regardless of where they are stored. The search results are tailored to the specific user who is only able to see files he or she has access to. The company raised seed funding of $4 million in May of 2018.

Folio Photonics

CEO: Steven Santamaria

Folio Photonics is a Solon, Ohio-based developer of new optical data storage technologies. The company, which in May of 2019 closed an $8-million seed funding round, is developing a terabyte-scale, multilayer archival technology, Folio DataFilm discs, aimed at delivering a combination of low up-front cost, low total cost of ownership, and long-term archival lifetime. The technology was developed in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University’s National Science Foundation Center for Layered Polymeric Systems in Cleveland. The DataFilm is a multi-layer film that can be written to with existing Blu-Ray laser technology. The initial offering will have about 1 terabyte of capacity per side, with 10 terabytes per disk planned.

Formulus Black

CEO: Mark Iwanowski

Formulus Black, a storage startup built upon what used to be known as Symbolic IO, in March 2019 re-entered the storage stage to introduce new technology, Forsa, that enables any application to run 100 percent in server memory without any modifications. The Jersey City, N.J.-based vendor's Forsa runs on commodity server hardware configured with Intel Skylake, Broadwell, CascadeLake, or Haswell processors. It uses what Formulus Black calls memory amplification, which translates standard server DRAM memory, the fastest kind of memory, into Formulus Black bit markers, which are managed in place of the memory itself. And because DRAM is non-persistent memory, Forsa requires SSD-based external storage to protect data in case the server goes off-line.


CEO: Evan Powell

MayaData, San Jose, Calif., is the developer of the MayaData Data Agility Platform, or MDAP, which brings together OpenEBS, an open source container-attached storage technology, with its own applications and proactive support. OpenEBS runs on Kubernetes to deliver storage services to Kubernetes workloads. MDAP is available in both cloud-based (MDAP SaaS) and on-premises (MDAP On-Prem) versions to help clients deploy and operate stateful workloads using Kubernetes.

Pavilion Data Systems

CEO: Gurpreet Singh

Pavilion Data Systems is among the first to develop NVMe over Fabric, or NVMe-oF, technology purpose-built to utilize current and future memory-class media. The San Jose, Calif.-based company in May unveiled version 2.2 of its Pavilion Data platform, which features increased write performance to as high as 90 GBs-per-second, with write latency as low as 40 microseconds using RAID-6 protection. It also offers fast SWARM recovery for RAID rebuilds and consistency groups for snapshots. With SWARM, a single SSD can be rebuilt at a rate of under 5 minutes per terabyte, the company said. The platform includes a suite of data management capabilities including thin provisioning, snapshots, and data at rest encryption.

Racktop Systems

CEO: Eric Bednash

Racktop Systems, Fulton, Md., was formed to combine data storage with advanced security and compliance in a single platform. The company's BrickStor NAS platform includes embedded security, compliance and encryption to protect data where it is located. The company closed a Series A funding round in March to the tune of $15 million, funding it said will help accelerate development of its sales channel and product development.


CEO and co-founder: Gal Naor

StorOne is a New York-based developer of software-defined storage technology that can be used for an all-flash or hybrid array, virtual storage, secondary storage, or cloud storage, and that supports all protocols including block, file and object storage – all powered by the same software. The company says its StorOne S1 software works with any hardware and is future-proof. StorOne in June claimed its software reached a half-million IOPs when configured with 24 Seagate SSDs with all enterprise-class features turned on in a two-node VMware cluster.

Vast Data

CEO and founder: Renen Hallak

New York-based storage technology developer Vast Data early this year announced a $40 million funding round and introduced its Universal Storage system, aimed at combining high performance and low-cost technologies to develop exabyte-scale storage with the cost of traditional storage systems. Vast Data is doing this with a combination of three technologies: high-performance NVMe-over-Fabric that allows CPUs to directly access the internal SSDs, the use of consumer-grade QLC (quad-level cell) flash technology, and the use of 3D Xpoint non-volatile memory technology. The company’s system is targeted at high-performance workloads in such areas as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and deep learning.