The 10 Hottest Data Storage Startups Of 2021 (So Far)

CRN’s list of 10 data storage startups that made recent headlines as they came out of stealth or unveiled their first cloud storage, disaster recovery, and other innovations includes companies that story and protect data, manage it, or make it useful

New Ways To Store, Share, And Manage Data

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

Data storage startups continue to redefine data storage even as the storage industry continues to redefine itself. Gone are the days when the list of the 10 hottest data storage startups was made up almost exclusively by hardware vendors. Instead, it is in software that the true innovations are found, particularly among startups. Indeed, behind every good storage hardware product is the key software--and the startups developing it--that make the hardware work.

This fits very closely with some of the key emerging data storage trends CRN is watching. Businesses are less and less concerned about whether data is stored and/or managed on-premises or in the cloud, or what the underlying hardware is, or even what particular brand names are on a box. Instead, they are increasingly looking for outcomes, for what impacts their business and advances their mission, and not the details of the infrastructure.

The data storage startups identified here are looking to advance those missions. Turn the page to learn more about them. And do so quickly. Some will be acquired, and some may disappear. And some may impact your own business in a significant way some day.

For more of the biggest startups, products and news stories of 2021 so far, click here.


Diamond Lauffin, CEO and founder

22dot6 in May exited stealth with a software-defined storage technology it promises will work with any data on any hardware or cloud. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company, founded by long-term storage and channel innovator Diamond Lauffin, who previously co-founded Nexsan, developed what it calls its Valence technology which abstracts storage resources regardless of what storage hardware or which clouds the data resides on to bridge between virtualization, hardware abstraction, data services, and storage accessibility, and scales to over 2 trillion objects in a single name space. The software-defined Valence is available as software to install on customers’ own hardware, or as a complete hardware appliance. 22dot6 is focused 100 percent on indirect sales channels.


Paul Lewis, CEO

Calamu in April exited stealth with a seed round of funding worth $2.4 million and plans to bring technology to let data automatically self-heal in the event of a data breach or ransomware attack. The company’s Calamu Protect scalable automated date protection platform works by encrypting data, dividing it into fragments that themselves are useless, and then scattering those fragments to multiple storage locations. The Clinton, N.J.-based company claims that if one storage location is compromised, the data can be instantly restored to full resilience using redundant fragments.


Joshua Noble, CEO and co-founder

Boston-based Filebase develops a modern AWS S3-compatible object storage platform. The platform’s API allows it to work with any tools that use AWS S3, but requires no charges for ingress or API requests, although extra outbound data transfers are charged on a per-gigabyte basis. It allows objects to be redundantly stored across thousands of availability zones worldwide, and includes a proprietary edge caching technology to increase data throughput and cut data ingress and egress response times.


Eldad Farkash, CEO and co-founder

Firebolt develops data warehouse-as-a-service to give business users quick access to data. The Wilmington, Del.-based company has created what it calls the world’s most powerful cloud data warehouse and is making it available as a service for big data analytics experts. Firebolt decouples storage and compute to improve granular elasticity and seamless scaling up or down of compute nodes in a shared-nothing architecture, all while taking advantage of shared S3 storage. The technology provides high performance at any scale.


Tomitaka Kamiie, CEO

Fleekdrive was founded in 2019 by parent company Solxyz, a Tokyo, Japan-based software developer. Fleekdrive develops a cloud-based storage service that provides a secure environment for internal file management and file sharing for multi-user collaboration. Fleekdrive users can collaborate and edit files while chatting in real time. The technology also can be used to automate workflows including quotations and proposals, converting files to PDF formats, and migrate files. Files can also be connected to company operations including sales management, field service, personnel administration, marketing, and report creation.

Graid Technology

Leander Yu, CEO

Graid Technology develops what the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company terms the world’s first NVMeoF (NVMe over Fabric) RAID card that delivers 100 percent of available SSD performance. Unlike traditional RAID cards, which require disks to be connected directly to the card, the Graid SupremeRAID card protects direct-attached SSDs as well as SSDs connected via NVMeoF while allowing users to receive 100 percent of available SSD performance. One SupremeRAID card can deliver 6 million IOPS and 25 gigabytes per second of throughput, the company said.


DeVaris Brown, CEO and co-founder

Meroxa is a San Francisco-based developer of a real-time data orchestration platform that provides tool to quickly build real-time infrastructures. Data teams can use Meroxa to do such tasks as real-time data warehouse synchronization for data analytics and visualizations, archiving of raw records into data lakes, processing data in real-time so it quickly reaches its destination in the required format, and develop custom data services.


Gil Peleg, CEO

Model9 develops software that unlocks mainframe-formatted data to make it usable in private and public cloud in place of virtual tape hardware software. The New York-based company is an AWS advanced technology partner and an IBM business partner, and partners with any vendor of public or private clouds to provide a wide range of connectivity options for object storage and data management. It works with both real-time and historical business data to help businesses take advantage of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business intelligence capabilities.


Chris Monte, CEO and founder

Los Angeles-based Shayre provides cloudless file sharing, but is also available for use over the cloud as well. With the Shayre technology, a user “shakes hands” with a destination and then drops files into a Shayre folder, automatically sending them to where needed using military-grade end-to-end encryption. A multi-threaded TCP/IP protocol is used to minimize network performance regardless of how many files are sent, how big they are, or to how many places they are sent. Shayre is fully HIPAA compliant.


Rune Bromer, CEO and co-founder

Wult is a Copenhagen, Denmark-based startup which developed an end-to-end data governance platform. The platform includes a web data extractor that offers smart web scraping to find consistent data with built-in governance, as well as an API extractor t organize multiple data streams. It can combine data ingested from local databases and from multiple custom file types, and converts data to a standard format regardless of original format. The platform gives users full control over data permissions, privacy, and quality.