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The 12 Trailblazing days of Christmas: Storage finalists

Blog post   •   Jan 02, 2015 16:00 UTC

Research from Statista sees the global storage market reaching $30.3bn in 2015, nearly a $7bn increase from 2012 figures. Storage continues to be a popular category for The Tech Trailblazers - we see a mix of storage entrants, and the judges have handpicked the crème de la crème for you to choose between…

- A3CUBE (@A3CubeInc) - – San Jose, CA, USA
- DataGravity (@DataGravityInc) – – Nashua, NH, USA
- Gridstore (@Gridstore) - – Mountain View, CA, USA
- PernixData (@PernixData) - – San Jose, CA, USA
- Silicon Safe (@SiliconSafe) - - Cambridge, UK
- SolidFire (@SolidFire) - – Boulder, Colorado, USA

Storage Trailblazers 101:

A3CUBE’s hardware/software solution aggregates all memory and storage resources from an entire cluster to look and act as if it were local. The result is a powerful, scalable, high-throughput system that supports all traditional network file systems and storage interfaces. Founded in 2012 in Italy, and now headquarted in California, this storage startup is privately funded.

Also among the Storage shortlist is DataGravity, who provide a data-aware storage solution that helps customers strategically unlock the value of their growing data resources. The Nashua startup most recently received $50 million in a series C investment round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners, with previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, CRV and General Catalyst Partners also backing. The series C round brings total investments in DataGravity to $92 million.

Another US-based startup hoping to be crowned Storage Trailblazers is Gridstore. US B series. Gridstore’s innovation is software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. This Californian startup reached VC $11m in series B funding, from Acero Capital, GGV Capital, Investec Ventures Ireland Ltd and ONSET Ventures.

Also a frontrunner in the Virtualization category, PernixData are among the Storage finalists this year, thanks to their FVP software which virtualizes server flash and RAM to create a low latency storage acceleration tier that maximizes VM performance and minimizes storage costs. Another strong contender from California, the startup reached VC Series C funding in August 2014, with backers including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and others.

Flying the flag for European startups in the Storage shortlist is SiliconSafe. Based in Cambridge, UK, Silicon Safe has invented a hardware security architecture that stops the theft of usernames and passwords during a cyber-attack on a business. Silicon Safe believes that stealing identities from bulk storage can be stopped - dead - by adopting a different hardware based approach. Primarily financed by its founders, the company has also received external support. Most recent external funding came from the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) in November, bringing the total of external funding to £100,000.

Last but by no means least is US startup SolidFire, whose all-flash array built for the Next Generation Data Center, delivers storage that is agile, scalable, fully automated, and guaranteed. After submitting to the Tech Trailblazers, the company secured $82M in Series D funding, bringing total funding to $150million. Backers include Greenspring Associates, NEA, Novak Biddle, Samsung Ventures and Valhalla Partners.

Key facts on this year’s Storage stars…

  • US startups dominate the Storage shortlist with 83%, with one UK startup. In 2013, this shortlist was entirely dominated by US startups, forming 100% of the shortlist.
  • Maturity: The most common age for Tech Trailblazers Storage finalists is 2 years old.

Who deserves the Storage Trailblazer title? Vote at by January 16th (23.59pm PT) to help determine this year’s trailblazer…