Storage startup Datrium tipped for unicorn stardom

CB Insights, a financial research firm, has teamed up with the New York Times to publish a list of 50 startups on their way to unicorn status. We note the inclusion of Datrium, a privately held enterprise storage vendor, as a contender to hit the $1bn or greater valuation that makes a money unicorn.

There are several existing unicorn status storage startups, including Actifio, Cohesity and Rubrik. What are Datrium’s chances of joining this select bunch?

HCI consolidation

Datrium makes a semi-hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system in which the compute nodes each run a storage agent/controller and access a shared storage array. This is an alternative to creating a virtual SAN using the local storage on each node.

Datrium is one of several HCI-class startups, but life is increasingly tough in a market consolidating around Nutanix, a startup that made it to IPO, and Dell EMC’s in-house VxRAIL system.

Two prominent startups were acquired: Cisco bought Springpath and HPE bought SimpliVity. NetApp has developed its own in-house system using SolidFire all-flash storage technology as a component. DataCore also has its own system.

Startups Pivot3 and Scale Computing are, like Datrium, growing their businesses, while Maxta has crashed. HiveIO bought the assets of Atlantis, another HCI failure.

Datrium was started in 2012 and has taken in $165m in funding through four funding rounds, Valuation at the last funding round – $60m in 2018 – was not revealed. at the time.