Acronis and Qumulo join the storage unicorn herd

Research outfit Coldago has updated its Storage Unicorn list, adding data protector Acronis and scale-out filer Qumulo for the first time.

A storage unicorn is a startup or privately-owned business valued at $1bn or more by VC investors or Coldago. (The unicorn concept was coined by Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist, in a 2013 Techcrunch article.)

Coldago published the Storage Unicorn report in June 2019 naming ten startups listed. The new list, expanded to 12 companies, includes:

  • Acronis, founded in 2003 with $158m funding
  • Actifio, founded in 2009 and with $311.5m funding
  • Barracuda Networks, founded in 2003 and bought by Thoma Bravo for $1.6bn in 2017
  • Cohesity, founded in 2013 and $410m funding
  • DataDirect Networks, founded in 1998 and privately-owned
  • Druva, started in 2008 and funded to the tune of $328m,
  • Infinidat, founded in 2010 and $325m funding
  • Kaseya, started in 2000 with and $544.8m funding
  • Qumulo, founded in 2012 and more than $223m funding
  • Rubrik, founded in 2014 and more than $552m funding
  • Veeam Software, started in 2006 and more than $500m funding
  • Veritas Technologies, started in 1983 and bought by The Carlyle Group for $8bn in 2016.

We can segment this list by product characteristics, into block storage, file storage, data security, protection and management, and group the startups into these categories.

Only two hardware-based companies are in the list and there is a strong concentration in data protection and management. The colour bar on the chart spreads across the relevant categories where suppliers have products in more than one category. The colour is darkest in their main product category. Thus Infinidat is strongest in block storage and less strong in file storage. The reverse is true for DDN.

Coldago does not include the data warehouse and analytics side of storage, hence the non-appearance of Snowflake and Databricks in the list.

Coldago expects an Actifio IPO in coming quarters. Blocks & Files suggests Komprise, Portworx, WekaIO and VAST Data are candidates for unicorn status in 2020/2021.