SolidFire flickering out: Dave Wright exits NetApp for fintech

SolidFire founder Dave Wright has left NetApp to run fintech outfit The Reserve Trust Company.

Dave Wright.

SolidfIre was an early all-flash array company, started up in 2010. Its Elements OS stopped any one application hogging the array, in what was called the noisy neighbour problem.

NetApp acquired SolidFire in 2016 for $870 million as it canned its in-house FlashRay all-flash array development. Wright, SolidFire’s CEO, became VP and GM for the SolidFire operation inside NetApp and then, in October 2017, the VP of Technology Strategy. His public profile subsequently withered somewhat.

Now Wright, tweeting as JungleDave, has said he is CEO for The Reserve Trust Company (TRTC), a fintech business located in Denver, with a Federal Reserve master account. 

TRTC provides payment services to financial institutions and other fintechs. Wright’s tweet indicates Dave Cahill is the COO of TRTC. Cahill was VP Corporate Development at SolidFire, and then Senior Director, Product and Strategy in NetApp’s SolidFire business unit, leaving to join Bonsai (which was acquired by Microsoft in August 2018) with Cahill being the Senior Director for the Bonsai Go-to-Market team.

It’s probably harsh but fair to say that SolidFire’s all-flash hardware and Elements OS software technology has not been a great success at NetApp, having been eclipsed by the ONTAP mothership and its AFF array hardware/software combination. The SolidFire array continues as a private cloud, scale-out hardware platform. How long it will continue may be a question that comes to mind for some storage industry watchers now.

TRTC is backed by investors including QED, Temerity Capital Partners, Wasabi Ventures, Financial Venture Studio & Fenway Summer. It is said to have between $10 million and $25 million in pre-A funding and is about as far away from storage array hardware and software engineering as you can imagine.

At TRTC, Wright takes over from ex-lawyer, co-founder and CEO Justin Guilder, who now calls himself the Chief Happiness Officer for the Guilder family on LinkedIn — sounds like he’s having fun.