There are 21 storage industry startups worth a billion dollars or more – unicorns – according to a CB Insights newsletter.
Update. Note on Coldago’s December 2022 storage unicorn list added at end of story. January 18, 2023.
The newsletter lists 1,250 startup and private company tech unicorns as at Dec 31, 2022. We downloaded the list and found the storage players.
According to the newsletter, they are, in order of valuation: Databricks ($38 billion), Rubrik ($4 billion), Cohesity ($3.7 billion), VAST Data ($3.7 billion), Acronis ($3.5 billion), OwnBackup ($3.35 billion), Astera Labs ($3.2 billion), Dremio ($2.0 billion), Druva ($2.0 billion), Kaseya ($2.0 billion), Redis Labs ($2 billion), Alation ($1.7 billion), DataStax ($1.6 billion), Infinidat ($1.6 billion), Firebolt ($1.4 billion), Qumulo ($1.2 billion), Imply Data ($1.1 billion), OVH ($1.1 billion), Wasabi ($1.1 billion), MinIO ($1.0 billion), and SingleStore ($1.0 billion).
The most highly valued unicorn on CB Insights’ list, at $140 billion, is ByteDance – the Chinese content sharing company which owns TikTok and other properties. Databricks is the eighth most highly-valued unicorn in this list at $38 billion, and there is then a long gap down to the next storage biz, Rubrik, at the $4 billion level.
We can divide our storage unicorns into categories:
- Block storage – Infinidat
- File storage – Qumulo, VAST Data
- Object storage – MinIO
- Data protection – Acronis, Cohesity, Druva, OwnBackup, Rubrik
- Cloud storage, etc. – Kaseya, OVH, Wasabi
- High-speed interconnect – Astera Labs
- Data warehousing and analytics – Alation, Databricks, DataStax, Dremio, Firebolt, Imply, Redis Labs, SingleStore
The most popular category is overwhelmingly data warehousing and analytics, followed by data protection, and then cloud storage and services. There are only four storage hardware-related suppliers: Astera Labs (CXL), Infinidat, Qumulo and VAST Data, with Qumulo and VAST Data both on the software-defined spectrum. The rest are all 100 percent software companies.
We compared this list to a July 2020 Coldago list of 15 storage unicorns. DDN, Nasuni, Veeam and Veritas are in the Coldago list but don’t make the CB Insights list.
Neither do Actifio, Barracuda Networks nor Datrium, but they have all been acquired. That means there are 13 new storage unicorns on the CB Insights list compared to the Coldago list, with most of them springing up in the data warehousing and analytics market.
Coldago published an updated storage unicorn list in December 2022. It lists 17 private companies with a $1B valuation minimum without any changes since June 2022 and included ones owned by private equity. In alphabetic order they are:
- Barracuda Networks,
- VAST Data,
- Veeam Software,
- Veritas Technologies
- Wasabi Technologies.