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Storage unicorn nonet graces list of $1bn+ tech startups

Unicorn handlers cross fingers, hope Pure Storage IPO will open floodgates

By Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2015

It’s got to be a bubble, don’t you think? How is it sustainable that we have 145 startups, each valued at over a billion dollars? Nine of them are storage startups, by the way.

TechCrunch has compiled a table of 145 startup unicorns – companies valued at more than a billion dollars. Uber tops the list at $51bn, with total funding of $6.6bn. It’s followed by Xiaomi at $45bn and Airbnb at $25.5bn.

The storage unicorns in the list are:

  • Dropbox at $10.35bn and $600m funding – File sync ’n' share
  • Cloudera at $4.1bn and $1.94bn funding – Big Data, Hadoop and analytics
  • Pure Storage at $3.23bn and $470m funding – All-flash arrays
  • Nutanix at $2.14bn and $312m funding – Hyper-converged infrastructure appliances
  • MongoDB at $1.35bn and $311m funding – Scale-out, distributed databases
  • Infinidat at $1.2bn and $230m funding – Relatively old-style but re-invented high-end enterprise arrays
  • Actifio at $1.1bn and $208m funding – Copy data management
  • Simplivity at $1.03bn and $277m funding – Hyper-converged infrastructure appliances
  • Tintri – VM-centric hybrid array, although no figures were given.

Box, which has now IPO’d, was the only previous storage unicorn in TechCrunch’s list, with a $2.4bn valuation in July 2014 and a market capitalisation of $1.56bn

TechCrunch also has an emerging unicorns list; 37 private companies with a valuation between $500m and not quite $1bn. The single storage representative is Delphix at $981m with $120m funding. We’re surprised Tintri hybrid array competitor Tegile isn’t on the list.

Are we in a storage startup valuation bubble? The first test of storage unicornality is going to be the Pure Storage IPO. If that works, showing that bubble ideas are wrong, then we can expect Tintri, Tegile and others to follow closely behind. ®

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