#168 – Storage Unicorns

#168 – Storage Unicorns

Chris EvansGarbage Collection, Storage Unpacked Podcast

This week Chris and Martin review the idea of storage unicorns, companies that have a valuation of one billion dollars or more. What exactly is the basis or justification for a billion dollar price tag? Is this something invented by the VC industry or is there a real degree of science behind the assumptions? The list in question comes from a Blocks & Files article written by Chris Mellor, which in turn references the list produced by an analyst firm.

While valuation based on some multiple of money invested does give some indication of value, there are other more tangible metrics available. Unfortunately the industry isn’t keen on sharing revenue and customer numbers other than when legally required to so.

Who is missing off the list? We see no mention of Weka, Scality, Cloudian, Wasabi or Backblaze. It seems unlikely these companies don’t have equivalent valuations, so perhaps the building of lists is more arbitrary.

You can find the article written by Chris Mellor here – https://blocksandfiles.com/2020/07/15/coldago-storage-unicorns/ – so make your own mind up!

Elapsed Time: 00:34:41


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:01:00 – Chris Mellor’s article on Coldago Storage Unicorns
  • 00:02:40 – Unicorns have valuations greater than $1 billion
  • 00:04:00 – Datrium acquired by VMware, perhaps $600 million?
  • 00:06:00 – $1 billion is a lot of money!
  • 00:07:20 – Valuations can have no relation to the revenue of a company
  • 00:09:40 – How many storage companies have successfully IPOd in the last 5 years?
  • 00:11:30 – Where are Weka, Scality, Cloudian?
  • 00:12:40 – DDN is now a portfolio company (Tintri, Intelliflash, Nexenta acquisitions)
  • 00:16:30 – Are we over-cynical, or is it just opinion?
  • 00:19:00 – Companies need to have relevance to the public cloud
  • 00:20:05 – Party time!  Rubrik & Veeam compete – what will VMworld do this year?
  • 00:22:45 – Veritas – the oldest unicorn in the world?
  • 00:25:00 – Do the unicorns need to expand their product portfolios?
  • 00:27:15 – Will we continue to see storage unicorns?
  • 00:30:10 – Are we too Western focused? 
  • 00:31:00 – Who else is missing – Wasabi?  Backblaze?
  • 00:33:00 – Look out for the Storage Unpacked Storage Unicorn List!
  • 00:33:40 – Wrap Up

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