Bought by NetApp for $870M, Here’s Where SolidFire Came From

One of the year’s biggest tech acquisitions has a pretty interesting—and short—history. Boulder, CO-based SolidFire, a maker of data-storage systems, was acquired this week by Silicon Valley giant NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) for $870 million in cash.

SolidFire was formed in 2009 and only began selling its flash-storage drives in 2012, according to a report in Xconomy by Michael Davidson. The company is led by CEO and founder Dave Wright, who previously ran Jungle Disk, a startup that was acquired by Rackspace in 2008.

SolidFire raised a total of about $150 million in venture funding from Greenspring Associates, Silicon Valley Bank, Samsung Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and other investors. Its most recent round was an $82 million Series D round in October 2014. At the time, Wright said the money helped give SolidFire “control of our own destiny” in the crowded field of flash storage. (More context here on the consolidation in storage involving players such as EMC, Samsung, and Pure Storage.)

That destiny lies with NetApp now. An ongoing issue in Colorado (and other tech hubs around the country) is having potential anchor companies get acquired by outsiders—see also Datalogix (Oracle), Gnip (Twitter), and Rally Software (CA Technologies). In fact, Xconomy’s Davidson called out SolidFire as a potential acquisition target in one of his storylines to watch in 2015.

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