Report: NetApp in negotiations to buy SolidFire for $1.2B

BOULDER — Often mentioned as a top candidate to become Colorado’s next publicly traded company, there is now talk that Boulder-based enterprise storage provider SolidFire Inc., might instead be gobbled up by Silicon Valley.

Tech trade publication CRN reported this week that Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) is in negotiations to buy SolidFire for $1.2 billion. CRN noted that Cisco and EMC have also been pursuing Solidfire, citing industry sources.

SolidFire officials couldn’t be reached Friday morning.

If true, such a deal would make major waves in Boulder, where rapidly growing SolidFire has leased 62,000 square feet at the high-profile Pearl West development being built at the west end of the Pearl Street Mall. The company announced over the summer its plans to move its headquarters to PearlWest, a location that could accommodate up to 400 employees.

SolidFire chief executive David Wright.
SolidFire chief executive David Wright. Courtesy SolidFire

The company is currently based at 1600 Pearl St., but also has employees spread among three other smaller offices in Boulder. Of the 400 or so employees the company has worldwide, about 250 were in Boulder as of August. Company officials said then that SolidFire aims to grow to more than 500 employees in Boulder eventually, and the company plans to maintain its four current offices in the city to accommodate long-term growth.

Founded in Atlanta in 2009 by Dave Wright, SolidFire moved to Boulder in early 2011, having just five employees at the time. SolidFire makes all-flash storage systems for data centers. The company, which doubled its employee base in 2014, has raised $150 million in venture capital, including an $82 million round last fall.

NetApp is a $6 billion-per-year company that provides data management and cloud storage solutions. The company already has a presence in Boulder, with an office at 5400 Airport Blvd.