XtremIO co-founder dives back into flash storage pool with Elastifile

There’s been a ton of action around flash storage, but Israeli startup Elastifile is betting that there’s still a huge untapped market for solid-state storage, and it has $8 million in Series A funding to attack it.

The brain trust behind the company has credibility here — Elastifile Co-founder and CTO Shahar Frank was co-founder of XtremIO, the solid-state storage player purchased by EMC(s emc) in 2012 for $430 million. In addition, CEO Amir Aharoni did executive stints at Mobixell Networks and Optibase, and VP of R&D Roni Luxenburg was director of software engineering at Red Hat(s rhat).

The funding comes from Battery Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, which both invested in XtremIO, now seen as the poster-child for successful flash storage exits; Lightspeed also invested in Nimble Storage, which went public in December.

Elastifile Co-Founder Amir Aharoni

Elastifile Co-Founder Amir Aharoni

The tech scene is flooded with flash storage startups in various incarnations — IPO-bound¬†Pure Storage, Violin Memory, Fusion-IO and others. But Aharoni said there’s more than enough market to go around. “We’re at the start of flash — and there’s a lot of room for innovation.”

“Our vision is that the storage market is facing a transition from hardware-based primary storage coming from the big guys like NetApp(S ntap), EMC and Dell to a much more flexible, elastic software-based primary storage,” Aharoni said in an interview.

Current headcount is 10 and the company plans to spend some of its funding to hire 20 to 25 more people in R&D this year, and then to staff up sales and marketing in 2015. Toward that end, Elastifile plans to tap into the tech talent in its home town of Herzeliya, Israel. Battery General Partner Itzik Parnafes and Lightspeed Partner David Gussarsky are joining the board.