Leading the way with innovation, global cloud-led, data-centric software company NetApp has accelerated the digital journey of many new-age organisations for almost three decades. In tune with their efforts in the tech space, NetApp has been putting the spotlight on some of the nation’s brightest deeptech startups with their flagship accelerator program NetApp Excellerator.

This year, NetApp Excellerator presents Cohort 11 under which Zluri, AppSentinels, RapL, PrivaSapiens, Firefly, and Squadcast have been selected as part of the program. PrivaSapiens will be mentored under NetApp ExcellerateHER, NetApp’s dedicated accelerator program that supports women entrepreneurs disrupting the technology space.

Meet the Cohort


Launched in 2021 by Eran Bibi, Sefi Genis and Ido Neeman, Firefly is an Israel-based company that is on a mission to enable DevOps and Platform teams to solve cloud complexity in order to boost business velocity, increase cloud ROI, and improve governance. The wide adoption of Infrastructure-as-Code as the standard to manage cloud resources also pushes cloud teams to adopt Firefly. The team recently launched AIaC.dev that leverages the power of ChatGPT for DevOps’ everyday use-cases.


Founded in 2019 by Abilash Soundarajan and Deepika Abilash, PrivaSapien Technologies empowers businesses to visualise and mitigate privacy risk in data, so that they can unlock data without violating privacy regulations globally. The company offers the world’s first privacy red teaming and blue teaming platform for global compliance and unlocking data. “Integrating NetApp’s deep expertise in data management and hybrid cloud data services with PrivaSapien’s pioneering privacy engineering solutions can empower customers in creating privacy complaint data ecosystems, which can be a strategic differentiator in gaining end user’s trust,” Deepika said.


Founded in 2018 by Amiya Adwitiya, Squadcast has the vision to be the easiest reliability and incident response platform by allowing global IT teams of all sizes upgrade their incident management with next-generation Reliability Orchestration Engine based on SRE best practices. It is the only integrated platform that unites on-call alerting and incident management along with SRE workflows in one offering, in turn automating human tasks efficiently.


Zluri is a SaaS Management platform (SMP) that enables IT teams to gain visibility and control of their SaaS application ecosystem and ensure the right employees are securely accessing authorised SaaS applications. The company leverages patented AI and recommendation engine, No code Workflow Automation and granular data pipelines and usage tracking.


Founded in 2020 by Puneet Tutliani, Deepak Kushwaha and Mohit Joshi, AppSentinels aims to protect customers’ APIs and help customers focus on their business. It has the world’s most comprehensive API security platform with continuous API and Sensitive data discovery, automated Intelligent Stateful API DAST, multi-layer protection for known and unknown API attacks, and pin-pointed remediation for developers and security teams.


Founded in 2021 by Arun Muthukumar and Murali Krishnan, RAPL is a B2B SaaS solution that empowers every employee in a personalised, data/AI driven, measurable manner. The company provides companies with visibility and insights on gaps, progress, and how they impact business outcomes. “This approach is far advanced and unique compared to traditional employee learning and engagement solutions, which merely track ‘completion’ with no correlation to outcomes,” revealed Arun.

Over the course of the cohort, NetApp will share their expertise and experience in data management to empower participants and help them build a strong data strategy.

Five of the startups from Cohort 11 are headquartered in the US and Israel, besides being operational in India. The startups are looking forward to scale up with guidance from NetApp. Firefly wants to learn how to build Go-to-Market strategies that enable sales at high scale, alongside working with industry veterans and NetApp leaders. PrivaSapien is keen to be mentored by global tech leaders as part of NetApp ExcellerateHER program. “If I had to pick one key highlight of the NetApp Excellerator program, it would be the program’s emphasis on providing startups with customized mentoring and coaching,” said Squadcast’s founder Amiya Adwitiya. Zluri wishes to gain access to prospects and partners, alongside mentorship to help them meet enterprise standards. For AppSentinels, the involvement of the leadership team has been a huge differentiator. “I am amazed to see the personal time and energy various leaders of NetApp are giving to the program,” said Puneet Tutliani, CEO and Co-founder, AppSentinels. Arun Muthukumar of RAPL noted that since their solution is a B2B Enterprise SaaS solution on cloud, NetApp solutions will go on to play a big role in those areas as they scale.

Guiding the Indian startup ecosystem

Over the years, NetApp has mentored 25 global startups through NetApp Excellerator and 11 women-led deeptech startups through NetApp ExcellerateHER. Their success can be measured through their alumni who have gone on to raise over $300 million collectively, including five startups which raised close to $160 million in 2022 alone. There have also been successful exits by six alumni startups.

NetApp Excellerator was declared to be one of the top five accelerator programmes in India for corporate innovation by NexTT Awards. The award-winning program now includes a proof of concept (PoC) model that provides startups a platform to demonstrate the efficacy of their solutions in the real-world. They work in tandem with NetApp to refine their minimum viable products (MVPs), identify possibilities and additional use cases, which is then used to chalk out their go-to-market strategies. Participating startups can also enjoy access to NetApp products like SPOT that bring in cost-effectiveness in their hybrid cloud environment.