Backup upstart Actifio flicks the safety off in storage standoff

Another $50m bullet in the chamber. Who's going to buy it before it fires?


Funding for data-battling upstart Actifio is mushrooming: it's just scooped another $50m from investors eager to take part in what looks likely to be a lucrative stock-market debut in a year or two.

The company's technology, embodied in its PAS (Production and Availability System) appliance, takes a snapshot of your production systems' data and then presents that single copy to non-production gear, effectively reducing the amount of information duplicated across parallel systems.

Machines used for backup, test and development, business continuity, disaster recovery (DR), archiving, analytics and more access virtual copies of the production snapshot, rather than each holding individual physical copies. Changes to the live production data are absorbed into the PAS-maintained copy.

The D-round of investment was led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, ATV, Greylock Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Here is a snapshot of Actifio's funding history:

  • Founded in 2008
  • Mid-2009: $4m of desired A-round of $8m
  • First half of 2010: remaining $4m
  • Second half of 2010: $16m B-round
  • December 2011: $33.5m C-round
  • March 2013: $50m D-round

Total funding is now $107.5m and Actifio is valued on a funding basis at $500m. It claims it is "the fastest growing enterprise storage company from inception ever".

Investors are excited by Actifio's boast of 700 per cent revenue growth from 2011 to 2012, and the lack of any effective competition whatsoever; the startup has managed to pour its tech into a copy data storage market apparently valued at $44bn. Actifio's technology threatens to slash and burn the existing backup, archive, DR and business continuity vendors' business.

Actifio says it "creates a single, perfect copy of production data and maintains changes to that master copy in a way that gives users a simple application running in a single window to recover anything, from any time, instantly".

Laura Dubois, IDC Storage Research's veep, said: “We estimate the magnitude of the copy data problem to be $44bn in infrastructure hardware and software spending and growing. That is a staggering number and an area primed for disruptive innovation.”

Actifio will use the cash to disrupt like crazy before an initial public offering, which must be on the cards; this rate of growth and the funding pattern suggests it strongly.

So far the company hasn't put a foot wrong. If it drastically reduces the amount of data capacity needed by its customers, then storage array sales will fall. An array supplier may just wake up at the wheel and buy Actifio to ship its PAS kit with a storage vault. Whatever the price demanded for the upstart, it will be a lot cheaper than all the business one could lose in the future. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Chip shortage forces temporary Raspberry Pi 4 price rise for the first time

    Ten-buck increase for 2GB model 'not here to stay' says Upton

    The price of a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer is going up $10, and its supply is expected to be capped at seven million devices this year due to the ongoing global chip shortage.

    Demand for components is outstripping manufacturing capacity at the moment; pre-pandemic, assembly lines were being red-lined as cloud giants and others snapped up parts fresh out of the fabs, and the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak really threw a spanner in the works, so to speak, exacerbating the situation.

    Everything from cars to smartphones have felt the effects of supply constraints, and Raspberry Pis, too, it appears. Stock is especially tight for the Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 models, we're told. As the semiconductor crunch shows no signs of letting up, the Raspberry Pi project is going to bump up the price for one particular model.

    Continue reading
  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021