Backup security is hot! Insititutional investors splash more cash on Acronis

Combined data protector and security business Acronis has raised $250 million to pursue aggressive expansion plans, a little more than a year since a funding round saw it ingest the same amount.

Acronis was co-founded by Serguei Beloussov in Singapore in 2003, he is the former CEO and currently chairman. We’e told his official name is now Dr. Serg Bell. The business, now headquartered in Switzerland, has 750,000 business customers around the world and more than 20,000 service providers using its software to backup and protect their data.

Dr. Serg Bell aka Serguei Beloussov

The funding history is unusual: it took in $11 million in an A-round in 2004 and, after that, operated on its own cashflow until 2019. Then the business growth strategy changed and it raised $147 million through a B-round from Goldman Sachs and other institutional investors, giving it a valuation of more than $1 billion. The money was used for acquisitions, engineering hires, data centre expansion and to increase public sector revenues in North America.

In May 2021 it raised more cash in a C-round, the first $250 million raise, taking its valuation to $2.5 billion. The funding came from CVC Capital Partners – a private equity and investment advisory firm – and others.

The money was spent on expanding the partner network, particularly managed service providers (MSPs), increasing headcount in Switzerland and the US, expanding global sales, partner account management and partner success teams, and hiring for its R&D centers in Bulgaria, Israel, and Singapore.

There was a second D-round in 2021 for an unknown amount

Now it has turned to institutional investors again, with the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock reported to be amongst them.

“Acronis can confirm that it has closed $250 million in series E funding subscribed by institutional investors,” it told us. “After this additional funding round, the company is valued at over $3.5 billion. This investment will help the company extend its product leadership, execute targeted M&A, further build the sales and marketing teams and deliver resources to ensure Acronis’s partners’ continued success.”

We suspect Acronis is growing at a rapid pace, with investors rewarding growth by pumping more money to help it expand further and maybe follow the Veeam growth playbook. Private equity house Insight Partners bought Veeam from its founders for circa $5 billion at the start of 2020.

Driven by ransomware-led data loss concerns, the data protection and security market is boiling hot. Five startups are funded well past the $400 million point:

  • Acronis: $658 million
  • Cohesity: $660 million
  • Druva: $475 million
  • OwnBackup: $507.3 million
  • Rubrik: $552 million

There are three others with $100 million-plus funding, including Clumio ($186 million), HYCU ($140.5 million) and N-able ($225 million).

We expect some of these companies to have IPOs and Cohesity has already filed for one. Investors will be hoping for rich pickings from the data protection businesses they have funded.