Alcion was founded in 2022 by CEO Tolia and VP Engineering Kamra, and took in $8 million in seed funding in May this year. Now, after building a product to backup and protect Microsoft 365 against malware, based on open-source Corso software, it has raised $21 million in an A-round, led by Veeam.
A statement by Tolia said: “Since exiting stealth in May, we’ve witnessed a 700 percent increase in organizations using the platform, propelling Alcion to a petabyte of managed logical backups. This round of funding positions us to rapidly scale our mission of protecting all the world’s data against both malicious threats and accidents. Alcion customers and the rapidly growing open-source Corso community will benefit from greater functionality, ease of use, and heightened ransomware detection.”
Alcion’s Microsoft 365-protecting product is now generally available and includes multi-layered protection using AI-driven threat detection, intelligent backup scheduling, encryption, and delete protection, to combat ransomware and other malware. The AI-driven ransomware protection models constantly learn from user behavior and operate on a per-user or resource level to detect targeted attacks.
The product features:
- Deepened focus on data security: with heightened ransomware detection, clarity in malware protection, actionable insights, immutable backups, malware alerts and notifications in app and via email.
- SOC 2 Type II certification: demonstrating rigorous controls and procedures for customer data security, integrity and confidentiality.
- Proactive approach: vs. notifying admins after exposure. New features include a Compliance Score for quick evaluation of configuration and backup health, in addition to targeted Data Protection Insights and Recommendations based on data activity in the tenant.
- Increased integration with Teams, Shared Mailboxes, export of backups to local files, restore options, and notifications.
- Listing on the Microsoft Marketplace.
- Worldwide availability: The general availability of a new Australian region is now paired with existing US and EU regions, with more expansion to come.
Looking ahead Alcion will build features for its managed service provider (MSP) customers and extend data protection features for additional SaaS services apart from Microsoft 365.
The funding round had participation from all prior Alcion investors including Lip-Bu Tan, chairman of Walden International and Intel board member; Debanjan Saha, CEO of DataRobot; Abhinav Asthana, CEO and founder of Postman; and Amarjit Gill, serial entrepreneur and investor at Nepenthe Capital.
The SaaS app backup space is being targeted by many suppliers, such as Asigra, BackupLABS, Clumio, Cohesity, Commvault with Metallic, Druva, HYCU and OwnBackup. There are major, tier 1 SaaS app services such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce and Service Now and the big three cloud providers own services, a large number of tier2 apps such as Jira and Atlassian, and hundreds if not thousands of tier 3 SaaS apps.
A common problem for SaaS app backup protectors is building connectors between their backup and protection software engines and the SaaS apps. HYCU wants the SaaS app suppliers to build their own connectors using its R-Cloud APIs, and aims to have 100 connectors available in a few months time. Asigra also has a connector SDK for SaaS app developers.
Suppliers like Alcion can build connectors to a few major SaaS apps on their own, but, since their are over 17,000 SaaS apps available, according to HYCU, Backup-as-a-Service suppliers cannot write connectors to them all; it’s impossible. We note that Alcion wants to protect other business-critical SaaS services, so it will face this problem..
Similarly, we cannot expect the SaaS app suppliers to write connectors for their apps to every Backup-as-a-Service supplier either; Alcion, Asigra, BackupLABS, Clumio, Cohesity, Commvault Metallic, Druva, HYCU, OwnBackup et al.
Alcion is betting that its AI-driven ransomware protection and other features will propel it forward in the Microsoft 365 market, particularly with potential Veeam channel support. We think it will produce its own connectors for the major SaaS apps like Salesforce and ServiceNow. After that it’s unclear how it will get further SaaS app coverage, meaning more connectors.