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The pandemic and massive hacks like SolarWinds have increasingly spurred businesses to realize the importance of cyber hygiene — and it’s a financial windfall to security providers.
Acronis, a Singapore and Switzerland-based data protection startup, announced Tuesday that it raised more than $250 million in equity at a valuation of over $2.5 billion. The round was led by CVC Capital and comes on the heels of $147 million that Acronis raised in 2019 from Goldman Sachs.
The firm’s cyber protection service offers a single platform that combines data backup, disaster recovery, secure file sharing, cloud security, and partitioning, among other services. It’s seen a boom in customer interest throughout the past year, CEO Serguei Beloussov told Insider, spurred by a rise in ransomware attacks and security challenges stemming from remote work. Firms have realized that this kind of protections is “mission critical,” he said. “It’s not something you can go without.”
Businesses are happy to pay for IT services from an outside firm, he added, because in-house IT can be harder to quickly change if solutions aren’t meeting a company’s demands: “Service providers have a commitment to you. And if they don’t, you can sue them.”
Founded in 2003 as a spinoff of former parent company SWSoft, the nearly 20-year-old Acronis has over 5.5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses as clients. Beloussov attributes the company’s recent growth — and the overall growth in cyber investing — to the broader business world’s recognition of importance in protecting data.
“People are an incredibly naive species,” Beloussov said. “We had to learn how to brush our teeth and wipe our ass and go to the doctor. And it’s not very different for cyber.”
Much of its sales are done through over 10,000 active transacting partners like managed service providers, telcos, and cloud providers. Beloussov says Acronis will aim to expand its partner ecosystem to grow its revenue, naming Intel as a “role model” example of another company that does business almost entirely through partners.
Acronis employs over 1,600 people worldwide, and Beloussov says the firm now plans to double the size of its staff in the next three years.
The company is profitable and is exploring options to cash out in the coming years, according to Beloussov. While there are no concrete plans yet, he said an IPO is “definitely possible,” as is an acquisition or SPAC.
“As any company which is funded by large private equity,” he said, “We have an obligation to provide liquidity to our shareholders.”
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Source:: Business Insider – Tech
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