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There are few catastrophes more disruptive to a business than data loss, and unfortunately, the causes can be myriad. In a recent survey of IT professionals, about a third (31%) pegged the blame on hardware or system failure, while 29% said their companies lost data because of human error or ransomware. It’s estimated that upwards of 93% of organizations who lose servers for 10 days or more during a disaster filed for bankruptcy within the next 12 months, that 43% of them never reopen, and that 51% close within two years.

That’s why serial entrepreneur Poojan Kumar founded Clumio, a software startup based in Santa Clara, California that’s developing a suite of cloud-based backup solutions. It launched out of stealth in August with $51 million in funding over two rounds, and this morning it announced $135 million in series C funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures managing director Mike Speiser and new investor Altimeter Capital. Existing backer Index Ventures participated in the latest raise, which brings the company’s total raised to date to $186 million.

Kumar said the capital infusion will accelerate the growth of Clumio’s engineering team, both at its headquarters in Santa Clara and its development center in Bangalore, India. He tells VentureBeat that it’ll also support the company’s go-to-market operations in the U.S. and its channel strategy globally, as well as its consolidated data protection R&D efforts.

“Enterprise IT can no longer afford the time, complexity, and expense of building and managing data protection solutions on-prem or in the cloud,” said Kumar. “Unlike legacy backup vendors, Clumio SaaS is born in the cloud. This round of investment allows us to push that advantage as we accelerate our development and go to market strategy while continuing to meet customer requirements for backup, regardless of where the data is.”


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Clumio’s eponymous software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, which it’s been building on Amazon Web Services for the past two years, taps the cloud to securely manage backup and recovery from remote sites or datacenters. It protects workloads like VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS services by automatically replicating data in less than 15 minutes, and it automatically scales up resources while ensuring backups remain encrypted. Admins can create compliance policies that apply to virtual machines (VMs) both on-premises and in the cloud, and they pay only for service based on the number of VMs protected.

Clumio offers real-time dashboards that show backup status at a glance, and its architecture features separate planes to ensure communication and data workloads execute in concert. Furthermore, it provides the ability to define policies that protect virtual machines regardless of whether they’re running on-premises or in the cloud, and it supports third-party key encryption (as well as auditing) with AWS’ key management system.

“In our business, IT is a differentiator so we look to SaaS offerings for reliability, scalability, and simplicity,” said Marcus Johnston, chief security officer of Infogix — a Clumio customer — in a previous statement. “The Clumio backup as a service offering, built exclusively on AWS, removes infrastructure complexity from day to day operations by providing cloud-native backup and an easy to use management interface for our workloads. Our developers can now focus on building the apps that deliver the most business value to us.”

Clumio occupies a data backup and recovery market anticipated to be worth $11.59 billion by 2022, according to Markets and Markets. It competes to a degree with San Francisco-based Rubrik, which has raised $553 million in venture capital to date for its live data access and recovery offerings, and Cohesity, which bills itself as the industry’s first hyperconverged secondary storage for backup, development, file services, and analytics. That’s not to mention data recovery juggernaut Veeam, which now serves 80% of the Fortune 500 and 58% of the Global 5000, and Acronis, which raised $147 million in September for its suite of data backup, protection, and restoration tools.

But John Thompson, chairman of the board at Microsoft, and Mark Leslie, managing general partner at Leslie Ventures, are convinced Clumio has what it takes to stand out in a crowded field. They’re putting their money where their mouth is: Both invested in Clumio’s previous funding round.

“Similar to Snowflake disrupting the data warehousing market by leveraging the scale, elasticity, and economics of the public cloud, Clumio is building a globally consolidated data protection service the right way,” said Speiser. “Harnessing the full power of the public cloud, they are reimagining the backup experience for the enterprise paying particular attention to security, predictable costs, and simplicity for their customers.”

Clumio is Kumar’s second startup after PernixData, whose flagship product intelligently virtualized server-side flash memory and RAM. After raising $62 million in funding since its founding in 2012, it was acquired by cloud computing software company Nutanix in 2016 for an undisclosed sum.

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