Acronis raises $147 million for tools that back up, protect, and restore data

Data recovery juggernaut Acronis today announced it’s nabbed $147 million in an investment round led by Goldman Sachs at a valuation of over $1 billion, following on the heels of angel, debt, and later-stage raises from March 2014 to May 2016. The capital infusion brings Singapore- and Switzerland-based Acronis’ total raised to well over $150 million, which founder and CEO Serguei Beloussov said will be used to expand its engineering team, build additional data centers, grow its North America business, and pursue acquisitions.

It’s been a banner year for Acronis, which reported 20% business growth in 2018 and which is on track to notch over 30% growth (and over 100% on the Cyber Cloud side of the business) by 2020. It recently launched the Acronis Cyber Platform, a holistic cloud-hosted solution that enables third-parties to customize, extend, and integrate its products. And in April, Acronis announced a partnership with Acronis SCS, an independent U.S. sister company dedicated to providing secure backup, data protection, and cyber protection services to federal, state and local government, education, and nonprofit organizations.

“We are excited about Goldman Sachs‘ investment,” said Beloussov. “The investment round led by Goldman Sachs will help us to fast-track the product development through acquisitions of companies and additional resources, and accelerate the growth.”


Above: Acronis True Image.

Image Credit: Acronis

Acronis traces its origins to Parallels corporate parent SWsoft, where Beloussov, Ilya Zubarev, Stanislav Protassov, and Max Tsyplyaev founded it as a separate division in 2001. Acronis spun out in 2003, after which it pivoted focus from disk partitioning and boot loader utilities to backup and disaster recovery software based on disk imaging technology. Over the next decade or so, it acquired three firms — BackupAgent (which specialized in cloud backup), nScaled (disaster recovery), and GroupLogic (enterprise data transformation and storage) — and it launched a global partner program, prior to which it founded an R&D wing in Acronis Labs.

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Acronis’ bread-and-butter segments are backup, disaster recovery, secure file access, sync and share, and partitioning, with clients ranging from single-license home users to large enterprises. True Image, the backup software by which Acronis is perhaps best known, uses virtualization and machine learning techniques to mirror images, clone disks, provide blockchain data notarization, and scan for malware in copied files. Acronis claims that last year, its AI-powered defenses defeated more than 400,000 attacks including cryptomining, in which a system’s resources are quietly diverted to generate cryptocurrency tokens.

As for the Acronis Cloud platform, it encompasses backups, disaster recovery, and file synchronization with a selected set of cloud apps curated by service providers. Plan subscribers can perform local and offsite cloud backup of disks, servers, data, or entire mobile devices to data centers compliant with certifications, audits, and standards including SOC-2, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Acronis Backup and Acronis Backup Advanced, two additional products in Acronis’ disk-based backup and recovery suite, actively protect files from unauthorized modification and encryption while minimizing process disruption to a few seconds. Through a centralized management dashboard, admins can back up to virtually any kind of storage (across over 20 platforms) and convert backups into a set of virtual machine files ready to run on various hypervisors.


Above: One of Acronis’ U.S. offices.

Image Credit: Acronis

Aside from backup software, Acronis also provides Disk Director, a shareware app that partitions machines and allows them to run multiple operating systems. It’s able to format drives with system file in a range of storage formats, including FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, Ext3, and SWAP, and it can create a single, logical volume from the unallocated space across up to 32 physical disks.

Disk Director joins Acronis Snap Deploy, which creates a standard machine configuration that can be deployed across up to hundreds of live Windows computers simultaneously. Acronis Files Advanced secures access to files that are synced between devices. And Acronis Access Connect enables Mac users can connect to and mount directories on a Windows file server just as native Apple Filing Protocol volumes.

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Acronis 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; Clumio, which raked in $51 million for its cloud-hosted backup and recovery tools; 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.

But vice president of Goldman Sachs Growth Holger Staude asserts that Acronis has rivals beat when it comes to install base and availability. The company counts more than 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses among its client roster, including 80% of the Fortune 1000 companies. Moreover, Acronis’ products are available through 50,000 partners and service providers in over 150 countries in more than 30 languages.

“We are excited to invest in Acronis at this stage of rapid growth,” said Goldman Sachs Growth vice president Holger Staude. “The traditional backup and data protection market is changing due to an innovative solution delivered efficiently by Acronis Cyber Protection through a vast channel of service providers.”

Acronis has more than 1,300 employees in 18 countries, the bulk of whom are based in Singapore, Bulgaria, and Arizona. Acronis Labs is based in the U.S. and Singapore, and Acronis has data centers internationally including in France, Singapore, Japan, and Germany.

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