Online backup? Is that really a multibillion dollar opportunity?
The round was led by Accel Ventures, so we caught up with partner Ping Li, who will be joining the board, to ask what he was thinking.
Here’s what he told us:
- This is a growth stage investment. Code42 “has been profitable and growing since the day it started” back in 2001, said Li. “It’s not a startup in that sense, it’s a growth stage investment.” This was the first investment from Accel’s $100 million big data fund that it created in November, but Li assured us that the fund will also have investments at plenty of other stages. “Our next investment is seed deal, a small team just getting going.”
- Code42 will benefit from the explosion of mobile devices. One of Code42’s specialties is backing up all the new data being generated by mobile devices — smartphones and tablets. That expertise can be used to build other kinds of apps that help manage data across devices. E-discovery — making sure that material on mobile devices is discoverable in legal cases — is one example Li talked about.
- The enterprise is ripe for disruption. Although Code42 has products for consmers, Li was most excited by the traction they’re getting in enterprises. “Clearly the product is resonating not just with consumers, but with more than 4,000 enterprises. We like that kind of growth opportunity.” More generally, he — like a lot of other investors — believes that the enterprise is ripe for disruption. “A lot of times it happens because a consumer product sets a bar, and everyone expects to have that experience in enterprise.” He offered Cloudera — which recently raised a $40 million round led by Accel — as an example. That company sells a version of Hadoop, a database technology that was pioneered by engineers at Yahoo.
Accel was joined by Split Rock Partners in this round, and Split Rock’s Michael Gorman will also be joining Code42’s board.