Newspaper article International New York Times

Backing Up Big Data Gives Actifio Big Value

Newspaper article International New York Times

Backing Up Big Data Gives Actifio Big Value

Article excerpt

Actifio, a start-up data storage firm, was set to announce that it had raised $100 million in new financing, valuing the entire company at $1 billion.

Social networking companies, online game developers and other consumer-focused technology start-ups have attracted huge investor attention, and lofty valuations to boot.

Today, a young start-up, Actifio, is drawing similar investor interest in a decidedly unflashy sector: data storage.

On Monday, Actifio planned to announce that it had raised $100 million in new financing, valuing the entire company at $1 billion. That vote of confidence places Actifio in an elite club of start- ups with 10-figure valuations, stepping up the pressure on the company to deliver on its ambitions.

Though little known outside technology circles, Actifio is rapidly gaining large corporate customers as it attacks a problem that the incumbent data storage firms have been slow to address. Its software, which costs an average of $349,000 for a three-year contract, allows a company access to a virtual version of backup copies of data, freeing up space and improving the overall efficiency of the company's data storage.

Actifio's backers draw a comparison to VMware, which was a leader in creating software that was critical to cloud computing. While that expanded the amount of work a single computer server could do, Actifio's product is aimed at enhancing a data center.

"An idea like this comes along about once a decade," said Jamie Goldstein, a partner at North Bridge, a venture capital firm that was an initial investor in Actifio and participated in the latest financing round. "Data has become such an important part of the tech economy, and the entire economy. Anybody who is collecting a lot of data is going to be facing this problem."

Actifio, which was founded in 2009, hopes to go public at some point next year, and its investors are betting on a big payday. A hedge fund company, Tiger Global Management, led the latest investment round, which included participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and other venture capital firms.

The company, based in Boston, is not profitable, but it had other impressive numbers to show its investors. …

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