On a cloud of confidence

On a cloud of confidence

“An estimated 38 per cent of data resides exclusively on corporate laptops and yet there are very few players addressing the market needs,” says Jaspreet Singh, co-founder-chief executive officer of Druva, a specialist in data protection and retrieval services. It is this existing opportunity that Singh sought to tap into when establishing Druva in 2007. “The biggest pain point we solve is ‘Enterprise endpoint protection’”. The problem with backing up thousands of mobile devices across an enterprise is not addressed by legacy players and this service is precisely what we offer,” adds Singh. By 2008, California-based Druva had turned profitable and today, it has established its presence in 26 countries.

Its current array of products includes inSync (non-intrusive enterprise laptop backup), inSync Cloud (fully-automated enterprise-grade backup solution), inSync SafePoint (lightweight and effective data loss prevention solution) and Phoenix (enterprise class product for non-disruptive disk-to-disk backup for local and remote servers). And Singh states that Druva holds a two-fold edge over its competition – technology and deployment. “Our global data de-duplication saves over 90 per cent bandwidth and storage. And WAN (wide area network) optimisation makes backup possible on any network using minimal bandwidth. In addition, the small size of our software and its ease of use uniquely position us as the only enterprise player anyone can simply download and deploy,” Singh says with confidence. Jishnu Bhattacharjee, principal, Nexus Venture Partners (Nexus) and board member of Druva, is in agreement with Singh, “Despite technology sophistication, Druva’s products, unlike other solutions, are very easy and seamless to deploy and use, and customers just love that.”

“As a competitor with large legacy players, the sales bottleneck is brand awareness. We are currently focused on investing in market awareness, and creating a brand identity and differentiation. We will continue to leverage the press and analysts to ‘condition’ the market and lay the groundwork for our marketing and sales outreach and customer acquisition.”

In August 2011, Nexus led Druva’s Series B funding to the tune of US $ 12 million. Druva’s existing investors, Sequoia Capital, also participated in this round. The company had raised US $ 5 million in April 2010 from them. Bhattacharjee is confident about Nexus’ investment in Druva and the team’s capability to build a leading global entity in this space. He specifically highlights the team’s capacity to execute plans and create new products, despite resource restrictions in the initial phase.  “The fact that they have managed to satisfy customers across dozens of countries, with most of the team operating out of India, speaks volumes about their ability to execute,” he adds.

Snap Shot

Druva
Founders: Jaspreet Singh, Ramani Kothandaraman
Year: 2007
Industry:Enterprise data-protection solutions
Investment: Series B funding of US $ 12 million from Nexus Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital
Expansion plans: Targeting entry into Germany, France, Spain and the Nordics

Eyeing the cloud

In terms of product development, Singh is eyeing development on the cloud computing side. “Cloud is our primary focus today. We recently launched our cloud solution, and will be launching more enhancements/add-ons to the cloud,” he says. According to Bhattacharjee, the market’s response to Druva’s cloud offering is a good indication of the direction in which technology is trending. “Fast growing adoption of Druva’s on-premise as well as cloud-based solutions across geographies demonstrates the company’s unique capabilities,” he adds. At present, a majority (over 85 per cent) of Druva’s sales come from the U.S. (45 per cent) and U.K. (40 per cent) markets. “Our plan is to continue to focus on these two markets and simultaneously expand into Germany, France, Spain and the Nordics. Our latest round of funding will be used towards these expansion plans,” confirms Singh. Additionally, the Series B funding will be used to strengthen sales and marketing teams across geographies. “From a recruitment standpoint, we work closely with recruiters to seek out the best sales talent in each geography. Our focus is on finding sales staff that has an excellent performance record in the backup industry. At the same time, we proactively seek employees who have worked in a startup environment with very aggressive sales goals and who can help us reach our targets quickly,” shares Singh.

Singh identifies marketing of product offerings as an important aspect of business as this is where the company has suffered setbacks in the past. “As a competitor with large legacy players, the sales bottleneck is brand awareness. We are currently focused on investing in market awareness, and creating a brand identity and differentiation. We will continue to leverage the press and analysts to ‘condition’ the market and lay the groundwork for our marketing and sales outreach and customer acquisition,” says Singh.

Meeting growing demands

Bhattacharjee is quick to note that the companies that identify an ‘anytime, anywhere’ solution that enables real-time access to data and applications hold the edge. And the team that heads Druva is well aware of this demand. “We are very focused on meeting the growing demands of the market without any compromise to compliance or security. In the future, we are looking to expand our product portfolio to include ‘branch office servers’ to address the ROBO (remote office branch office) market, which is technologically similar to our existing endpoint focus,” says Singh. A multi-billion dollar market is ripe for the take, the question is this – can Druva continue to maintain a high standard with its product offerings in the future?

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