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OwnBackup, a platform that provides data backup and recovery services for cloud software providers such as Salesforce, has raised $240 million in a series E round of funding at a $3.35 billion valuation.
With cloud spending continuing to surge as part of companies’ digital transformation efforts, this creates the need to develop a robust data backup and recovery plan — putting 100% faith in third-party infrastructure is never a good idea, particularly in light of the OVH datacenter disaster earlier this year. Elsewhere, a recent cloud threat report published by Oracle and KPMG found that three-quarters of organizations had experienced data loss from a cloud service on more than one occasion.
At the application level, SaaS platforms such as Salesforce usually offer disaster recovery tools in the event of a system-wide catastrophe — however, this generally doesn’t work at an individual account level, meaning that customers can’t recover or restore individual data items specific to them on-demand. This falls under what is known as a “shared responsibility” model, where the platform owner (e.g. Salesforce) is responsible for infrastructure-level security and disaster recovery, while the paying customer is responsible for managing things like permissions, passwords, and generally safeguarding all their data at the account level.
This has led to a slew of investments in the data backup and recovery space. Notable players include Druva, which recently raised $147 million at a $2 billion valuation, and backup-as-a-service platform Rewind, which raised $15 million earlier this year and expanded its backup and recovery support to GitHub and Trello.
In a nutshell, OwnBackup serves businesses such as Adecco, AECOM, Aston Martin, Delivery Hero, and Navy Federal Credit Union with the tools to create daily backups and speedily restore all their SaaS data. Prior to now, the company had raised around $267 million since its inception in 2015, including a $167.5 million round just seven months ago.
“There has been a broad misconception that SaaS platforms take care of data backup and protection,” OwnBackup CEO Sam Gutmann told VentureBeat. “Since SaaS customers are responsible for their data, they are driving demand for easy backup solutions. We’re here to empower our customers to own and protect their data on any cloud platform.”
Own your backups
OwnBackup has so far put most of its focus on providing data backup and recovery services for Salesforce, and by extension Salesforce ecosystem companies such as Veeva and Ncino. But with another $240 million in the bank, the company is well positioned to extend support to other clouds, starting with Microsoft later this year. Initially it will help Dynamics 365 customers meet “complex regulatory requirements” and “eliminate data disruptions” due to user and integration errors.
“We’re empowering customers with complete ownership of their data,” Gutmann said.
While it might be technically possible for SaaS customers to develop their own data backup solutions, specialized third-party platforms such as OwnBackup — which work in partnership with cloud companies — make it much easier, allowing enterprises to allocate their IT resources to other initiatives.
“SaaS applications were not created with restoring lost or corrupted data in mind, and there is no easy or effective way for customers to back up the data themselves,” Gutmann continued. “Yet, data loss and corruption occur frequently.”
Moreover, even where SaaS providers do provide backup functionality, that doesn’t really address the bigger problem of how to get the data back into the system after a catastrophe occurs.
“Those who rely on a SaaS provider’s backup capabilities, or try to backup data themselves, quickly discover the true challenge isn’t backing up the data, it’s restoring it,” Gutmann continued. “Isolating what damage was done is very difficult, and restoring just the impacted data to a specific point in time is practically impossible.”
If it was just about backing up data from across multiple clouds, it would be relatively easy to create a holistic solution covering all clouds rather than introducing support on a cloud-by-cloud basis. But data recovery is where the secrete sauce lies.
“Every cloud has a different API, and while backing up is ‘relatively’ easy across clouds, time to recovery is what the customers care about — that is where there is a lot of cloud-specific nuance,” Gutmann added. “Our precision-restore capabilities are focused on getting those nuances right for each cloud, which can mean the difference between minutes vs. days to get the recovery done — and done properly.
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