Axcient Lands $15.5 Million For Affordable Backup And Data Protection Solution For SMBs

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Axcient, the hybrid cloud-based data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity startup, is today announcing that it has closed a $15.5 million round of series C funding. The round was led by Scale Venture Partners, the VC firm that has led investments in other cloud services companies like Box.net and DocuSign, with participation from previous investors like Allegis Capital, Peninsula Ventures, and Thomvest Ventures.

The series C investment brings Axcient’s total funding to $33.5 million, and SaaS veteran and Scale Ventures Managing Director Rory O’Driscoll will be joining the startup’s board of directors as part of the investment. O’Driscoll also sits on the boards of companies like JasperSoft, Lumension Security, mBlox, Omniture, Picolight, ScanSafe and Vantage Media.

The company will be using its latest infusion of capital to triple the size of its marketing and sales team, roll out its services internationally, and grow its staff of 80 to 120+ over the next six months.

Today, small businesses looking to protect, back up, and optimize their most valuable asset, their data, often have to work with three or four different hardware and software solutions, combining services like Symantec BackupExec with tape or NAS or other online backup services and local hardware solutions. Cobbling these different solutions together to achieve maximum protection, backup, deduplication, and disaster recovery is a pain in the ass. Especially for how fundamental these services are to small businesses. One day without email or access to core parts of their network can be crippling to a young startup.

Founded in 2006, the Mountain View-based startup is attempting to bring these core data protection and recovery solutions to SMBs — for a reasonable price. And while it’s still paving its road ahead in a crowded space, the startup is beginning to see some real traction. Today, 2,000 SMBs are using Axcient to protect their data, from small dental practices and sole-practitioner law firms to 4,000-employee, multi-location AV companies and VCs on Sand Hill Road. The startup has seen over 30 percent quarter-over-quarter monthly recurring revenue growth in 2011 and by the end of this year will be managing two billion customer files and over 100,000 customer laptops and servers.

This year, the startup has also added 1,000 partners in North America, including a strategic partnership with HP, as well as adding enhancements to its platform, including remote monitoring and management platforms and professional service automation tools.

Like Nimble Storage, which we wrote about back in July, for example, Axcient is attempting to make it appallingly easy for SMBs, which may not be able to afford IT teams or install a hive of servers, to combine storage, backup and disaster-recovery into a single solution. To do so, Axcient sends businesses a small device (typically about the size of a desktop hard drive), which they can set up in as little as 5 minutes and self-connects to Axcient’s cloud as well as the SMB’s network or Amazon hosting service.

With local, on-site hardware that can effectively use local network speeds with the added benefit of the creation of a secure tunnel to Axcient’s cloud, the startup has basically enabled SMBs to take advantage of a SaaS-based hybrid cloud model which works for companies with 250GBs of data or 20 terabytes. And the cost to the end user is $100 a month, with pricing going up somewhat for customers with larger data needs. Pretty affordable considering.

Axcient’s value proposition, then, is clear: For a relatively affordable price, the startup offers an all-in-one solution that supports all of your company’s different OSes, like Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux, as well support for its critical applications, like Exchange Server, SQL server — on all your different devices, like laptops, desktops, servers, etc, providing that mission critical business continuity. And it runs in the background of your system and can be accessed remotely — via your browser.

For more on Axcient’s offerings, click here and let us know how you think Axcient fares compared to the competition.