Symantec Gives Cloud Backup A Boost, Goes In On Backupify’s $9 Million Series C

Backupify, the startup providing backup, search and restore solutions for online services like Google Apps, Salesforce, Facebook and Twitter, is announcing today that it’s secured $9 million in Series C funding from existing investors Avalon Ventures, General Catalyst, and Lowercase Capital, as well as from new strategic investor Symantec Corp., a security solution provider.

Backupify CEO Rob May said he couldn’t comment on what the involvement with Symantec means, or discuss how much they went in for on the round, but described the relationship as “new and young,” with more announcements to follow.

Founded in 2008, Backupify got its start as a way to backup online photos at Flickr. But it long ago abandoned its consumer ambitions for the more marketable, and more lucrative, enterprise space. Today, May says the company’s consumer offering serves about 170,000 customers, some of which are paying users, but it’s used more for lead generation purposes. Consumers on the service recommend it to others at their company after a switch to Google Apps, for example.

Today, Backupify has 5,000 paying business customers, with its Google Apps Backup service at the core of its offerings. The company charges by seat, which means that some smaller businesses might only pay $3/month for one seat, while at the upper end, large businesses pay over $5,000/month. Backupify hosts around 350 terabytes of data (compressed) – that’s up from 66 terabytes on January 2011, to give you an idea – and backs up over 2 billion email messages and over 500 million documents. While Google Apps is currently at the center of its lineup, that may change next month when the company launches its backup service out of beta.

After shifting its focus from the consumer space to the enterprise, Backupify has been able to directly observe the phenomenon known as the “consumerization of I.T.” “We’re seeing larger and larger companies moving to the cloud,” says May. “When we raised our Series B round, we had maybe two customers that were companies that had over 1,000 employees. Now we’ve got thirty or forty customers in that range. And a lot of that is just bigger enterprises adopting Google Apps, adopting cloud applications,” he says.

Those companies still want to backup their data, even if it’s stored online, Mays explains. “If any of these things has a bug, or anybody who’s collaborating has a problem, or tries to be malicious, or an account gets hacked or compromised, how do you get that data back?” says May. “Backup is still a best practice.”

Cambridge-based Backupify first raised $900,000 in February 2010, in a round led by First Round Capital, with General CatalystBetaworks, and other angels participating. A $4.5 million A round followed, co-led by Avalon Ventures and General Catalyst. Last year, Backupify closed its B round, led by Avalon Ventures, again with participation from General Catalyst and Lowercase Capital. Although the company doesn’t disclose revenue, May says it’s “decent” and still in the “single digits of millions of dollars.” He says the funding will help the 30-person team at Backupify grow in sales and marketing. The company will hire four or five more sales reps, expand its marketing program to acquire more customers and, more slowly, will expand its engineering staff to increase the products covered. Across the board, the number one request is for Evernote backup, says May, but within the enterprise, it’s Box. No decision has been made on which will be next, but it sounds like there’s more to come.