Last week, Spanning, a Google Apps backup service, announced a $6 million investment from an unnamed strategic investor. Today, Spanning and Mozy, a storage provider owned by EMC, announced a partnership to market and sell each other’s offerings.
Oh, so many questions about this very conveniently timed relationship. We do know that Google is not an investor. Last week, I reported that Spanning Founder and CEO Charlie Wood said there is a sacred trust between Spanning and its customers. Spanning backs up Google Apps data for its customers on Amazon Web Services. To back it up on Google would just not be right. Taking an investment from the search giant would not be right, either.
So, is EMC an investor? Wood reiterated he is bound to Spanning’s agreement and cannot disclose the name.
But I am free to make my own conclusions. I can’t say if EMC is the buyer or not but the timing is pretty good. The two services have a symbiotic relationship. Mozy is recognized for its storage technology, which they sell a lot into the small business market. Spanning’s back up service is also popular with SMBs. Storage and backup are staples of EMC. The storage giant has backup technology that runs the gamut from mainframes to mobile devices. Spanning gives Mozy and EMC a window to address Google Apps customers. For its part, Spanning is looking for leverage points. Both EMC and Mozy can provide that capability.
Further, who else would make a $6 million strategic investment and then stand by while Spanning goes and frolics in the storage world with Mozy and EMC?
Make your own judgment but my bet is on EMC as Spanning’s strategic investor.