Many start-ups receiving a series A funding round ideally hope to convert their existing business into a well-oiled machine. On rarer occasions, Series A funding equips an already well-run company to realize its full potential. This latter scenario more aptly describes HYCU.
Making it Big
All start-ups dream of making it big on the enterprise scene. However, succeeding in enterprise data protection market requires more than just great technology. The provider must have great people, exceptional execution, and world-class technical support. Coming to market with the right product at the right time with adequate capital further helps the cause.
This combination of variables helps explain why Bain Capital Ventures chose this time to invest in HYCU. HYCU originated with Comtrade Software, a technology provider with a prior history of incubating other successful data protection solutions. In building HYCU, the executive team designed it to address some fundamental changes that had occurred in the enterprise.
In the late 2010’s, enterprises began adopting cloud technologies at scale. This included putting in place private clouds as well as adopting public clouds and cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.
This change in enterprise infrastructures necessitated a change in the type of technologies that enterprises used to protect their data. Enterprises would want backup and recovery solutions based upon and using the same cloud design principles. To do so, next generation data protection software would have to embrace everything about the cloud.
HYCU Initially Embraced the Cloud Differently
HYCU attacked the cloud in a way different from almost all its competitors. It first went to market with a backup solution tuned for Nutanix clouds. At the time HYCU came to market, Nutanix was a rapidly growing competitor to VMware vSphere. Unlike VMware, Nutanix had no backup software designed explicitly for its platform.
Enter HYCU. By delivering a backup solution optimized and tuned for Nutanix clouds, it became the default solution for the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). In so doing, it accomplished two important objectives for HYCU.
- It gave HYCU exposure to cloud technologies and cloud users. To a certain degree, it does not matter which cloud a data protection solution uses. Beneath the covers, all clouds use many of the same design principles. However, by being the first to market with an integrated backup solution for Nutanix AHV, HYCU scored a coup. It gained valuable insight into how enterprises used and managed the cloud while being rapidly adopted and used.
- HYCU had a run rate. Perhaps just as important as its design, HYCU had and has a real working product with real paying enterprise customers. These customers provide valuable feedback to HYCU it can use to develop and improve its software. By being paying customers, they also provided the impetus for Comtrade Software to spin HYCU out and stand it up on its own.
These early successes in the cloud served HYCU well. It now has four distinct cloud offers – two for private cloud (Nutanix and VMware) and two for public (Azure and GCP.) Further, it delivered these four award-winning offerings within the past two years.
In part, this was due to the revenue it generated. But a large part of HYCU’s success stems from it using same cloud technologies that enterprises increasingly use. This design frees it to innovate more quickly behind the scenes. It also equips it to scale more quickly once deployed in either public or private clouds.
HYCU: In It to Win It
HYCU differs from other data protection start-ups in critical ways. Other start-ups often bring together skilled developers and investments to build a product and company from scratch. HYCU may be a start-up since it has only been on its own for about two years.
However, its data protection pedigree comes out of a long line of backup software development. It recognized it had to build a next-gen solution that met enterprise backup requirements. This it has successfully done.
Now, it was time for another critical step. Its management team rightly recognized the best technology does not always win. Crossing its fingers and hoping for the best possible outcome would not get the job done. It had to act.
Taking in $87.5 million demonstrates HYCU’s commitment to take its solution to the next level. It does not want to simply be the best data protection solution for cloud environments. It wants to be THE data protection solution for enterprise cloud environments – private or public. This investment communicates that HYCU possesses an “in it to win it” mindset in the enterprise cloud data protection race.