Carbonite, With IPO On the Horizon, Puts New Focus on Consumers and Small Businesses

For years, Carbonite has been one of the compelling stories of the Boston-area tech scene. That story is about to get more compelling in 2011.

The online data-backup company, which launched its consumer service in 2006, has talked openly about its plans to file for an initial public offering later this year. In an in-depth profile last January, my colleague Wade wrote about Carbonite’s approach and history, as well as its broader business and marketing strategy and competition with Mozy (part of Hopkinton, MA-based storage giant EMC).

A year later, it seemed like a good time to check in with Carbonite to see how things are progressing—particularly in regard to the company’s proposed IPO, and its relatively recent move to focus on small businesses as well as consumers. The firm is led by serial entrepreneur and CEO David Friend, who co-founded five previous tech companies: ARP Instruments, Computer Pictures Corporation, Pilot Software, FaxNet, and Sonexis.

“We’re in the final stages of banker selection,” Friend told me a few weeks ago about Carbonite’s IPO progress. “We’re just marching ahead. We’re in no huge rush; we have quite a bit of money. We want to have top name bankers. We just have to continue to execute, continue to bring out new products, and expand internationally.” The prospective IPO, he says, depends mostly on Carbonite’s “ability to show we can do more of what we’re doing.”

Indeed, cash is not an issue for the company, which most recently closed a $20 million Series D venture round about a year ago, and has raised more than $67 million to date. More importantly, Carbonite has been doubling its revenue every year since 2006. The firm has about 160 employees in Boston, plus around 200 other full-time equivalents, Friend says.

Yesterday the company announced a series of promotions and hires to go along with a reorganization around its two main kinds of customers. Swami Kumaresan, formerly vice president of marketing, is now general manager of Carbonite’s consumer group, while Peter Lamson, formerly senior vice president at NameMedia, has joined Carbonite as general manager of its new small business group. And, rounding out the personnel moves, Bill Phelan from Intuit and Richard Surace from PlumChoice have joined Carbonite as vice presidents of product and services, respectively.

Carbonite’s focus on providing online backup for businesses (in addition to consumers) has grown over the past year or so. The significance of yesterday’s news is that the company’s business … Next Page »

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