Actifio Adds $50M, Goes Big in Noisy Data Management Market

Yes, the data management sector is pretty hot right now. You don’t even have to call it “big data” anymore.

In one of the bigger tech financings we’ve seen in a while, Waltham, MA-based Actifio has raised $50 million in new funding led by Technology Crossover Ventures. Previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Advanced Technology Ventures, Greylock Israel, and North Bridge Venture Partners also participated in the round.

That brings Actifio’s total funding to $107.5 million since its founding in 2009, and the company says it is valued at more than $500 million. (It’s certainly climbing the ranks of the Boston area’s biggest technology bets.)

It’s been quite a ride for Actifio, which makes data-storage software for big companies to help them keep their production data in one place (like a master copy) so they can manage and recover it in a simple way. The startup uses virtualization technology—essentially the same concept as separating applications from operating systems (and software from hardware) in big IT systems, but for separating data backup, protection, and management from the underlying storage system. So the real opportunity here goes far beyond traditional notions of data storage.

The issues for enterprise customers, as usual, are simplicity, ease of use, security, and, of course, cost. The startup says its revenue saw an eight-fold increase year-over-year in 2012, and it has customers in at least 16 countries. The key is how fast Actifio can get to really big revenues and market share in a very noisy industry. Bigger players in data storage and management like EMC, VMware, Symantec, Carbonite, and Box will be taking notice, if they haven’t already.

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