Data protection firm Acronis raises $250m from CVC Capital, valuation soars to $2.5b

Acronis co-founder, president and COO Stanislav Protassov. Photo: Acronis.

Singapore and Switzerland-headquartered data protection firm Acronis on Tuesday announced it has bagged $250 million in equity funding from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners at a post-money valuation of $2.5 billion. 

Acronis, which was founded in Singapore in 2003 and incorporated in Switzerland in 2008, has now raised $408 million in external funding. The firm had last raised $147 million in 2019 in a round led by Goldman Sachs.

Acronis provides AI-based anti-malware and blockchain-based data authentication technologies to protect cloud, hybrid and on-premise IT environments. It claims its products are used by 5.5 million home users and 500,000 companies.

“Acronis’ talented management and R&D teams have invested significant resources developing an innovative cloud-native ‘MSP (managed service providers) in a box’ solution, with integrated backup, disaster recovery, cybersecurity, remote management, and workflow tools,” CVC Capital Partners senior managing director Leif Lindbäck said in a press release. 

Acronis will use the latest funding to hire more people, increase the number of partners and service providers it works with, and expand the features on its platform, its co-founder, president and chief operating officer Stanislav Protassov told DealStreetAsia in an interview over Zoom. 

Acronis is looking to ramp up headcount in its engineering, sales and technical support teams, Protassov said. The company currently has 1,600 employees worldwide, about 1,000 of them in technical roles such as support engineers, professional service executives, data centre operators and IT support workers.

The aim is to double these technical employees in the next two to three years, Protassov said, particularly in Bulgaria, Israel, Singapore, Switzerland and Arizona where its research and development facilities are located. 

The company will also continue making acquisitions in order to grow, he said. Acronis bought South African distributor Synapsys this March and Israeli cybersecurity consultant CyberLynx in November last year. 

Acronis seeks to increase its number of data centres as well. It currently has 39 data centres globally and hopes to have at least one data centre each in at least 100 countries over the next 12 to 18 months. 

“When there is a lockdown … you [need to] be sure that your data is still reachable for you. Second, there are a number of companies [that are not permitted to] keep the data outside the country. [And having more data centres] could be a solution to comply [with] data protection laws,” Protassov said. 

Asked if its latest financing is a pre-IPO round, Protassov was tight-lipped, saying that the firm is looking for an exit and there are multiple options on the table, including a public listing.

“Definitely we want to spend a lot of our energy on making that as soon as possible,” he said, declining to elaborate further.

Acronis is not yet profitable, but this is because of the company’s focus on growth, Protassov said. Revenue is currently in the “hundreds of millions” and business is growing fast, especially for its cloud products. 

An example of how an Acronis dashboard looks like. Source: Acronis.
An example of how an Acronis dashboard looks like. Source: Acronis.

Sales of the firm’s cloud services have doubled year-on-year in recent years and become the main source of its revenue, he said, compared to on-premise services rendered to organisations who have to keep their IT infrastructure in-house due to security reasons, which are growing in the “single-digits.”

According to corporate filings, revenue at Acronis’s Asia unit hit nearly S$59 million in 2019, up from about S$30 million in 2017. Earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, went from a loss of S$3.2 million in 2017 to a profit of S$2.1 million in 2019. 

Acronis aims to be an all-in-one data protection provider, which, Protassov said, will help it stand out against other data protection players like Veeam, IBM and VMWare. For example, Veeam is focused primarily on providing backup software and less on cybersecurity. 

Most of Acronis’s revenue comes from licences sold to users either directly or through service providers such as SingTel, SoftBank, Fujitsu, and Daiwaboo Information Systems. Its largest market is the US, accounting for 35% of its business.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.