Data Management Venture Funding tops $500M with M&A Remaining Active in Q1 2021

M&A Highlights:

  • Smaller M&A trades ruled Q1 2021 with total consideration of $165M across 8 deals.
  • Data protection software/SaaS trades led the quarter with 4 deals, Arcserve/StorageCraft, Rewind/BackHub, Veritas/HubStor and Hornet/Altaro
  • We expect continued consolidation in the data protection/back-up sector with larger strategics looking to build broader data protection SaaS solution suites and well-funded private companies also looking to expand their product suites and geographic reach
  • HPE, who had moved away from smaller strategic trades, picks up CloudPhysics which brings them some interesting tools for measuring IT costs and infrastructure utilization
  • Caringo, one of the early pioneers of object storage finds a home with DataCore
  • Zadara, a cloud storage platform provider picks up NeoKarm, their first acquisition but possibly not their last
  • We expect a healthy M&A market through 2021 but announced deals may possibly slowdown in Q3 as Covid vaccines are broadly distributed, restrictions are further lifted and people take some much-needed time off

Venture Funding Highlights:

  • Q1 2021 data management venture funding hits $535M, the highest quarterly total since Q1 2019 and a remarkable rebound from the low of $67M in Q4 of 2020
  • As in M&A, data protection SaaS leads the venture funding with 3 rounds totaling $270M or 50.5% of the total quarterly funding
  • OwnBackup hauled in $167.5M, followed by HYCU with $87.5M and Rewind with $15M.  With some of these larger rounds of funding, we expect the funds to be used for organic growth but also bolt on M&A trades to accelerate product and market expansion.  VCs have historically been opposed to putting funds in only to see them flow out for acquisitions but this seems to be changing as lines blur between later stage VCs and PE firms
  • Dremio, a provider of next generation data lake platforms had the 2nd largest round in the quarter, raising a $135M 4th round, bringing their total raised to $261.5M
  • We expect a healthy funding environment through 2021 with some drop in Q3 as Covid restrictions loosen and we all take some much-needed time off.  

Contact John Rotchford at john@sasillc.com for the full report.

SASI Advises Hubstor on Sale to Veritas

SASI is pleased to announce that it served as exclusive financial advisor to HubStor, a Canadian cloud backup and archival SaaS provider.  SASI led the M&A process from initial meetings through negotiations, due diligence and final closing documents.  Keys to success included understanding HubStor’s unique approach to data protection SaaS and the market opportunity in front of them, communicating their core value proposition and business model and efficiently driving the process though each phase.  This is SASI’s third cross-border trade representing a private Canadian company that was acquired by a leading U.S. technology provider.

My co-founder Greg and I decided to work with SASI because of the firm’s focused experience and connections. We came into the relationship with exceedingly high expectations, and SASI either met or exceeded them. Throughout the entire M&A process, SASI provided sage guidance, and they played a vital role as an extension of our company. SASI provided value at the early stages of the M&A process, and that value continued to flow as we moved through each stage. SASI became our trusted advisor on M&A-related positioning, LOI execution, due diligence, negotiation, legal issues, deal structuring, and all aspects of executing the definitive agreement. Overall, I can’t say enough good things about SASI and the incredible customer experience they provided to us.” — Geoff Bourgeois, Co-Founder and CEO of HubStor.

Greg Campbell, Co-Founder and CTO added “It was a pleasure to work with SASI through all the ups and downs of the M&A process.  SASI understands the entrepreneurial mindset and they did a great job of advising Geoff and I through all our concerns and questions along the way.”

About HubStor:

HubStor is a cloud data platform that simplifies how enterprises protect and manage data at any scale. Organizations leverage HubStor in cloud regions around the world for backup, file system tiering, compliance archiving, message journaling, content indexing and search, and application data retirement. HubStor is headquartered in Canada, maintains SOC 2 compliance and is a Microsoft Co-Sell Prioritized partner.

About Veritas:

Veritas Technologies is a global leader in data protection, availability and insights. Over 80,000 customers—including 87 percent of the Fortune Global 500—rely on us to abstract IT complexity and simplify data management. The Veritas Enterprise Data Services Platform automates the protection and orchestrates the recovery of data everywhere it lives, ensures 24/7 availability of business-critical applications, and provides enterprises with the insights they need to comply with evolving data regulations. With a reputation for reliability at scale and a deployment model to fit any need, Veritas Enterprise Data Services Platform supports more than 800 different data sources, over 100 different operating systems, more than 1,400 storage targets, and more than 60 different cloud platforms.

About SASI:

SASI, a boutique M&A advisory firm, was founded in 2005 with the belief that stakeholders in private technology companies demand and deserve a high level of M&A service.  Our clients seek an advisor who not only brings M&A proficiency but also significant industry, market and technology expertise and insights.  Equally, they desire an M&A advisor who understands the strategic buyer landscape and brings deep executive relationships within those organizations.  SASI primarily focuses on sell-side engagements, representing private, venture-backed and bootstrapped technology startups.  We drive the entire M&A process from upfront strategy formulation to buyer contacts through negotiations and closing.

Contact John Rotchford, Managing Director for inquiries (john@sasillc.com)

Cision’s Falcon.io acquires Unmetric

CHICAGO, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Cision (NYSE: CISN) today announced that Falcon.io, its social media management division, has acquired Unmetric, a leader in delivering insights from social benchmarking, audience engagement, and content performance.

Unmetric delivers public data from leading global brands across social media channels, enabling companies to enhance their content strategy, better engage with their customers, and spend time where it matters, delivering on business objectives and ROI.

Falcon.io will integrate Unmetric into their Social Media Marketing platform, enabling customers to drive consistent brand experiences across social content, engagement and insights.

“Our mission is to deliver a powerful social software suite that enables the brands we serve to win in their markets. Today the Unmetric acquisition gets us closer to this vision,” said Ulrik Bo Larsen, Founder of Falcon.io and President, Cision Social. “Giving brands the ability to benchmark, monitor, measure, better engage with their customers and audiences, and create and publish powerful content all in one unified platform across multiple channels will help them win.”

“Marketers are often data rich and insight poor. This is especially true in the content ecosystem where brands are communicating at the speed of culture. Brands, therefore, need to continually benchmark their social campaigns, content and channels, and use insights from the past to fuel campaigns for the future,” said Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric. “Unmetric brings this historical perspective to the Falcon.io platform to help brands and agencies create more compelling content.”

Falcon.io extends a warm welcome to the brands that Unmetric has been serving for years, such as Unilever, Pepsi, General Motors, Amgen, Bombardier, Edelman, TBWA, Homeaway, Away, GroupM and many more.

Unmetric’s social media marketing capabilities will be incorporated into the Falcon.io customer offering, and Unmetric’s team will be integrated into the Falcon organization and continue to build and expand on the use cases they have successfully taken to market.