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Salesforce data protection startup Odaseva raised $25 million in funding to grow its employee and partner count with plans to expand platform support.
Odaseva CEO Sovan Bin said the company will use the money to expand in three key areas: increasing employee headcount at its San Francisco, Paris and Sydney offices; investing in marketing efforts with its user base and partner ecosystem; and further developing its Enterprise Cloud Trust Platform product to support Microsoft 365 and other applications.
Odaseva provides backup and recovery for Salesforce, similar to Spanning and OwnBackup. One of its competitive differentiators is its high availability offering, which allows customers to failover to an emulated Salesforce account in Odaseva if Salesforce is down. Odaseva resynchronizes the two environments when Salesforce returns.
Odaseva's customers include large enterprises Manulife, Heineken and Schneider Electric. According to Bin, Odaseva is closing in on having more than 100 employees.
Bin said he was initially surprised by Odaseva's revenue growth during COVID-19, but he quickly realized it was because the pandemic led to increased demand for Salesforce data protection. During the pandemic, Bin said there was a shift from treating data protection as a technology requirement to a business requirement. Organizations started to see it as something that exists to serve the business and not "just an add-on."
To keep up with the increased requests from Odaseva's Fortune 500 customers, Bin decided to raise funds to grow the company faster. Odaseva's funding round is the latest in a trend of equity events among data protection vendors during the COVID-19 era. Cohesity raised $250 billion in April, Zerto raised $53 million in June and Datto raised close to $600 million through an initial public offering this month.
Bin said he never made it a goal to grow Odaseva to a certain dollar value by a certain point in time, and he never raises funds due to lack of cash. Instead, he only uses funding rounds if it benefits the enterprises Odaseva serves and pointed out he didn't raise funds when he started Odaseva in 2012.
"With COVID-19, we realized if we want to maximize customer success, we need to keep up with this growth. So raising funds is more of a consequence than an objective," Bin said.
This funding round was led by Eight Roads Ventures, an early Alibaba investor. Other investors included F-Prime Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Partech and Serena. Odaseva has raised a total of $40 million in private funding.
Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) senior analyst Christophe Bertrand said Salesforce data protection is currently underserved, especially when it comes to high availability. According to data from an ESG study titled, "Real-world SLAs and Availability Requirements," published in September, 15% of respondents said they could not tolerate any mission-critical data loss. Specifically, for Salesforce customers, 21% said they wouldn't tolerate any data loss.
Bertrand said Odaseva is in a unique position in the Salesforce data protection market. Despite how mission-critical Salesforce data is, he doesn't know of any Salesforce high availability tools in the market other than Odaseva's. Bertrand said this allows Odaseva to penetrate the enterprise space better than its competitors, as enterprise customers are more likely to need their Salesforce environments to be up and running at all times.
Bin said data protection for SaaS applications is heating up as more organizations adopt the cloud as a result of COVID-19. He said he noticed general backup vendors such as Commvault, Druva and Veeam have introduced Salesforce backup capabilities, but he does not consider them direct competitors. Bertrand said none of the backup incumbents have the same level of Salesforce expertise as Odaseva and pointed out that the platform is designed by several Salesforce Certified Technical Architects -- the highest possible Salesforce knowledge certification. He said even if more vendors enter this space, he sees Odaseva continuing to thrive.
"They have a really good engine, and they're putting more fuel in that engine," Bertrand said of Odaseva's fresh injection of funds.