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Trilio raises $15M in funding for Kubernetes protection

Sensing market opportunity, Trilio's CEO said he will seize it by using the funds to bolster sales and marketing. Trilio has raised a total of $22 million in funding.

Trilio, provider of data protection for cloud-native environments, got a fresh injection of funds to further tap into the bustling Kubernetes data protection market.

Following the recent release of TrilioVault for Kubernetes 2.0, Trilio secured $15 million in funding. The Series B funding was led by SKK Ventures and included new investor Plug and Play Ventures, whose portfolio consists of major tech names such as PayPal and Dropbox. Existing investors .406 Ventures and Jack Egan also participated, bringing the total growth equity to $12 million with $3 million of debt facility from Avid Bank.

Stephen Brackett, president and managing member of SKK Ventures, joined the Trilio board following this funding round.

Trilio CEO David Safaii said the investment will allow him to "triple down" on sales and marketing initiatives, develop customer success and education programs and expand strategic partnerships.

"It's a unique time, and Trilio has a unique offering. We want to take advantage of this," Safaii said.

As organizations roll their Kubernetes applications into production, there has been a growing market need to protect those applications. In the past few months, Catalogic, Zerto and Druva have launched Kubernetes data protection products to address the growing demand. Other storage vendors have made even deeper investments by outright buying Kubernetes data protection vendors: Veeam acquired Kasten for $150 million and Pure Storage bought Portworx for $370 million.

Trilio had its Series A in October 2017, which raised $5 million, and Safaii said the company has raised a total of more than $22 million. He said Trilio can sustain itself financially without investors, but he decided to raise funds now because he saw an opportunity to rapidly grow the business and address an emergent market need. Although he could not go into details, Safaii also claimed Trilio has been approached with proposals from other vendors for partnerships. So far, he's been pushing those opportunities away.

"It's nice to be the prettiest girl in the bar, but I want us to take our unfair share of the market," Safaii said.

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said Safaii is right to say he has a good product-to-market fit. ESG's product validation team tested TrilioVault for Kubernetes and found it to be a great application-centric Kubernetes backup product.

Bertrand likened Trilio's Series B to Salesforce data management vendor Odaseva's $25 million funding round in October. Both Odaseva and Trilio are companies that don't rely heavily on investor funding, but each chose to raise funds to seize a spike in demand in their respective markets. As for that spike, Bertrand said between the mergers and acquisitions and general backup vendors retrofitting their products to support Kubernetes, there's little doubt the Kubernetes protection market is hot.

"Trilio's funding is fuel for the engine. It reminds me of Odaseva," Bertrand said.

With Kubernetes specialists Kasten and Portworx acquired within months of each other, Bertrand said it wouldn't surprise him if Trilio became part of a bigger company. However, he said he can't speculate on when that will happen or who the buyer would be, or if it will even happen at all. Ultimately, mergers and acquisitions boil down to what the right move for the investors is -- it has little to do with the technology or the company itself. Bertrand said this is often unpredictable, save for those who sit in those board meetings.

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