Cloud data protection and management company, Druva has raised a new round of funding of $130 million investment led by Viking Global Investors.
Other investors who have participated in this round include, Neuberger Berman and Atreides Capital, as well as participation from existing investors including Riverwood Capital, Tenaya Capital and Nexus Venture Partners. With this round of fund, Druva’s total capital war chest has been pushed to $328 million.
CNBC-TV18’s Megha Vishwanath caught up with Druva’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Jaspreet Singh to decode the deal, understand company's data localisation and find out their IPO plans.
Q: Jaspreet, congratulations on this new fundraising. Now, the cloud data protection and management market is expected to reach $55 billion by 2020, talk to us about this deal and what does this mean for the company from here?
A: So, the timing of capital is to fuel growth both from an innovation point of view as we address the customers better with more market leaning solutions. At the same time, to fuel growth from a go-to-market perspective by serving our enterprise customers with a broader set of coverage of the sales and marketing team across the globe.
Q: Could help us understand where and how will you be allocating this new pool of funds? Data protection has been at the core of Druva, so will you continue focusing on that? Or are there any newer areas that you will look at exploring?
A: Absolutely, the market demand for data are increasing rapidly. In the last several years, we are expanding our focus from just data protection to more governance orientedness and intelligence orientedness.
There are three aspects of data management: protection, governance and intelligence. Data protection is where business continuity happens from protecting your data for any disasters or any recoverability needs. Governance is all about risk mitigation, security mitigation by analysing information for better threats like ransom rate. Intelligence is all about how do you fuel better decision-making through deeper analysis and deeper search of the data and applying machine learning and all those things to the data itself.
So, we are expanding not just our value proposition to our customers, making data more and more valuable, but also our coverage of resources across the enterprise. So, what more workloads can we capture?
Q: Of course, more and more companies are shifting their data to the cloud and as you said this fund-raiser allows you to fuel Druva’s growth, so what’s the top focus going forward? The last time we caught up with only 11 percent client’s use Druva as full stack platform. Has been a change since then? When you say growth – does that mean acquiring newer clients or deepening partnership with the existing ones?
A: From a market adoption point of view, a broad set of solutions. 27 percent of our new customers adopt multiple product lines, the value props, of what we have to offer. So, we’re getting them more and more of a platform journey. We are focusing on two or three core markets two years ago, expanded into 7 different geo-locations in the past 18 months. In the next 18 months, two new markets, Australia and the Nordics region, at the same time go deeper into the existing markets. Overall, we are looking at a 50 percent growth rate for Druva, on a year-to-year basis at this stage.
Q: Shifting focus to something that is in the limelight and has gained a lot of momentum in India is the debate around data localisation. The Indian government released draft rules in December 2018. Overall, both from a global and India perspective, how has that impacted your business?
A: In a positive way, this is definitely an increasing trend. As geopolitical boundaries are getting more and tenser, people are focused on data localisation as a way to protect the core IP of a country.
As the cloud becomes more and more localised, for example, Amazon opened an India centre about 18 months ago. We were the launch partner with them. So, when they opened up Mumbai datacenter, we immediately moved our core services to Mumbai to serve the local market in a more meaningful way. As we’re expanding to new and new areas, we are running a global business. But we making sure that data privacy, data protection and cloud makes it much easier for us to offer the same quality of service but in a more localised way.
Q: But from a business standpoint, how challenging is it to localise for the region and re-engineer and realign your products to meet individual needs for each market? Or is that not an issue for the company?
A: Difficulty or not, Druva sees a big opportunity here. Most governments and most businesses would want to have localised privacy laws which we have to adhere to. In Druva’s case, as we don’t have legacy hardware or software or data set, we have a very clean public cloud view. We have to carefully choose the markets we operate in. If the public cloud is present there, we’ve made an entire business model out of how do we launch data localisation or localised data services in that region. It is a big opportunity for us and that’s how we see it.
Q: What on your to-do list going forward – build more partnerships like the one you have with AWS for instance, deepen that relationship with Amazon or will you be focusing on product innovation?
A: I think absolutely yes in both. We cannot over-innovate. Innovation is core to Druva’s culture and how we operate. We take big pride in having a very strong R&D setup and market leaning solutions. There are two dimensions for growth for Druva. One is: What more data can we have a preview of and expand into? At the same time, what value can we add to the businesses on the data itself?
On the data that we have to have a preview of, we are looking into interesting areas of more and more cloud workloads, as enterprises innovate in their cloud. Also looking at industry IOT as an interesting problem and seeing how do we help resolve the industry IOT data challenges?
On the value of the data curve, the whole data intelligence curve, how do you make better-informed decisions through data as it becomes the core IP of every business? It’s transforming most digital economies. We are adding more and more functionality and value so that the whole divide between data protection and data lakes is sort of blended and merged.
Going deeper and wider with the data-based partnership, following their lead on multiple countries and multiple regions, launch partner to the majority of their launches across the globe. But looking at more and more cloud-centric partnerships, people who are building the core focus around expanding into either consulting or resellers or integration around public cloud entry into enterprises - that’s what we focused on from a partnership point-of-view.
A: Inching very much closer. We are getting closer and closer to a $100 million revenue run rate; we approaching the run rate. So, it’s all about market timing and scale at this point in time. We want to hit a certain scale in the market we operate in. So, the quarter by quarter scrutiny of the public market becomes easier and we want to time the market so that geopolitical troubles doesn’t hurt the IPO timing what Druva wants to offer. That’s why we took money this time from public market investors. It actually helps when we go public so Viking Global Investors & Neuberger Berman, they are the public market investors which look at specific private companies which would be a bit destructive in the public market. That’s a focus to raise money from crossover funds.
Q: Last year, several reports suggested that you will go for the IPO very soon. Are you inching closer towards that plan?