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SaaS Startup Clumio Raises $135M To Drive Channel Partner Growth

Led by former Oracle technology guru Poojan Kumar, SaaS startup Clumio has raised $135 million to boost channel support and accelerate backup innovation.

Just three months since launching out of stealth, Software-as-a-Service startup Clumio -- founded by technology guru Poojan Kumar -- has raised a whopping $135 million in a series C funding round. Kumar said that a large portion of the funding will go toward the channel with the expectation of launching an official partner program next year.

“A lot of investment will happen on the channel front,” said Kumar in an interview with CRN. “We are going to roll out a channel program and so forth as we start 2020. So we have a ton of focus on the channel, but particularly on the channel that really wants to look forward, not backward. We really want to think about customers going to the public cloud -- that’s the kind of channel partners we’re engaging with more and more.”

The $135 million will also accelerate Clumio’s vision to build a globally consolidated data protection service by reinventing the backup experience with a heavier focus on security, predictable costs and simplicity. The startup is looking to disrupt the SaaS backup market with its new system built by an all-star team of engineers hailing from VMware and Nutanix.

Kumar was a star engineer at Oracle in the 2000s, responsible for building the company’s popular Oracle Exadata database machine.

[Related: Google’s CloudSimple Acquisition Puts Heat On VMware Cloud On AWS]

“There is a lot of work to do to build out this platform. Our vision is to truly build a multi-cloud platform. A platform that can run across any public cloud, in any region, around the globe and deliver the simplicity – starting with data protection, then going to ultimately data management – for any customer and any data source,” said Kumar. “There’s a lot that we need to build. A good part of the funding will accelerating those [solutions] and go-to-market.”

Clumio’s backup system allows enterprises to eliminate hardware and software for on-premise backup and avoid the complexity and cost of running third-party backup software in the cloud. The secure service built on the public cloud allows customers to back up both on-premises and public cloud workloads. Clumio consolidates the protection of enterprise data centers, remote sites, VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS service workloads.

Founded in 2017, the startup was backed by $51 million investor funding. The Series C $135 million funding round was led by Mike Speiser, managing director of Sutter Hill Ventures, and new investor Altimeter Capital.

With nearly $190 million in investor funding now under its belt, Clumio aims to introduce support for new workloads and grow the company’s engineering team both at its Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters as well as its new development center in Bangalore, India.

In terms of launching its first formal channel program, Clumio recently hired William Danz, who was previously channel sales manager for Pure Storage. Danz is now Director of Channels for Clumio.

“Danz basically built out the channel for the last eight years for Pure Storage,” said Kumar. “He joined us and is going to jump-start the whole channel engagement for us in a more formal capacity that reiterates our focus on the channel and our commitment to going after the market with the channel.”

Clumio plans to add more support for its 100-percent channel strategy with additional partner resources and build upon momentum in technology partner programs with AWS, VMware and others. Kumar said channel partners need to be able to build value on top of cloud infrastructure if they want to remain relevant to their customers.

“Gone are the days where you can be selling a piece of hardware in the data center from Dell, Cisco or HPE and really be relevant long term,” said Kumar. “Clearly the new infrastructure – call it AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform – you have to provide value on top of it and take the customer on the journey into the cloud. Only the partners who are going to focus on this journey to the public cloud and help the customer’s journey into this are going to be relevant long term. Clumio is one of those companies to work with. There’s others in different domains – like Snowflake in data warehousing, Datadog in application monitoring – but these are the vendors you need to align with if you’re truly going to be relevant long-term and take the customer on this journey to the cloud. It’s not going to be easy.”

IDC estimates the global market for SaaS applications revenue is expected to increase from $100 billion in 2018 to more than $185 billion by 2022. Kumar said Clumio is ready to take advantage of this trend by giving enterprises a effective way to migrate workloads to the cloud or minimize the amount of time spent on applications and operations that are not core to business.

“There’s a lot to do to truly build out this multi-cloud platform for the next two years. We’re going to go after more and more of the enterprise footprint and really build a data management company. We’re excited about it. Partners have a big role to play in this,” said Kumar. “We’re just getting started.”

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