eFolder, Axcient Merge, Form Powerhouse Data Protection, File Sync/Share Powerhouse For MSPs

Data protection and file sync and share software developer eFolder and disaster recovery-as-a-service developer Axcient said on Thursday the two companies have merged.

The merger, brought about with the help and financial capital of K1 Capital, an El Segundo, Calif.-based investment firm, brings together Denver-based eFolder and Mountain View, Calif.-based Axcient to form a large MSP-focused provider of data protection and file sync and share technologies.

These are two companies with great technology with a relatively small amount of overlap, said Matt Nachtrab, who joined eFolder earlier this month as that company's new CEO.

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"Our backup technologies fit well," Nachtrab told CRN. "eFolder Replibit is the industry's best image-based recovery technology. And Axcient offers the best recovery environment, with very advanced recovery capabilities. With Axcient, customers can recover hundreds of servers, do test recoveries in the cloud, and can even adjust the timing of the recovery according to the application."

After the merger, Nachtrab will continue as CEO of the combined company, which will use the eFolder name. Kevin Hoffman, former CEO of eFolder, is stepping back to focus on the technology as chief technology officer. Justin Moore, Axcient's founder, will be chief strategy officer of the combined company.

The merger was a pleasant surprise to Luis Alvarez, president and CEO of Alvarez Technology Group, a Salinas, Calif.-based MSP and channel partner to both eFolder and Axcient.

"Knowing both companies and their cultures, I expect they will mesh together quite nicely," Alvarez told CRN. "If you are doing a lot with Axcient BDR [backup and disaster recovery] appliances, eFolder will bring you file sync. If you are doing a lot of file sync, Axcient will bring you new BDR appliances."

With the merger of the two companies, eFolder gets two key technologies from Axcient, Alvarez said.

The first is Axcient's BDR appliances, which he said are among the best in the industry. "We've already deployed about 60 Axcient BDRs, with data consumed both on-premises and off-site," he said. "I've been seeing eFolder to get into the BDR market more aggressively."

The second is Axcient's Fusion platform, which Alvarez said eliminates the need for backup and disaster recovery appliances in virtualized environments by delivering data directly to the cloud for data protection, testing, and other purposes requiring separate environments.

Nachtrab said that eFolder brings four primary technologies to the combined company: eFolder Backup business-grade file and folder data protection, eFolder Cloudfinder for protection of cloud-based data with the ability to search data for specific text strings, eFolder Anchor file sync and share, and Replibit end-to-end business continuity via backup and disaster recovery appliances.

eFolder acquired Replibit in June of 2016, Cloudfinder in June of 2014, and Anchor in September of 2013.

Moore told CRN that Axcient brings the combined company backup and disaster recovery appliances, including hardware, software-based, and virtualized appliances.

However, he said, the company's flagship offering is Fusion, which was released late last year and which has since been enhanced with new automation and orchestration capabilities.

Fusion provides seamless cloud-based replication of an entire IT environment from a single server to thousands of servers, within an hour, and can then get employees up and running within an hour should the primary environment suffer a failure, he said.

"With our runbooks, customers can pre-set up the replicated environment in the cloud to let them recover quickly," he said.

While Axcient's traditional strength has been in the SMB market, the company is now also serving companies with thousands of servers and 100-plus TBs of data, Moore said. "We're seeing some customers shutting down their co-location facilities and rely on Axcient for disaster recovery completely, and paying six-figure yearly fees to do so," he said.

Axcient, which had raised $65 million in funding, was not yet profitable, but was on the way, Moore said.

He said the merger with eFolder was the alternative to additional funding rounds to grow the business. "We wanted to make sure we can capitalize on the market," he said. "After meeting with eFolder, we felt the best way to do it was to be a part of a bigger company. It fills in the gaps in our product lines and lets us take advantage of scale in distribution, marketing, employees, and other resources."

Neither Nachtrab nor Moore would discuss the financial terms of the merger.