Pune Startup set to Capture the Multi-billion dollar Cloud-based Backup Market - The Vaultize Story
We at YourStory.in recently caught up with the geeky entrepreneur, Anand Kekre, the man behind Vaultize, a cloud-based backup solution specifically designed for enterprises. Edited excerpts from the conversation:Anand, what is Vaultize all about?
Vaultize is a product from Anoosmar Technologies. It was co-founded by me and Ankur Panchbudhe. It is the first backup solution in the world that is designed from the ground up specifically for cloud with enterprise-class SLAs, features, and return on investment. Unlike Vaultize, most other cloud-based backup solutions are primarily designed for consumers, and their business editions are just extensions to consumer offerings, while others have tried to somehow retrofit their on-premise offerings in cloud ex post facto.
Tell us about the features of Vaultize in detail.
In addition to continuous online backup and instant restore, Vaultize provides disaster recovery, folder synchronization, sharing over the web, and collaboration. Additionally, Vaultize supports file backup, email and application databases on laptops, desktops, and servers. Hosted on Rackspace Cloud, Vaultize provides 99.5% up-time guarantee and 3-way redundancy for data. With technologies like smart de-duplication, compression, and WAN optimizations, businesses can save up to 90% of storage and the backup can be taken with even limited bandwidth which is particularly helpful to roaming laptop users and remote offices. Further, the disk shipping feature completely eliminates the initial data transfer over the internet. The Disaster Recovery feature of Vaultize continuously replicates data from one location to another and provides a near zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
In addition to making the data available as a standby at a different location, businesses can use this feature to consolidate important data from all remote/branch offices to headquarter. A user can selectively synchronize folders across his or her devices with Vaultize. For example, if someone is using a laptop on the move and a desktop in the office, he or she can keep folders synchronized across them irrespective of how and where they use them. Collaboration features allows users within a business to selectively share files with their colleagues in real time, making collaborative effort more efficient. With Vaultize one can share a folder with colleagues irrespective of their location, and even while on the move. All of this is done securely and without a VPN, unlike many other collaboration solutions. Vaultize also guarantees that if a user is offline, the changes will be synchronized automatically whenever he or she comes online.
With Vaultize, it is now even super easy for businesses to share large files with outside parties. There is no need to use FTP, share files on CD/DVD/USB, or worry about large sized email attachments. One just needs to share a link (URL) on the Vaultize website. The other party will be able to see the files, even while the owner is making modifications to them, which is a more efficient way to collaborate with outside parties. The link can simply be protected through password. It is also possible to set up a time to auto-delete the link or deactivate the link manually to keep the access under control. Additionally, Vaultize offers an option where users can access their data on the Vaultize website through a web-browser. In the near future Vaultize will have tablet and smartphone versions so that people can access their data on these devices. By offering these features, Vaultize has converted an otherwise no-return passive backup into an active‖ content store that gives returns on investment to businesses.
What propelled you to start this venture?
You have more fun, more pressure, and more scope of innovation in startups, actually… more of everything. Having been in technology leadership and executive management positions in startups, as well as in established companies; we thought it was the right time to use our experience in our own venture.
Can you talk about your prior work experience before starting up Vaultize?
Both Ankur Panchbudhe and I, are IIT graduates. I hold a Masters degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a Bachelors degree from SGSITS Indore. I hold 53 US patents and previously held technology leadership and executive management positions in industry leading security, data protection, and data management companies like IBM, VERITAS, Symantec, and McAfee. In my 10 year career at VERITAS, I culminated as Chief Architect and Technical Director for the hugely successful VERITAS Volume Manager. Before starting Anoosmar, I headed the Pune R&D center of McAfee. On the other hand, Ankur did his B.E. from VNIT Nagpur and M.Tech. from IIT Bombay. While at VERITAS, I had hired Ankur from the IIT campus in 2000 and since then we both have been working together. Ankur held senior engineering positions in VERITAS/Symantec and prior to this venture he was the architect of McAfee’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP) appliance.
How big is your team? Ankur and I designed and developed the core of Vaultize. Now, the team is around 10 people (including sales and support). We are now starting to hire people for product development, support, sales and marketing.
How many customers do you have as of now?
We already have 35 businesses as our customers including some very large enterprises from India and abroad.
How does the revenue model work?
Vaultize is based on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) pay as you go model which means that customers do not require CAPEX in hardware or software. It is affordable even for small businesses because the pricing starts at just Rupees 750 per month for a total of 10GB space in cloud (post de-duplication and compression), for all features, and for any number of devices. Enterprises are offered different pricing based on volume of data. Enterprises can use Vaultize public cloud, or choose to deploy it in public cloud of their choice, in private cloud, or within their data center. Enterprises are primarily finding it useful to backup executive and mobile workforce laptops. Vaultize is based on a pure utility computing model, which means you just pay for the amount of data you consume in cloud that too post de-duplication and compression. There is no device or user licensing which means that you can deploy it on any number of machines and you can use all features.
How did you fundraise to startup? Are you looking to fundraise?
It was bootstrapped with our own funds. At this point we are not actively looking for external funding. We have gained very good market traction after receiving an overwhelming response to the Vaultize launch last month.
As a Cloud startup in India, what are your major challenges?
We don’t think the challenges for a cloud startup in India are any different than for a cloud startup in the US. The cloud computing model itself actually helps keep the operational costs low.
What is the market size you are trying to capture?
We expect the cloud-based backup to be a multi-billion dollar worldwide market in the next few years. The market in India itself will be hundreds of crores of rupees. We are looking to become a prominent player in the Indian market as well as the world-wide market.
What are your expansion plans in terms of customer acquisition?
We are channel focused. We are expanding geographically world-wide through partnerships with independent software vendors (ISV), internet service providers (ISP), managed service providers (MSP), system integrators (IS), channel partners, and resellers. We are also providing a unique opportunity to our partners to prominently feature their brand (e.g. logo, colors) in the Vaultize Desktop User Interface and the Vaultize Web Interface, subject to revenue commitments.
Are Indian companies open to the idea of cloud-based backup?
Yes, very much so. Not only have SMBs and SMEs naturally adopted cloud because of the huge cost benefits, but enterprises are also open to the adoption of cloud. In India this is more prominent because the market is more cost sensitive than other western markets. But with Vaultize in particular, we have seen an easy adoption, not only because of CAPEX reasons, but because of flexibility, ease of use, return on investment, and of course because of superior technology!
We at YourStory.in believe that with the kind of experience entrepreneurs Anand Kekre & Ankur Panchbudhe bring to the table, Vaultize stands a fair chance in acquiring a big chunk of the multi-billion dollar cloud-based backup market world-wide. We shall keep you posted about how their story shapes up.
Meanwhile, do visit http://www.vaultize.com/
Also, if you are Cloud Enthusiast, then do register to attend the Cloud Conclave 2011, with Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon, 19th Nov, IIM Bangalore