All-In-One Backup Provider Unitrends Acquired By Insight Venture Partners


Columbia, S.C.-based back-up solutions provider Unitrends has been acquired by Insight Venture Partners, the companies announced Thursday, and will use the momentum to continue pushing into the channel.

Four years ago, the company was sitting stagnant. But before closing the doors, Unitrends' board decided to give the company one last shot with the addition of CEO Mike Coney. The company has since turned around, showing 19 consecutive quarters of growth and becoming a leading provider of backup and disaster recovery solutions.

"I look at this as really the next chapter," Coney told CRN about the acquisition.

[Related: Unitrends Expands Channel Reach Through Tech Data Partnership]

Unitrends started looking for a buyer two years ago and received a lot of interest before accepting a major growth equity investment from Insight Venture Partners. The buyer, a leading global private equity and venture capital firm, acquired the firm for a "significant investment," but specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We think Unitrends is a market leader and a visionary in the space, and we'd just like to see that continue," said Mike Triplett, managing director at Insight Venture Partners.

Triplett said that Insight Venture Partners will not be "operationally involved" because it thinks Coney has done a great job leading the company and thinks Unitrends is heading in the right direction.

Coney said the plan going forward is to further Unitrends' commitment to the channel. He said the company already does about 75 percent of its business through the channel and its UniRewards program, but Coney said he hopes to eventually raise that to 100 percent channel sales.

"That's where all the margin is, right off the portal," Coney said. "We'd love to see that push to 100 percent. That's a nice, leveraged model."

David Robinson, CEO of DSM.net, one of Unitrends' top partners, said that in the year his company has been a partner, he has been impressed with the company's commitment to the channel and looks forward to seeing more growth in that area.

"They're very committed to the channel. If you look at how they run their business and scale their business, it's very channel driven," Robinson said. "They've got their sights set on making a big impact on the space."

There's no need to mess with a clearly successful model, Coney said.

"We've been very successful to date, and there's no reason to change any direction in the way we engage the customers, the way we sell the customers. This is plowing forward and continuing to accelerate things that continue to work," Coney told CRN.

The company plans to use the investment to grow its product base in cloud infrastructure and virtualization products. It opened an office in London earlier this year and said it will continue to expand globally.

"I know we've got a nice road map ahead of us," Coney said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 31, 2013