Late Stage Mature Pre IPO Unicorns -

Druva raises $147M at a valuation north of $2B as the cloud rush continues

From TC

Druva, a software company that sells cloud data backup services, announced today that it has closed a $147 million round of capital. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a group that manages Quebec’s pension fund, led the round, which also saw participation from Neuberger Berman. Prior investors including Atreides Management and Viking Global Investors put capital into the deal, as well.

Druva last raised a $130 million round led by Viking in mid-2019 at around a $1 billion valuation. At the time TechCrunch commented that the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) backup service was tackling a large market. (TechCrunch also covered the company’s $51 million round back in 2016 and its $80 million raise from 2017.)

Since then SaaS has continued to grow at a rapid clip, including a strong 2020 spurred on by COVID-19 boosting digital transformation efforts at companies of all sizes. In that context, it’s not surprising to see Druva put together a new capital round.

A recent tie-up between Dell and Druva, first reported in January of this year, was formally announced earlier this month. The selection of Druva by Dell could help provide the unicorn with a customer base to sell into for some time. TechCrunch wrote about Druva earlier this year, during the reporting process the company said that it had “almost tripled its annual revenue in three years.”

Its new round did include some secondary shares, which Neuberger Berman managing director Raman Gambhir described as difficult to snag during a call with TechCrunch. He explained that some of the secondary sales were due to some prior funds reaching their end-of-life cycle. Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh stressed that his backers are working to do what’s best for the company instead of merely maximizing their returns during a joint interview.

Singh told TechCrunch that business at Druva is accelerating. Normally we’d note that that sounds like IPO fodder, especially as Druva passed the $100 million ARR threshold back in 2019. However, as the company has been making IPO noise for some time, it’s hard to predict when it might pull the trigger. Our coverage of the company’s 2016 round noted that the company could go public within a year. And our coverage of its 2019 investment included Singh telling TechCrunch that an IPO was 12 to 18 months away.

It probably is, now, but that’s beside the point. With refreshed accounts, a market moving in its direction, and some early investor relieved in its latest investment the company has quarters worth of time to play with. Still, Singh did stress that its new financing round did select investors that he said is building a long-term position; that’s the sort of verbiage that CEOs break out when they are building a pre-IPO cap table.

Gambhir told TechCrunch that his firm has already requested shares in Druva’s eventual IPO. Perhaps we’ll see Fidelity show up with a $50 million check in a few months.

Every startup that raises capital tells the media that they are going to use the funds to expand their staff, double down on their tech and, often, invest in their go-to-market (GTM) motion. Druva is no exception, but its CEO did tell TechCrunch that his company currently has over 200 open GTM positions. That’s quite a few. Presumably that spend will help the company keep its growth rate strong in percentage terms as it does, finally, look to list.

This is yet another growth round for a late-stage, enterprise-facing software company. But it’s also a round into a company that had to move its operations to the United States when it was founded, at the behest of its investors per Singh. And Druva has done some pretty neat cloud work, it told TechCrunch earlier this year, to ensure that it can defend software-like margins despite material storage loads.

It’s an S-1 that we’re looking forward to. Start the countdown.