Q&A with Druva co-founder and CEO Jaspreet Singh about enterprise data protection and the $12 million the company recently raised

By Editor September 12, 2011

druva_logoDruva offers fast, reliable backups and data protection for mid-to-large size enterprises. The Mountain View, California–based company was founded in 2007.

SUB: Please explain what Druva is, and the value proposition you bring to the enterprise.

Singh: Druva provides advanced enterprise data-protection solutions for data at the edge of corporate networks. Its unique application-aware deduplication technology delivers 10-times-faster backups and 90 percent savings in storage and bandwidth. The company’s flagship product, inSync, is a highly scalable, WAN-optimized solution designed from the ground up for laptop backup.

SUB: Who do you consider to be your competitors?

Singh: Crashplan, Symantec and Iron Mountain (now Autonomy/HP).

SUB: What do you offer that differentiates Druva from the competition?

Singh: Druva inSync is an industry-first application that delivers near-instantaneous automated backups of laptop computers—with ten times the backup speed of competitive offerings—while enabling simple one-click restores of any file or backup volume from a web browser or iPhone, iPad or Android device. The product offers unobtrusive backups over any network—LAN, WAN or VPN—and is WAN-optimized for the mobile user. InSync’s global, source-based deduplication reduces bandwidth requirements and storage by 90 percent while providing 100-percent deduplication accuracy for Outlook and Office applications.

SUB: What was the inspiration behind Druva? What there an “aha” moment, or was it longer in developing?

Singh: Druva was founded by Ramani Kothandaraman, Milind Borate and I, veterans of Veritas, who saw a vast need for an effective laptop backup solution. As workforces are becoming more mobile, valuable data is making its way from the data center to end point devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Current systems have traditionally been focused on the data center which have inherent flaws because they were not purpose built for end point data backup, but instead were created as a result of making continuous modifications to server solutions to force fit them to end point device backups. We saw a huge hole in the market and decided to develop a solution designed from the ground up for end point devices.

The name Druva comes from Sanskrit which means “North Star.” For centuries, people around the world have used this star to help them find their way, relying on it as a simple, dependable resource that is always there. Druva is committed to ensuring that data on laptops and mobile devices is always there and available.

SUB: When was the company founded, and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?

Singh: Druva was founded in October of 2007. Our first steps were to build a product prototype and get some seed investment. Druva just had three of us until March 2008.

Druva had a false start with a disaster recovery product called Replicator, and after spending about 8-to-9 months, we very soon realized that selling data center solution is tough, and we changed our focus on end-points which looked like a less crowded space which clearly lacked focus and innovation.

SUB: What sizes/types of enterprises are you targeting?

Singh: Mid-to-large size enterprises.

SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building Druva?

Singh: As a competitor with large legacy players, the sales bottleneck is brand awareness. We’ve had early success with our technology and responding to customer challenges and requirements. We’re focused on investing in market awareness, brand and differentiation. Our product roadmap and vision is instrumental in competing in today’s marketplace. We’ll continue to leverage industry press and analysts to “condition” the market and lay the groundwork for our marketing and sales outreach and customer acquisition strategy.

SUB: You recently raised $12 million in Series B funding. How do you plan to use the funds?

Singh: The funding will be used to expand our product portfolio and footprint in existing markets and penetrate new markets in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. In order to meet these goals, Druva will be aggressively expanding its engineering and sales teams.

SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise new funding?

Singh: The market demand makes this an excellent time for us to raise new funding. Data storage and protection is a very hot space. There’s a paradigm happening, the “consumerization of IT”. With the rapid expansion and adoption of cloud and mobility this funding will enable us to stay at the forefront of the industry with solutions that address the market needs.

SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?

Singh: Not in the near future.

SUB: Where do you hope to see Druva in about a year from now?

Singh: We see Druva as a lead player in end-point protection and backup to cloud space. We have a very ambitious plan to roll out key disruptive products and add-ons. We see ourselves as a much larger brand, with an even better sales track record.

Druva – www.druva.com