Q: Can you explain exactly what your company does and what problem it solves?
A: Infrascale uses the cloud to protect data for businesses. We provide the industry’s only total cloud platform for backup, disaster recovery, file sharing and data archiving with military-grade security. Our platform protects data in any environment and our solutions span mobile devices, workstations, and physical or virtual servers. You can think of it like iCloud backup for banks and government.
Data protection is a critical part of computing that is often overlooked. The industry has been dominated by three companies that have lost their focus on innovation and customer service. As a young company, Infrascale has seized the opportunity to disrupt the industry by making data protection dramatically simpler and by offering a solution at a price point that makes it more accessible for companies to securely protect their business data, which is their lifeblood.
Q: How did Infrascale get started?
A: The foundation for Infrascale started in Australia more than 10 years ago. I’m an engineer by training and in college I built backup tools and utilities that became popular in Australia. In 2006, I formed a company, building out a product team and valuable products that I eventually brought to America.
Q: What are some of the specific challenges you’ve faced as the company has grown and how have you successfully addressed them?
A: The challenges I’ve faced track the normal life cycle of a company. The first challenge was building a product and putting together a great team that was capable of taking the product farther. I recognized that my own vision only went so far and that I needed others who could take the baton and run with it. Another challenge all startups face is fundraising. Fundraising for a young company can be a real bear and finding the right VC/PE is mission critical. Getting the wrong equity partner can be terrible. Getting the right one can be transformational. I’ve had great early stage investors as the company grew up and I’m grateful to have found Carrick now that we’re larger. They can really help us scale. They bring much more value to the table than just capital.
Q: Tell us about your decision to bring in an equity partner.
A: The decision to bring in an equity partner was relatively simple. We wanted the capital to scale. The difficult decision was which equity partner. I’ve always been deeply skeptical of investors who promise to provide “added value.” Everyone makes the same claim. No one ever says “we are dumb money.” Some claim to add value and actually do. But most make the claim and then disappear or claim to add value and actually decrease value by micromanaging, meddling and controlling. Carrick is in that rare category of equity partners that add tremendous value beyond capital.
Q: In what areas of the business did you feel you could use help or counsel?
A: When I met Carrick I wanted to acquire another company, and I couldn’t have done that without them. They really supported that strategy. I was lucky to find partners who would back my vision and the acquisition of a new company, particularly given that I had no acquisition experience. As it turns out, the acquisition has gone very well. It has been a transformational deal and it has made our future much brighter.
Q: What are the benefits of working with a group like Carrick Capital Partners?
A: Our partnership with Carrick gives us access to a wide range of skill sets. Collectively, the partners bring to the table diverse and complementary business experience. To name a few, these include business-building acumen, operational expertise, unparalleled knowledge of technology- enabled service businesses, and in-depth understanding of legal, finance, capital structure, and governance matters. They also all have very powerful networks and know exactly who to bring to the table. They are no more than three steps removed from anyone I’d ever need to contact.
Q: What has been the biggest change to the company as a result of working with a private equity partner?
A: The acquisition has completely changed the trajectory of the company and we couldn’t have done it without Carrick.
Q: What’s your advice for other growing businesses considering private equity?
A: I have a beef with applying the term “private equity” to Carrick. Carrick provides growth equity. When most entrepreneurs think of private equity, they imagine predatory organizations and individuals who aren’t going to act like partners. In stark contrast, Carrick is willing to roll-up their sleeves and help. Forget everything you think you know about private equity. Carrick is different. They are not just a financial partner: they are a business partner.
Q: What are you most excited about at Infrascale and what’s next?
A: I’m most excited about our immediate product roadmap. We are doing some really cutting edge work. We operate in a $3 billion market worldwide and our products are reshaping what is defined as a good enterprise backup and disaster recovery system. Knowing that what you’re doing is having a real industry impact is exciting.
Next is sales and marketing expansion. We have a product and a platform, but we needed to invest in the sales and marketing machine to scale. So that’s what we’re doing. In three years I hope to have expanded internationally in a substantial way beyond North America into Europe and Asia.