Actifio CEO: We’re a “Sleeper Company” Worth $500M in Enterprise IT Market

3/6/13Follow @gthuang

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The same as for any emerging enterprise IT company, he says: “It’s how many people we can touch.” And how to make the sales and support process more efficient; selling can still take anywhere from two weeks to nine months. Actifio modified its pricing at the start of this year, and it’s moving toward more of a subscription model, he says.

One issue that has come up often: convincing big customers that Actifio will survive as an independent company and not be acquired anytime soon (in which case there would be questions about product support). Ashutosh says the startup’s latest fundraising and valuation should quell those fears.

Its longer-term strategy is to prepare to file for an IPO in the next 18 months or so. “The enterprise space is all about being a public company,” he says. And for Actifio, “it’s all about being ready.” (Though in some cases nothing says, “We’d like to be acquired” more than talking up an IPO.)

Meantime, the company is selling in 16 countries, including Australia, the U.K., Germany, Japan, South Korea, and parts of the Middle East. (The U.S. accounts for just over half its revenue.) Interestingly, Actifio is not trying to sell in China or India yet. “We can only grow so much,” Ashutosh says. The firm has worked out its own model for expanding to new regions with small sales and support teams, he says.

Actifio now has a couple hundred customers including Boston University, Audax Group, and NaviSite (part of Time Warner Cable). That number will need to grow a lot over the coming years, but for now, Ashutosh is emphasizing quality over quantity.

“It’s not about signing up 5,000 customers,” he says. “It’s about making the next one happy.”

And what kind of revenues would make Ashutosh happy, in such a big market? “All I have to do is get to $100 million,” he says.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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