Ottawa cloud backup startup Rewind raises $19 million CAD Series A

Ottawa-based Rewind has closed a $19 million CAD ($15 million USD) Series A round of financing as it looks to capitalize on and expand its “backup-as-a-service” business.

The almost six-year-old startup has developed a platform that helps businesses backup and restore (if needed) their software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud data.

The Series A round represents significant financing for the startup as it looks to grow its customer base within the platforms it currently operates on, like Shopify and BigCommerce, as well as new platforms like Trello.

“Rewind provides solutions that are pivotal to the growth and proper utility of the cloud.”
– Magaly Charbonneau, Inovia

The all-equity round was led by Inovia Capital, with participation from United States venture capital firms Ridge Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. The round also included return investors such as Ottawa’s Mistral Venture Partners, FundFire, and unnamed angel investors. ScaleUP Ventures, which led a small seed round for Rewind also made a follow-on investment for the Series A. The round, while majority primary capital, included what CEO Mike Potter called a minority but “significant” portion of secondary financing.

Rewind is a cloud backup startup, meaning it helps businesses protect their SaaS and cloud data through its own cloud-based backup platform. It allows customers to backup, restore, and copy critical data that is stored on SaaS platforms that Rewind integrates with, including Shopify and BigCommerce. Rewind’s own platform is built off of 20 different services with multiple data centres globally, including through Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Rewind was founded in 2015 when Potter, who calls himself a “backup nerd,” saw the growth of Shopify and realized there was a need for the e-commerce company’s merchants to ensure their data was protected.

He and co-founder and CTO James Ciesielski built out a backup app for the Shopify App Store and in less than a year had garnered around 500 installs. Speaking with BetaKit, Potter explained that he and Ciesielski had originally thought the outcome would be Shopify hiring them, and that would be the end of their project.

Mike Potter, CEO and co-founder of Rewind. Source Rewind.

After finding early success in restoring customers’ lost data, the pair officially launched Rewind as a business, and in 2017 expanded beyond Shopify to support users of BigCommerce and QuickBooks.

“[We] then spent the next year or two really just scaling the business,” said Potter. “Our revenue growth was amazing on those three platforms, and, at one point, I think, one year we grew 400 percent. So we doubled and then doubled again.”

Since its inception, Rewind claims to have protected the data of 80,000 businesses worldwide, for brands that include Charmin and Pampers.

The Series A round represents Rewind looking to accelerate the growth it has seen to date, by acquiring additional customers on the platforms it currently integrates with, as well as expand to other SaaS platforms, like Trello, which the company is currently working to launch.

“The reason we went to raise this round was, we really felt that … we were holding the business back by not raising capital,” Potter told BetaKit.

“[We felt] that there were sales and marketing opportunities that we were leaving on the table,” said Potter. “There was marketing activities that we were passing on, there were sales opportunities that we weren’t necessarily capitalizing on.”

Prior to its Series A round, Rewind had raised a small amount of seed capital, which Potter only specified as being in the hundreds of thousands of dollars-range – this included a seed extension in early 2020 that was undisclosed. Potter refused to disclose Rewind’s total funding to date.

Despite this, Potter claimed Rewind pulled in strong annual revenues. “As we went out and talked to investors, the … annual recurring revenue to amount raised was described to us as world-class, the efficiency that they’ve seen in this company was at the top end of what they’ve seen in any company, anywhere in the world.”

While Potter did not disclose Rewind’s finances, Magaly Charbonneau, partner at Inovia Capital, noted the startup demonstrated strong customer growth and capital efficiency, calling it a “tremendously successful company.”

“Rewind provides solutions that are pivotal to the growth and proper utility of the cloud. Building reliable, secure backups is an opportunity that has the potential to scale across hundreds of applications and be part of the backbone of the way millions of businesses work and store their data,” said Charbonneau, who joins Rewind’s board of directors as part of the deal.

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With this Series A financing under its belt, Rewind is now working to bolster its sales and marketing opportunities, and increase its market share of customers.

“On the three platforms that we support, we have a very, very small market share, when you look at the overall number of accounts on those platforms,” Potter stated, pointing to the opportunity to possibly work with millions of customers on Shopify, QuickBooks, and BigCommerce alone.

“Just tons of room to expand our business,” the CEO added. “And … the platforms that we’re on are growing… And there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity to expand on those, not to mention the other platforms that we’re looking to back up.”

The global cloud backup market has grown steadily over the last four years, especially as SaaS has increased in popularity. Reports claim the market is set to boom between the years of 2018 and 2025, eventually reaching $6.82 billion USD.

Currently a team of 55 employees, Rewind is expected to grow to more than 130 using its Series A capital. Potter specifically pointed to plans to hire engineers to help Rewind launch on other SaaS platforms.

In addition to ramping up its customer acquisition, Rewind is also looking to build out its company acquisition strategy.

“We’ll be looking to acquire companies that are backing up platforms that we’ve identified that we think have a lot of potential, and they’re covering platforms that we want to expand to,” said Potter.

The CEO told BetaKit, Rewind is actively pursuing some deals and hinted to a possible announcement within the first quarter of this year.

Image source Rewind via company blog

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.