Arik Hesseldahl

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Code 42, the Company Behind CrashPlan, Lands $52M Funding Round

Code 42, the Minnesota-based start-up behind the popular PC-backup service CrashPlan, has just landed a $52.5 million growth capital investment round led by Accel Partners, with Split Rock Partners also participating.

The company has been doing CrashPlan since 2007. The point then was to rethink the whole mind-numbing notion of backing up data from a Mac or PC, aimed at consumers. The next year, following some prodding from companies, it made an enterprise version of CrashPlan that is focused on backing up the data on corporate notebooks and desktops.

Code 42 now manages nearly 100 petabytes of data in the cloud for some 4,000 customers around the world, including at companies like Adobe, Google, Groupon, Hewlett-Packard, LinkedIn, and NASA. Last year, it launched a version aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

Co-founder and CEO Matthew Dornquast told me the picture has always been bigger than just about data backup. “The funny thing about backup is that when you have a continuous protection engine that knows within seconds what new unique information is being created on every desktop within your enterprise, there’s a lot you can do with that information,” he says. Companies now use it not just for backup but also for discovery when lawsuits happen, and as a recovery service. “Companies also like that they can quickly change their policies for backup and retention across the enterprise very quickly,” Dorncast says. “We can change a policy for the entire enterprise in seconds.”

It’s that policy-management part that makes sense to Ping Li of Accel, who’s leading Accel’s investment in Code 42. “The proliferation of devices in the enterprise — phones and tablets — makes the whole data management problem a lot more complex,” he says. “Having a central policy for managing all your information across all the places where employees touch it is more important than ever before,” Li told me.

Li said it’s not a typical VC investment. Code 42 has been profitable since launch, but it could use some cash to expand its sales and marketing efforts and to build some extensions on top of the original product.

As it happens, this is the first investment by Accel’s Big Data fund announced in November.

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— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”