The BizSpark Startup of the day is Datacastle, a company which provides secure, comprehensive PC data protection software with policy-driven online backup, proactive data deletion and device tracing - safeguarding enterprise data from loss or theft.
Interview with Ron Faith, CEO of Datacastle
How do you feel being the most promising “Company of the Day” per Microsoft?
Datacastle is very excited about being recognized as the most promising “company of the day.” Datacastle feels that being the most promising “company of the day” will help identify teams interested in exploring partnering opportunities with Datacastle.
How would you describe your company's product and mission?
Datacastle provides secure, comprehensive, cost-effective PC data protection for today’s mobile workforce. Safeguarding enterprise data from loss or theft, Datacastle combines five best of breed components to deliver one integrated, solution – providing policy-driven PC backup, robust AES encryption, automated key management, unrivaled data reduction, proactive data deletion and device tracing.
Where did the idea for this company come from? What was the genesis of the idea?
Datacastle founder and CTO, Gary Sumner (and former Microsoft employee) was asked by a friend to recommend a good online backup solution. Upon researching the offerings, Gary was dissatisfied with all of the existing solutions. With the increase in mobile computing (e.g. more laptops and netbooks sold than PC’s last year) and heightened data protection and privacy regulations, there is clearly a large, global opportunity to pursue.
How did you fund the company? VC, Angel, Bootstrap? What is the chronology of funding?
Datacastle initially raised a seed round and an angel round before completing its Series A financing round in 2008. Datacastle raised $5.3M in its Series A financing with CM Capital as the lead venture capital firm.
Are you currently seeking funding? If so, what kind and how much?
Datacastle is currently not actively seeking financing. Datacastle anticipates that it will go out for its Series B financing in the latter half of 2009 or early 2010.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
Datacastle enthusiastically joined the BizSpark program in late 2008. As a developer utilizing a Microsoft technology stack, Datacastle values the Microsoft development tools and potential business partnerships.
Describe your offering.
Datacastle provides secure, comprehensive PC data protection software with policy-driven online backup, proactive data deletion and device tracing - safeguarding enterprise data from loss or theft. Datacastle is architected as a multi-tenant, “software-as-a-service” offering. Businesses can either procure Datacastle’s software in their own data center, their managed service provider’s data center, or as a cloud-based service offering.
What do you sell and how do you sell it?
Datacastle sells software and services primarily through managed services providers, outsourced IT providers, and broadband ISP’s. Businesses can either procure the Datacastle software for their own data center, their managed service provider’s data center, or as a cloud-based service offering.
Do you have any Software IP? More specifically, is there something unique you are doing in the marketplace?
Datacastle has unique IP assets with patents pending. In particular, Datacastle has very powerful technology in the integration of automated key management and unrivaled data reduction to dramatically simplify providing a highly secure, scalable, and integrated solution for at-rest encryption, online backup, proactive data deletion (device wiping), and tracing devices.
What would you describe as your “primary” market? Are there any secondary markets you service?
Datacastle focuses on the corporate market ranging from SMB’s to the Enterprise. In particular, Datacastle is ideal for regulated industries that have high-value data and need to meet data protection and privacy requirements from Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA (health information protection and privacy) for their laptops, netbooks, and PC’s.
Do you have a growth plan or strategy? Any plans for Internationalization?
Yes. Datacastle today operates in North America and Australia. Datacastle is receiving significant demand to take the product offering to markets in Asia, Europe, and the Middle-East.
How many employees do you currently have? How many software developers/engineers?
Datacastle employs approximately 20 employees and contractors. 10 of the employees are engineers focused on product development and quality assurance.
Are you hiring? If so, what kinds of positions?
Yes. Datacastle is currently bringing on implementation engineers/consultants, technical pre-sales and post-sales positions, and account executives.
What technology platforms are you building on? Why?
Datacastle is built upon a Microsoft technology stack. Datacastle uses Windows Server, IIS, and MS SQL Server.
Are there any customers or clients you’d like to share? References or quotes?
Datacastle currently has managed service provider partners that have sold to SMB’s and enterprises that range from the healthcare industry seeking to meet their security and HIPAA compliance issues to the construction industry that has laptops with sensitive data in dangerous environments.
Do you have a role model or someone you have looked up to? If someone in particular, whom?
Andrew Carnegie. In the face of a challenging and highly competitive environment, Andrew Carnegie figured out how to build an organization that could integrate the technology of his day and bring products and services to customers in a way that was differentiated, defensible, and at scale. He then used his good fortune as one of the greatest philanthropists of his day.
What were some of your previous endeavors before starting this company?
Prior to starting Datacastle, the members of the management team have held leadership positions at Microsoft, Apple, Unisys, Qpass (acquired by Amdocs), and British Telecom. The management team has deep expertise in SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings, managed services, and infrastructure.
Do you have any advice for young software entrepreneurs?
Focus on how you are going to differentiate, defend, and expand your market position by getting to market quickly, listening to your customers, and be creative when your customers are telling you what they need and how they value your offering.
Where do you see opportunities today and in the future regarding the Software/Internet arenas?
Opportunities exist for software applications and infrastructure that can work in various public and private clouds as many companies wish to migrate to a more flexible “op-ex” pricing model rather than a traditional “cap-ex” pricing model. Take into account that end users are more mobile than they have ever been and that presents great opportunities for various device platforms and distributed applications.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Datacastle is interested in finding teams to partner with to both of our benefit. Please contact Ron Faith at firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.