New growth initiatives by female CEO drove a 200% increase in average recurring revenue (ARR) and 97% customer retention.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 12, 2022 - Panzura LLC, the leader in hybrid multi-cloud data management, raised $80 million in Series B funding from Kayne Partners, the growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, and funding from CIBC Innovation Banking. This round continues the company’s growth that started with a refounding of the company by CEO Jill Stelfox and CRO Dan Waldschmidt, who led the asset purchase and assumed leadership in May 2020.
The refounding launched a complete business turnaround, leading the company through a cultural shift that redefined its core values and brought seven new products to market. The initiatives resulted in an exceptional rise in ARR of over 200% and helped Panzura achieve 4x the speed of growth over its competitors in just 20 months. The company posted a customer retention rate of 97% during the same period and achieved a best-in-class NPS Score of 87.
Describing the philosophy that led to the company’s turnaround, Stelfox clarifies this as a new Panzura. “Customers wanted us to do better, and employees wanted a clear vision and mission,” Stelfox shared. “To restart this business, we needed an equitable, performance-focused culture that is also compassionate.“ She added, “Our people are everything. That’s why we reset salaries to be gender-equal, freed staff from a traditional office by allowing perpetual remote work, and gave each employee $5,000 to use on a career coach.”
This funding — notably from two female-led teams — allows Panzura to scale operations to continue servicing enterprise customers, including key flagship clients like Disney, Milwaukee Tool, BBC America, AmeriHome Mortgage, US federal government agencies, and multiple NFL and MLB teams.
“Panzura is positioning itself to provide the security and visibility that give organizations control of their data.”
— Phil Goodwin | Research Vice President, IDC
Panzura is the leader in hybrid, multi-cloud data management. As a true cloud data management platform, CTOs choose Panzura’s software to protect their data from ransomware and other cyber threats through immutable storage and make it easier to manage at scale through the use of AI/ML data analytics.
On Panzura’s value to customers, Waldschmidt says, “It’s not rocket science. We save businesses from the unfortunate new normal of ransomware. When ransomware threat becomes irrelevant, companies can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on their business.”
“The industry is shifting quickly to hybrid multi-cloud data management, and challenges like ransomware, access control and ever-growing storage of unstructured data are driving customers to adopt complete cloud data management solutions,” said Phil Goodwin, research vice president, IDC. “Panzura is positioning itself to provide the security and visibility that give organizations control of their data.” That shifting industry is moving directly into Panzura’s tractor beam, as its core competencies range from data security and management to data governance and protection.
“Businesses today are being forced to think differently about data storage and data protection. As we looked at the changing dynamic of how companies store, manage, and protect data, we developed a strong thesis behind platform solutions targeting cloud transformation. We sought to partner with a leading management team at the helm of a best-in-class scalable platform that was addressing these types of issues. Panzura is exactly that,” said Nishita Cummings, managing partner of Kayne Partners. “Jill and her team have a superior solution in a growing market that enjoys several macro tailwinds.
Further, we are honored to invest in an organization that is led by a female CEO and is committed to its people and diversity, equity and inclusion as part of its core principles.”
— Nishita Cummings | Managing Partner, Kayne Partners
“We are proud to support Panzura as they continue to grow and evolve their business model to meet the needs of a quickly changing industry,” said Holly Dungan, managing director at CIBC Innovation Banking’s Menlo Park office. “We’re impressed by the high caliber team that Jill and Dan have hired to support this growth, the new products they’ve quickly brought to market, and their customers’ high accolades for their services. We are excited to see what they accomplish next.”
Significant above-market growth allows the company to continue to hire amazing talent. The company is on track to add another 150+ team members by the end of 2022 and has openings in engineering, marketing, HR, finance, and sales. This press release is available on Panzura’s website.
Panzura makes hybrid multi-cloud data management seem easy. Panzura’s data management platform is a single, unified data engine designed to securely power the most rigorous, large-scale multi-site enterprise data workﬂows across the globe. Intelligent edge technologies enable LAN performance with cloud economics together with simplified data management, advanced analytics, reduced operational complexity, and improved security. Find out more at panzura.com.
About CIBC Innovation Banking
CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management, and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from startup to IPO and beyond. With offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, London, Menlo Park, Montreal, New York, Reston, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver, the team has extensive experience and a strong, collaborative approach that extends across CIBC’s commercial banking and capital markets businesses.
About Kayne Partners
Kayne Partners, the Los Angeles-based dedicated growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., leverages its large firm resources to partner and invest in lower middle market, privately held, high growth, enterprise software and tech-enabled service businesses across North America. The team has developed a durable and repeatable investment strategy and process for applying its stage expertise through sourcing and investing in companies at an early inflection point, adding value and scaling through organic growth and M&A, and exiting these must-have assets to strategics & financial sponsors. The team has experience investing across media & telecommunications, supply chain & logistics, financial technology, healthcare IT, security & compliance, and business process outsourcing and automation. For more information, please visit kaynepartners.com.
About Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors
Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., founded in 1984, is a leading alternative investment management firm focused on real estate, credit, infrastructure/energy, renewables, and growth equity. Kayne’s investment philosophy is to pursue niches, with an emphasis on cash flow, where our knowledge and sourcing advantages enable us to deliver above average, risk-adjusted investment returns. As responsible stewards of capital, Kayne’s philosophy extends to promoting responsible investment practices and sustainable business practices to create long-term value for our investors. Kayne manages $32 billion in assets (as of 2/28/2022) for institutional investors, family offices, high net worth and retail clients and employs 320 professionals in five core offices across the U.S. For more information, please visit kaynecapital.com.