EMC on Tuesday announced that it is taking another swing at backup and file synchronization. However, this time the company is aiming primarily at mobile users in the enterprise. EMC is acquiring four-year-old startup Syncplicity, which provides file-sharing and storage software as a service that enables synchronization to and from computers, mobile devices and online services.
In announcing the acquisition, EMC noted that it chose Syncplicity over the competition because Syncplicity is focused on the enterprise segment, while most other competitors are still targeting consumers. (EMC had previously tried its hand at the consumer backup market. In 2007, it paid $76m for online storage startup Mozy, but has since handed over much of the responsibility for those assets to VMware.) Like so many of its rivals, Syncplicity started in the consumer space but turned its attention toward enterprises in the past year or so. The company now claims about 200,000 users, including roughly 50,000 businesses.
We’d also note that the deal was driven by EMC’s Information Intelligence Group (i.e., Documentum), which makes sense from a collaboration/workflow/app space, but it does have the potential to cause some internal conflicts. For example, the EMC Atmos team is working closely with Oxygen Cloud, and VMware has Horizon/Octopus.
EMC isn’t disclosing terms of the acquisition, but we were recently told that Syncplicity is still in its early days and is nowhere near the size of competitor ShareFile, which sold to Citrix last year. ShareFile had nearly double Syncplicity’s headcount, and generated an estimated $12m in revenue during the year leading up to its sale. Citrix paid $54m for ShareFile, and is now using the target’s technology in its recently updated CloudGateway 2 product for mobile app management and file sharing. We’ll have a longer report on EMC’s Syncplicity buy later this week.
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