Just how far has the CDP market fallen?

by Brenon Daly, Henry Baltazar

In the days before the big storage vendors turned continuous data protection (CDP) into a feature rather than a stand-alone product, investors in CDP startups could still make decent returns. Both Kashya and Topio raised about $20m in VC backing, and ended up exiting for eight times that amount. Kashya sold to EMC for $153m in cash in May 2006 while Topio, which wisely blended CDP with heterogeneous replication in its offerings, went to NetApp for $160m in cash a half-year later. (Of the two deals, NetApp-Topio has been the underwhelming transaction. NetApp recently shuttered the SnapMirror for Open Systems product line that it picked up with Topio.)

Since those paydays, however, CDP valuations have plummeted. Symantec acquired assets of Revivio for an estimated $20m in November 2006, while Double-Take Software handed over just $8.3m for TimeSpring Software in late 2007. But even those deals seem rich when we consider BakBone Software’s recent reach for CDP startup Asempra Technologies. Under terms of the deal, BakBone is shelling out just $2.1m for Asempra, which had raised $36m from its backers. To add insult to injury, BakBone is paying for the acquisition mostly in equity, with $1.7m of the price tag covered by its illiquid, Pink Sheets-traded paper. We would note that Asempra’s owners are getting 3.8 million shares of BakBone, which typically only trade about 30,000 shares each session.

Select CDP transactions

Date Acquirer Target Price
May 2009 BakBone Software Asempra Technologies $2.1m
December 2007 Double-Take Software TimeSpring Software $8.3m
November 2006 Symantec Revivio $20m*
November 2006 NetApp Topio $160m
May 2006 EMC Kashya $153m
March 2006 Atempo Storactive Not disclosed

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase *451 Group estimate