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A Renewed, Refounded Panzura Raises $80M

Panzura 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 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."

"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.
Published Thursday, May 12, 2022 11:30 AM by David Marshall
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