Posts tagged ‘Carbonite’
Online backup provider Carbonite (NASDAQ: CARB) announces its financial result for the third quarter of their 2012 fiscal year, and most indications were quite positive.
Storage Newsletter provided a nice summary of the results, the highlights of which are:
- Bookings for the third quarter of 2012 were $24.3 million, an increase of 19% from $20.5 million in the third quarter of 2011.
- Revenue for the third quarter of 2012 was $21.6 million, an increase of 35% from $15.9 million in the third quarter of 2011.
- Gross margin for the third quarter of 2012 was 66.6%, compared to 61.6% in the third quarter of 2011.
- Net loss for the third quarter of 2012 was ($3.4) million, compared to ($7.4) million in the third quarter of 2011.
The improvements all make sense and our part of the natural progression of the recurring revenue model (i.e. since bookings are in advance, revenue will continue to grow and since costs of storage tend to decline with scale, their margin improvement is expected). It seems like the should be profitable at this point, so the lag in generating earnings is likely due to high marketing costs, high G&A, and/or customer service.
The most confusing element is their churn report (“Quarterly retention rate was in the 96% to 97% range, consistent with prior quarters since 2009.”). Carbonite reports churn on a quarterly basis, which makes it harder to discern what is really happening there.
Question to our audience — does anyone know if other SaaS companies that report churn on a quarterly basis?
We’re back! After a long hiatus, the Cloud Storage Blog is under new management and returning to the airwaves… and just in the nick of time – it’s been a huge day in cloud storage news. Unfortunately, most of it is negative:
Dropbox releases security breach information
High flying cloud sync and storage site Dropbox published the details of a major security breach today. The BBC coverage provides a summary of the Dropbox security breakdown and Sophos issued a scathing critique.
Carbonite sanctioned by UK Court
Online backup provider Carbonite got a wag of the finger from the UK’s advertising watchdog organization, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The group called Carbonite’s advertising misleading, noting that the highlight their “unlimited” backup space, but actually intentionally slow down users’ upload speeds when they start to store a lot of data.
They declared (and pretty much anyone with common sense would agree) that this is pretty misleading. The adjudication affirmed that Carbonite’s ads are misleading and prohibited them from being run in the same form in the future. Is the FTC next to act?
Notably, the company did not respond to the complaint. Also, they released 2nd quarter earnings info yesterday. Revenue and bookings are up by an impressive amount, but the market doesn’t seem to like the totality of the news, as the company’s shares are trading down 10.9%
Anyway, we’re exciting to be posting again but looking forward to more positive news for the space…
This will be the first in a series of aggregated news and information about the rapidly evolving cloud storage market. Got cloud storage news? Tweet it to @cloudblog!
Microsoft Launches Windows Azure Drive – previously (and suspiciously) code-named “Xdrive,” Microsoft has pushed an NTFS-formatted virtual hard drive service into a wider CTP. According to Windows Azure Storage Architect Brad Calder, users will be able to run applications in the cloud…
Carbonite Reaches Out to Small Business – The consumer online backup tool finally unwraps a long awaited business program, Carbonite Pro, offering backup storage at $0.50 per GB per month. The storage pricing matches the MozyPro offer, but the Boston-based firm has upped the ante by removing per device licensing fees.
Zumodrive and HP Link Up for CloudDrive – Following the Upline debacle, HP has dipped its toe back in the cloud storage water by offering the CloudDrive service on netbooks, powered by tiny Zumodrive. The aforementioned platform has been lauded for their unique approach to desktop integration, and the ease of use in accessing the cloud via native applications, such as iTunes. Expect the other OEMs to quickly follow suit. iPadDrive, anyone?
Box.net Offers Cloud-based Content Management – Along with the exposure of an online document viewer, Box.net now claims an edge over Microsoft Sharepoint.
In response to our recent post regarding Carbonite’s lawsuit against its hardware vendor, we received a comment from Carbonite’s CEO David Friend. The entire comment has been approved and published, but we wanted to make sure that his key points were recognized with a full posting, as opposed to just showing up in the comments of the original.
Key Point 1: Friend notes that the incident happened over a year ago and is “not an ongoing problem.”
Key Point 2: Friend asserts that while approximately 7,500 users were originally affected by the problems, only 54 users actually lost data (and most did not lose all of their data).
Key Point 3: Friend asserts that Carbonite has change its practices and its vendors to increase the reliability of its systems such that, according to the CEO, the chances of failure “are almost nil.”
It seems like a positive indication that Carbonite’s CEO is addressing this issue head on. The questions that remain are: 1) who is ultimately responsible for the problems that occurred, 2) is the new design Carbonite is using sufficiently reliable, and 3) how will this issue affect cloud storage providers and consumers?
Online backup company Carbonite alerted the public that it had lost data belonging to over 7,500 customers over a number of separate incidents by filing a law suit against a hardware vendor and systems integrator. Carbonite claims that the cloud storage disaster was the result of $3M in faulty equipment provided by Promise Technology Inc. and has brought suit in Suffolk County. The Boston Globe reports that Promise denies any wrongdoing or liability.
Regardless of the outcome, events like this do not bode well for cloud storage providers. Failures, regardless of who is at fault, damage the critical consumer confidence that cloud storage requires to thrive. The impact of this breakdown, from a well-funded (the Globe indicated that Carbonite has raised over $46m) and well-known player in the online backup space, remains to be seen.
Thoughts? Please let us know what you think…
The New York Times reports that online backup provider Carbonite was caught posting positive reviews about its service. The tech columnist for the Times, David Pogue, highlighted a similar discovery around reviews posted on behalf of components firm Belkin (they paid people to post positive or “five-star” reviews), but certainly aimed most of this blog entry at Carbonite.
Pogue’s column was inspired by one of his readers. The reader was a troubled user of Carbonite who chronicles he problems and sleuthing at his own blog in a post titled “Question of Trust”. As Pogue notes, this blogger “is not a user you want to disgruntle.” The comments include a response from the Massachusetts-based company’s CEO pledging to eliminate these reviews (many have already been taken offline by the review publishers) and ensure that no similar problems occur in the future. Also, he notes that at the time they were posted the company was much smaller and did not yet have the appropriate policies in place.
USA Today provided coverage of Carbonite’s early success in the online backup space. Interesting note for the other online storage firms – they seem to have had a lot of success marketing their product on the radio. Who knew?
There were also some interesting numbers reported. Carbonite claims 250,000 subscribers and that the average user backs up about 18 GB. Those sounds realistic and reasonable – however, USA Today also mentions that their datacenter manages “3.2 million terabytes” of data. Sorry USA Today, but that is just crazy. For one, it implies that the average user stores 12 TB instead of 18 GB – we’re pretty sure that’s a typo.
Also, it reports that Carbonite has spent about $10 million on radio ads. We assume their spending a lot online too (their ads are all over the paid search and affiliate networks), so it seems like their cost to acquire a user must be somewhere between $40/sub (absolute best) and $80/sub (assuming that the radio budget is 2/3 of their total spend – could they be allocating even more?).