The private equity outfit that snaffled Veeam for $5bn this month has emerged as the owner of N2WS, Veeam’s former subsidiary.

Veaam sold N2WS, an AWS EC2 backup and recovery service, in October last year but details of the purchaser were not disclosed at the time. However, Insight Partners now lists N2WS as a portfolio company on its website, just days after confirming it dug deep to buy Veeam.

Veeam acquired N2WS for $42.5m in January 2018 but it soon ran into problems. N2WS’s US federal customers didn’t want to deal with a Russian-owned business based in Switzerland.

Insight appears to have been a matchmaker for Veeam and N2WS – it invested an undisclosed sum in N2WS in May 2017 and brought in Veaam co-founder Ratmir Timashev, to join the N2WS board.

Backup backers

Insight Partners is a fan of backup software companies. It is the majority owner of Kaseya, an IT infrastructure management vendor, and it has a stake in OwnBackup, which specialises in cloud-based backup for Salesforce data suppliers. Prior investments listed on Insight’s website include Acronis, a prominent backup and security supplier; Imceda, the SQL database backup vendor bought by Quest in 2005; and Mimecast, which IPOed in 2015.

In May last year Kaseya bought Unitrends (which had been acquired by Insight Partners in 2013) and in October took over Spanning (in-cloud backup), which was bought by Insight in 2017. The private equity house’s acquisitions also include RapidFire Tools and IT Glue. Here’s a little diagram if you’re having trouble picturing that web.

Data protection borg

In effect, Insight Partners is acting as a consolidating force in the fragmented data protection industry.

The well-known vulture capital private equity playbook is to buy business assets, grow them while cutting costs, and then sell them. Insight has shuffled its existing backup investments already, putting Unitrends and Spanning into Kaseya.

On that basis N2WS will probably fold back into Veeam. We speculate that OwnBackup could join Kaseya’s portfolio; it looks a good fit with Spanning as both are in-cloud backup businesses. ®

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