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New funding puts Waltham data start-up Actifio in line for IPO

March 7, 2013

Actifio, a Waltham data storage company, became the latest hot technology start-up to gear up for an initial public offering after it raised a new round of funding Wednesday from venture capitalists that values the fast-growing business at $500 million.

With $50 million in new funds in its coffers, Actifio is on track to try a public offering within a year or so, its executives said, joining the Boston security firm Rapid7 Inc. and a Cambridge marketing software provider, HubSpot Inc., in the queue for Wall Street.

Actifio has raised a total of $107.5 million over its four-year history.

Most of these young Massachusetts tech companies on the verge of going public make complicated software systems for large businesses, a sector that has done well lately, both in the public markets and among venture capitalists.

Investors are “definitely piling on” these so-called enterprise software firms, said Anand Sanwal, chief executive of CB Insights, a New York research firm that tracks investment in start-ups.

‘Frankly, a company like Actifio­ comes along every five or 10 years.’

Consumer-based technology companies have received a cool reception since the online discounter Groupon Inc. and game maker Zynga Inc. reported declining revenues since going public in 2011.

One of the few Boston-area consumer tech companies that has grown large enough for a possible public outing is Wayfair LLC, an online retailer that raised $36 million in venture money in December.

Others edging toward an IPO include Jumptap Inc., a Boston mobile advertising company that has raised $121.5 million, and Sepaton Inc., a Marlborough data-backup company with $89 million in venture funding, according to an analysis by CB Insights.

Silicon Valley’s Technology Crossover Ventures, a venture firm that specializes in later stage investments, led the Actifio funding. The round also included money from Andreessen Horowitz of Menlo Park, Calif., one of the largest venture firms in the country, and North Bridge Venture Partners of Waltham.

“Frankly, a company like Actifio­ comes along every five or 10 years,” said Rick Kimball, founding general partner of Technology Crossover.

He said the firm was attracted to Actifio because of its potential growth in the lucrative data market and because of the leadership of its chief executive, Ash Ashutosh, a serial entrepreneur.

“We built a storage system that is radically simple,” said Ashutosh, who said the company’s technology was meant to eliminate the redundancy involved in storing backup files of a client’s data.

Actifio generated $17 million in revenue last year, and Ashutosh expects that number to triple this year.

The company has grown to 206 employees. The investment from Technology Crossover will help Actifio “hit our next big milestone” of an IPO, he said.

The market appetite for companies like Actifio is helping it along.

“If we were in the middle of 2008 and everyone was chasing money in Facebook and Zynga,” said Ashutosh, “we probably wouldn’t have the same attention.”

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