LucidLink, a startup offering a platform that lets teams work on files without having to download or sync them, announced today that it has raised $75 million in a Series C round led by Brighton Park Capital with participation from Headline, Adobe Ventures and Baseline Ventures. This tranche brings LucidLink’s total raised to $90 million – a respectable sum for a company founded around seven years ago.
How, you may be wondering (like this author), did a storage startup raise nearly $100 million – and for what? Well, the 5x growth in annual recurring revenue over the last two years might have something to do with it. As for how it plans to spend that money, LucidLink will “accelerate” its product development and engineering efforts, customer acquisition and vertical expansion, CEO and co-founder Peter Thompson told TechCrunch in an email interview.
“LucidLink did not need to raise capital, but instead investors sought us out to invest because of our best-in-class KPIs and metrics for software-as-a-service companies,” he said . “In a sea of flat and bear cycles, the significant increase in valuation over our Series B in 2022 is a testament to our strong performance, despite market conditions. (Thompson unfortunately declined to disclose the exact assessment.)
Thompson co-launched LucidLink in 2016 with George Dochev, whom he met while working at DataCore Software, a software-defined storage developer based in Florida. At DataCore, Dochev, a core member of the engineering team, often encountered difficulty accessing files spread across different physical locations. He built a solution and, with Thompson, sought to commercialize the technology.
“LucidLink is designed to help remote and hybrid teams of creative professionals solve a variety of complex use cases by enabling immediate access to large files and secure, real-time collaboration,” said Thompson. “LucidLink has many applications in creative industries where collaboration on large files is an issue and has seen success in media and entertainment, gaming, architecture, design, advertising and marketing.
LucidLink allows users to stream data directly from the cloud – or, more precisely, stream segments of files on demand as needed by an application, like Adobe Premiere or Photoshop – meaning they can use files and folders as soon as a teammate saves or updates them. a shared file space. A single source of truth is maintained in the cloud, while frequently accessed data is cached locally.
Periodically, LucidLink takes “snapshots” of the file space, allowing users to restore previous versions of individual files or restore the entire file space to an earlier point. Snapshots do not require a complete copy of all data, only what has changed, resulting in what Thompson describes as a “very efficient” use of space.
“The new hybrid workplace requires solutions designed for today’s reality,” Thompson said. “Every other solution on the market focuses on moving data faster or preemptively through synchronization, replication and creating multiple copies… Our creative industries customers face particularly difficult problems because their hand -work is more inclined than others to be remote and hybrid, coupled with the fact that they deal with larger file sizes, making collaboration extremely cumbersome. The fact that LucidLink solves the problem so elegantly is the reason for our rapid growth.
LucidLink’s customers include the US federal government as well as major brands like Adobe (hence, presumably, the Adobe Ventures investment), A&E Networks, Whirlpool, Shopify, Buzzfeed and Spotify. Asked if he was concerned about possible macroeconomic headwinds, Thompson said San Francisco-based LucidLink, which has 123 employees, hopes to reach profitability with the latest cash infusion. (I take that as a “no.”)