Let this sink in for a moment: In only 7 years, Datto Backup has gone from a basement startup founded by a 21-year-old to one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the nation—revenue increased 3,101 percent (you read that right) over the past three years, and now tops $50 million annually. It partners with more than 5,000 companies in North America and Europe.
“It’s been kind of overwhelming,” says Austin McChord, Datto’s founder, who, fresh out of the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in bioinformatics, moved back to his parents’ home in Newtown and racked up $80,000 in credit card debt to launch the company. “Ultimately, I didn’t want to work for the pharmaceutical industry, and I thought I couldn’t possibly be anymore broke than I was, so it seemed like a good time to start a company because I didn’t have a whole lot to lose.” Following an idea that he came up with in school for a cloud-based computer backup system, he went to work hand-soldering his units while reaching out to every possible tech outlet and growing the business. He had modest success over the first year, but when in 2009 he decided to change the company’s focus and only sell to IT service provider re-sellers, Datto’s sales took off.
In 2013, Datto continued its dramatic rise, adding its first major investor in General Catalyst and enjoying nearly 100 percent annual growth; it added 144 new employees and a production facility in Monroe, while opening offices in Toronto and London. The company and its founder also garnered accolades: “Fastest Growing Company in Backup and Security” from Inc. magazine; “Best Customer Support,” “Best Partner Involvement” and “Best New Product,” all from The ASCII Group; and “Top Innovator of 2013” from CRN.com.
The company plans on adding another 150 employees by the end of 2014. “We’re always looking forward, so it’s sort of strange to be looking back to see how far we’ve come,” says McChord. “I think that when I started the business, not knowing how steep the mountain I had to climb was, was to my best benefit because if I had any idea how hard it was to get where we are now, there’s no way I would’ve started. If you had asked me two or three years ago what my company had achieved, I certainly wouldn’t have told you that we’ve covered as much ground as we have. We’ve been incredibly lucky and have a great team here.”
- Ray Bendici