Snapshot: Mimecast’s Malware Filtering, Archiving, Continuity SaaS

Mimecast offers a hosted email malware filtering, archiving, and continuity service. The company is established in the United Kingdom and selected other geographies. Since February 2008, it's been investing in building its North American business.

Technology Summary

  • Works mainly with Microsoft Exchange.
  • Virus, spam, and malware control.
  • Policy-based archiving of all email--including purely internal emails that don't cross the corporate Internet boundary.
  • Search through archives and email, done within Outlook. Particularly useful for e-discovery.
  • Data leak prevention and content filtering. Inbound is mainly checking attachment types and size. Outbound is DLP, scanning message bodies and attachments.
  • Continuity service. If an Exchange server goes down, users transparently switch over to message store maintained by Mimecast, which temporarily emulates Exchange.
  • Outlook plugin required.
  • Picks off purely internal emails that don't transit the corporate Internet boundary, by reading Exchange journals.

Illustrative Pricing

  • $50/user/year for all functionality.
  • Some discounts apply for larger orders; e.g., for 4,000 users, it's $40 to $45/user/year.

Main Types of Customer

  • Any Exchange customer; current sweet spot is 500 to 5,000 users.
  • Mimecast has some clients with over 10,000 seats. These usually have multiple offices with Exchange servers in the various offices.
  • Curiosity. About 100 customers--5% to 7% of revenues--are in offshore tax havens (such as the Caribbean, etc.). Mimecast and its channel partners maintain data centers there, so that electronic information is not discoverable in major jurisdictions (to preserve privacy).

Competition

  • United States: Archiving is an important driver, so the main competition, surprisingly, is on-premises archiving software products such as Symantec Enterprise Vault and Mimosa.
  • United Kingdom: MessageLabs.

Competitive Strengths as Perceived by Company

  • Unified, easy-to-use administration. A single console is used for all functions.
  • Close Outlook integration, providing a natural and familiar user experience; e.g., all searches are conducted within Outlook.
  • Underlying platform. The software is all developed by Mimecast, with the exception of components that are naturally from third parties, such as selected virus filters. This means that 1) Mimecast can respond quickly to new market requirements; and 2) Pricing can be kept low.

Financial Summary, Other Numbers

  • Founded 2002.
  • Service launched in 2004.
  • Privately held.
  • $10M revenues for FYE 3/31/08.
  • $30M revenues for FYE 3/31/09 (projected).
  • Most customers and revenues currently in the United Kingdom and niche markets such as South Africa, and some offshore tax havens.
  • 1,500 customers.
  • Currently about 40 customers in North America.
  • 110 employees.
  • Company was profitable in 2005; not currently profitable due to investment in building North American business; return to profitability anticipated in calendar 2009.
  • $9M in funding has been raised to date.

... David Ferris

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