Ottawa-based Rewind, which focuses on backing up data that lives in the cloud, has developed a business to help retailers avoid disaster and wrongdoers.
“Rewind is a cloud to cloud backup solution that does focus initially on e-commerce applications. So we back up store data for Shopify and BigCommerce customers as well as QuickBooks Online accounting data,” said Mike Potter, co-founder and CEO of Rewind, which was founded in 2015 with partner James Ciesielski.
“Most people when we tell them that we back up Shopify are sort of wondering why anyone would need to back up Shopify. It’s hosted in the cloud. The same thing with BigCommerce. It’s hosted in the cloud.
“And the reason that the business exists, while they have a backup at macro level – they back up everything on their platform – but as a store owner if one thing happens to one of your products or something in your store, you can’t call them and have them go into that backup. Their backup is kind of like an all or nothing thing. If the whole platform has a problem, they can recover it exactly the way it was. But if one store has a problem – your store has a problem – you can’t call them and have them go into their backups.”
So clients like Shopify and BigCommerce are responsible for the security of their own data and Rewind provides retailers that security by backing up their data to a third-party service.
Potter said Rewind has more than 10,000 customers who are the store owners on Shopify and Big Commerce. The customers range in size and the type of retail industry. Customers are located in more than 100 countries. The United States makes up the majority of the customer base.
“We’ve certainly got a diverse group of customers. Really customers of all sizes. We’ve got small mom and pop stores that are selling very, very little. We’ve got solo entrepreneurs that are really not selling anything at all and we’ve got some of Shopify’s and BigCommerce’s largest brands who are using Rewind to protect their stores,” said Potter.
On the company website, Potter describes himself as a data backup fanatic, with backups to his backups – and backups to those backups. But this wasn’t always the case.
“While working at Adobe as a Technical Evangelist a few years ago, I was giving a presentation at a PHP conference to a few hundred developers and my boss. In the middle of my presentation, my computer suddenly and unexpectedly froze. I restarted it but was then greeted with an icon of a hard drive with a big question mark on top,” he writes.
“This was known as ‘the kiss of death’ for hard drives, and immediately I realized I’d just lost everything on my computer. Needless to say, all of my hours’ worth of work on this presentation had gone to waste – and at the worst possible time. Fast forward to Ottawa in early 2015. It was impossible not to notice Shopify’s explosive growth, so I began scouring their forums for app ideas. I soon discovered a recurring problem: many customers were asking how to backup their Shopify stores.
“In some cases, they had accidentally deleted all their blog posts. In even worse cases, their entire store was lost due to some mistake. Weren’t we all moving to the cloud to make data storage easier? So why were so many people losing critical business data? This seemed counterintuitive, and why were these cloud platforms unable to get it back? That’s when I learned that cloud services are not always backed up in the way we think they are.”
Potter said losing data on a computer can be the worst feeling in the world for people and businesses. The company has more than 30 employees and is considered one of Ottawa’s fastest growing companies.
“We’ve certainly done quite well in picking Shopify as the platform and then obviously BigCommerce has also grown quite a lot in the time we’ve been working with them,” he said.
Potter said that growth in the e-commerce business has been amazing but what continues to surprise him is the amount of sales that smaller companies or smaller brands can get. That’s what Shopify is enabling – smaller companies can now compete with the larger brands.
“That’s a massive change that we’re seeing now. It continues to amaze me how small some of these companies are and yet they’re doing extremely well on e-commerce,” he said. “I don’t see it stopping. I don’t see it changing in any way.
“As consumers get more confidence in online purchasing, the barrier to entry for starting a brand online continues to go down and if you can build a good product that gets good word of mouth through a community you can make some good sales.”