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Acronis becomes the first Singapore company to sponsor a F1 racing team

The logo of Acronis, a Singapore-based data back-up and protection company with offices around the world, emblazoned on the cars of Scuderia Toro Rosso. The Acronis-STR deal is a multi-year sponsorship.
The logo of Acronis, a Singapore-based data back-up and protection company with offices around the world, emblazoned on the cars of Scuderia Toro Rosso. The Acronis-STR deal is a multi-year sponsorship.PHOTO: ACRONIS

Acronis partnering Scuderia Toro Rosso, which will also use its cloud data protection

Those who caught last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix might have noticed the name of a local company zipping around the Marina Bay Street Circuit during the race.

Emblazoned on the cars of Scuderia Toro Rosso (STR) is the logo of Acronis, a Singapore-based data back-up and protection firm, which became the first Singapore company to sponsor a Formula One (F1) racing team when it partnered with STR in July.

Singtel was the title sponsor for the F1 Singapore Grand Prix race from its inception in 2008 until Singapore Airlines took over in 2014. But no Singapore company has ever directly sponsored an F1 racing team before Acronis.

Founded in 2003 here by Russian-born Singaporean Serguei Beloussov, Acronis has a global user base of more than five million consumers and half a million businesses using its back-up and data recovery solutions.

Singapore is home to Acronis' headquarters as well as its research and development centre. It has offices across the world, including in the United States, Japan, Russia and Germany. It has more than 800 employees, including around 50 here.

The company has seen a 172 per cent year-on-year (YOY) growth for its enterprise business since January last year, while its consumer business saw a 55 per cent YOY growth over the same period.

Its corporate customers include Singapore's Central Provident Fund Board and CrimsonLogic as well as multi-national companies such as 3M and General Motors.

According to Mr Beloussov, who is also Acronis' chief executive, the company chose STR because of its respect for team principal Franz Tost and driver Daniil Kvyat.

"Their vision for the team coincides with our corporate culture of being alert, responsive, vigilant, decisive and relentless," said Mr Beloussov.

The Acronis-STR deal is a multi-year sponsorship, but the sponsorship amount and exact duration cannot be disclosed due to contractual obligations.

Mr Beloussov said that the deal with STR involves more than just publicity aspects.

STR will also use Acronis' hybrid cloud data protection solutions to ensure data availability during race preparation and actual races.

In the past, F1 teams like Williams have lost precious telemetry data due to fire. In July, at the British Grand Prix, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner revealed that the loss of GPS track data, telemetry and radio communication due to power failure had cost the team a better result.

"In Formula One, to lose data of a session means you would lose two- to three-tenths of a second," said Mr Tost of STR during an event at Acronis' global headquarters in Suntec City when the STR team was in town for the Singapore Grand Prix.

These milliseconds may sound insignificant, but in Formula One - where the competition is measured by hundredths of seconds - it can mean starting in first or at the back of the grid, Mr Tost said.

"We had an issue three years ago when our data was lost. And we lost one week of progress on the cars," he recounted.

Mr Beloussov said: "We are sure that our storage solutions, including back-up, can assist Toro Rosso in their races and will sharpen our technology for the benefit of consumers and businesses."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'First S'pore firm to sponsor F1 team'. Print Edition | Subscribe