COLUMBIA,Unitrends Software, a developer of applications for data protection and business recovery across enterprise networks, is planning to grow, having secured $8.1 million in “B” round financing.

The Aurora Funds, which is based in Durham, led the round.

Also participating were Trelys Funds, which is also located in Columbia, Harbert Venture Partners and ECentury Capital. Each firm is represented on Unitrends’ board.

Trelys led the A round financing.

Unitrends plans to use the funds to expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as continued research and development. Unitrend’s target market for data production unit products is small- and medium-sized businesses.

“Unitrends impresses us with its focus on delivering solid value and benefits to a clearly defined target market, which is demonstrated by the company’s strong revenue growth in 2004,” said Rich Brown, general partner at The Aurora Funds, in a statement. “In our study of the industry, we found that the medium and small business market is underserved; most storage vendors market to these customers solely by selling products with reduced functionality. Unitrends breaks that trend by delivering full-featured solutions that help its customers solve their challenges today, and which are designed to scale with them as their needs grow.”

Unitrends has relationships with more than 200 resellers, including Northrop Grumman. Customers include Siemens, GE Health, Furman University and the US Department of Agriculture.

The company introduced a new line of products with a starting price of $4,500 last July.

“Our ability to raise this capital serves as an industry confirmation of both Unitrends’ product line and our go-to-market strategy,” said Jacques McCormack, president of Unitrends. “This new investment will enable us to accelerate our growth, and further penetrate the markets that are key to our continued success.”

Unitrends was launched in 1989.

Steve Schwartz, a doctor and graduate of Duke University Medical School, launched the company when he encountered data recovery problems at the practice where he worked. Schwartz continues to work with Unitrends as chief technology officer.