Investment Round to Push Vera Growth in 2016
By Josh Linder
Palo Alto-based Vera Technologies announced a $17 million B-round funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures. This offers further validation of a re-emerging market in asset-based information security. This news comes shortly before the RSA Security Conference 2016, at which Vera is a finalist at the RSA Innovation Sandbox Contest.
Vera is a player in the segment of information rights management (IRM), comprised of file-level security, strong encryption, password protection and gated access to content. In recent months, Vera has expanded its footprint through partnerships with Dropbox, Okta and Centrify, as well as strategic integrations with Box, VMware and Microsoft.
This investment will accelerates Vera’s push into a somewhat overlooked technology area, but one that has re-emerged in the past 12 months. As the first document protection option by the aforementioned cloud-first vendors, Vera has made a strong push to become the de facto standard for securing and sharing all cloud-hosted information. With the new funding, Vera plans to pivot from focusing solely on unstructured content (office files, videos and professional drawings) to protecting even more unstructured and structured data types. Later this year, Vera will increase the use of its intellectual property to support additional browser-based applications, with data housed in databases and communications including voice- and text-based messages.
This space is gaining focus because, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), there were two alarming trends in 2015 surrounding protection of sensitive data. First, there was a 38% increase in the number of detected information security incidents (including breaches and accidental leakage). Second, and more concerning, human beings represented nearly three quarters (72%) of those incidents. Even with antivirus and drive-level encryption, confidential and regulated information is often left unprotected once it leaves the hosting organization.
Vera competes with Microsoft’s well-promoted Azure Rights Management (RM) along with legacy players EMC Authentica and pure-play startups such as Seclore and nCrypted Cloud
In two weeks, Vera will be competing in the RSA Conference 2016 Sandbox (Most Innovative Startup), illustrating why rights management is a critical component of a digital security strategy. Much of this was due to its partnership with RFA (Richard Fleischman and Associates) to secure confidential information for leading hedge fund and asset management firms.
As part of this investment, Stefan Dyckerhoff, Managing Director at Sutter Hill Ventures, will join Vera’s Board of Directors.