The funding round was led by Sutter Hill Ventures, whose managing partner, Stefan Dyckerhoff, will join Vera’s board of directors. Existing investors Battery Ventures, Clear Venture Partners and Amplify Partners also participated in the round, which closed last week, the company said.
The new funding comes on the heels of the company’s announcement that it will compete as a finalist in the upcoming RSA Innovation Sandbox event in San Francisco. Previous winners of the prestigious security startup event include RedOwl Analytics, which received a strategic investment from the Blackstone Group; Sourcefire, which was acquired by Cisco in 2013 for $2.7 billion; and Imperva, which went public in 2011 to raise $90 million.
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“All of these things have led to us being able to really go into this year with a lot of momentum and kick it off with putting this capital in our coffers,” CEO and co-founder Ajay Arora said in an interview with CRN.
The timing is especially important, Arora said, as the funding market is starting to slow down after years of wild investment in security startups. Arora said Vera was able to land the funding due to a continued need for security, a data security solution that’s beyond a niche point offering, and a demand from Fortune 100 companies and others for a new type of solution to combat the security problem.
“You’ve seen both the public and the private markets hemorrhaging,” Arora said. “It’s a very healthy round and we were able to close it extremely quickly in a period where that is the exception and not the rule.”
Grigoriy Milis, CTO of Richard Fleischman & Associates, said his New York City-based solution provider business partnered with Vera to help better support its hedge fund and asset management customers with data security and information risk management technologies. The latest round of funding helps validate that decision, he said, and helps ensure that the technology is around for the long term.
“We invest significant time and resources into partnering with the most innovative vendors, and the additional funding for Vera means that they will be able to ensure our joint IRM offering remains ahead of the curve,” Milis said in an email to CRN.
Milis said data security is a “critical component” of the solution provider’s strategy with its financial sector clients. He said he chose Vera because it’s not as cumbersome and location-based as traditional encryption technologies, which “accommodates the need that firms have for security, efficiency and mobility.”
Arora said Vera will use the new round of financing to drive scale though growing its marketing footprint and expanding internationally into Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as the Asia-Pacific region. That expansion will likely happen in 2017, he said. From a technology perspective, Arora said Vera will use the funding to invest in expanding its products to as-a-service offerings, as well as enter new areas of data security, such as email.
As for the channel, Arora said Vera will invest first in expanding its vendor partnerships with such companies as Dropbox, Okta and Centrify. He said Vera will also add channel marketing and channel sales personnel to help drive scale around partners. Arora added that the company will need to better equip security and federal resellers as it looks to move deeper into those markets in the coming months and years.
“From our standpoint, we’re just really focused on hitting the ground running and moving forward and focusing on the business,” Arora said. “We have the capital to go and do it now and we’re just going to focus on execution.”
Published in CRN, February 18, 2016