DC data protection startup Virtru raises $37.5M, led by San Francisco–based Iconiq

The company is looking to expand its encryption offerings beyond email, and open new offices internationally.

Virtru wants to help you keep those emails safe. (Photo via Twitter)

D.C.–based data security startup Vitru announced $37.5 million in Series B funding this week.

The round was led by San Francisco–based Iconiq Capital, according to a news release. Also participating were Bessemer Venture PartnersNew Enterprise AssociatesSamsung NEXT, Soros Capital, Blue Delta, and Thyra GlobalThe company previously raised a $29 million Series A in 2016.

Founded by brothers John Ackerly and former National Security Agency security engineer Will Ackerly, five-year-old Virtru’s platform helps companies protect sensitive data, such as regulated content and intellectual property, even as it is shared inside and outside an organization. The company’s initial area of focus is protecting data shared via email through a form of encryption, which can be integrated directly into services from Google and Microsoft. The company is looking to expand into protecting data shared from file stores, collaboration platforms and structured data systems.

“The endless wave of massive breaches is exhibit A that many security market vendors are selling snake oil,” John Ackerly, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “It’s either checkbox compliance, designed for a bygone era when all your information could be safely locked down inside your firewall, or it’s too difficult for practical use.  We’ve taken a different approach — we protect corporate data wherever it travels. And we make it easy to use and manage.”

The company reports having 8,000 customers, including media companies, state governments, healthcare organizations and financial institutions, having added 3,000 customers in 2017.

In a blog post, the cofounders laid out plans to expand internationally, establish more technical and strategic partnerships and grow in the public sector. The company is also expanding internationally, with plans to open offices in Europe and Asia.

It also has a goal to spread an open data standard for security. The company’s technology is built on the Trusted Data Format (TDF), which was invented by Will Ackerly and enables use across systems.

“We believe open standards are the only way to ensure that data can be securely and seamlessly shared across applications, platforms, and clouds, the cofounders wrote in a blog post. “Over the coming months, we will invest heavily in the TDF ecosystem, making it easier for software developers to leverage this open standard via SDKs and APIs.”


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