As companies increasingly rely on the cloud as a way for their workers to both collaborate with each other, and to store files, there is going to be a large need for security.
Companies that can make the enterprise space feel more secure about transferring its data to a platform it has less control over are going to thrive, and, already, a few of them have been trying to be at the forefront, including Apprity a cloud security company that says it has a new way of protecting cloud and SaaS apps.
Apprity has now raised $8 million in oversubscribed Series A round of venture capital funding, the company has announced. This is the first outside money that it has raised.
The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Wing Ventures, along with individual investors Sohaib Abbasi, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Informatica Corp; Amit Jasuja, Senior Vice President, Identity Management & Java, Oracle Corp; Hasan Rizvi, Former Executive Vice President, Fusion Middleware & Java, Oracle Corp; and David Schneider, Senior Vice President, Sales & Services, ServiceNow.
Founded in 2013, and still in stealth mode, Apprity is designed to help enterprise customers feel more secure as they move mission critical mission processes to cloud and SaaS apps, Rohit Gupta, founder & CEO of Apprity, told me in an interview.
"As the threat landscape intensifies, enterprises, as they move to the cloud, are looking for ways they can feel more confident," he said.
These are companies that have typically found that when everything was running on premise, they had control over pretty much everything as it related to their applications, data and network. On the cloud, this is just not the case, so they have to trust that the provider is delivering a secure network.
Otherwise, Gupta said, there is a chasm and the company feels too exposed.
The new money that Apprity has raised will be for building out the product, and for expanding industry partnerships.
"As a young company, our initial focus has been on software development," Gupta said. "We want to very aggressively building out our threat research capabilities. We feel very strongly about being able to understand the ins and outs of apps."
Threats, he said, are continuously evolving, so Apprity wants to invest in researching threat patterns. The ability to proactively source and identify these patterns is part of what will make Apprity ultimatelty successful in combating threats to cloud apps.
"We have an understanding of apps, and how they have security pillars around them," said Gupta. "We can decipher patterns, look at ability to very quickly segregate between what is normal and what is potentially resembles a trojan, or a script impersonating a human."
The company is the second cloud security company to raise money this week, following the $6.3 million raised by Elastica, which came out of stealth this week. Apprity is different from companies like Elastica and others in that they focus on the past, rather than the future, according to Gupta.
"My general experience suggests that when you design for a world that we are moving towards, you have to design solutions for being able to secure for the future," he said.
The other companies take an "outside looking in" approach, that is representative of what Web security looked like 15 years ago.
In addition to the funding news, Apprity is also announcing that Gaurav Garg, founding partner of Wing Ventures, and Promod Haque, senior managing partner of Norwest Venture Partners, will both be joining Apprity’s Board of Directors.
The investment in Apprity is the first Series A investment that Haque and Garg have made jointly in enterprise security since investing in FireEye in 2005.
There are three things that made Haque interested in investing in Apprity, he told me.
First, he sees this a very large marketplace.
"The total size continues to grow as more and more enterprise companies move to the cloud," he said.
Second was the background of founders, all of whom come out of the security space, and have worked in variety of different companies on both the product development and marketing sides.
Third is the company's technology, which he said he could not discuss in detail because the company is still in stealth mode, but "compared to other approaches in the marketplace, they have a ery unique way of doing things," he said.
Their approach "has advantages, like the ability to fix problems in other solutions, and providing increased productivity."
Apprity, which has around a dozen early adopter customers right now, plans to continue to operate in stealth mode for another two or three quarters before emerging.