Privacera raises $50M to help companies manage compliance and security risk across clouds

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Privacera announced it has raised $50 million in its quest to tackle the data privacy and security challenges faced by large enterprises.

About 64% of respondents to a global Thales survey feel that adhering to compliance requirements is a “very” or “extremely” effective way to keep data secure. But compliance is expensive for enterprises. In a 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of execs at U.S., U.K., and Japanese tech companies, 88% said their company planned to spend over $1 million preparing for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the run-up to its full May 2018 implementation. A smaller percentage of respondents — 40% — said they expected to spend $10 million or more.

Cofounded by Balaji Ganesan and Don Bosco Durai in July 2016, Fremont, California-based Privacera enables customers to automate data discovery and perform policy management at “petabyte” scale. Ganesan previously cofounded XA Secure with Durai to build a centralized access control tool for Hadoop, the framework that allows for the distributed processing of large datasets across clusters of computers. Leveraging this experience, Ganesan and Durai turned their sights to the cloud and created Privacera, developing a software-as-a-service-based data and security management solution capable of integrating compliance across multiple clouds.

It’s safe to say that compliance management is a red-hot sector. Last year, San Francisco-based TrustArc raised a $70 million round of funding to help companies implement privacy and compliance programs; Privitar nabbed $40 million to better enable businesses to engineer privacy protection into their data projects; and InCountry exited stealth with $7 million in seed funding to help multinationals comply with local data residency regulations. Back in 2018, BigID nabbed $30 million to expand its data privacy management platform for enterprises. At the end of 2019, LogicGate, which provides a product that automates processes and compliance tracking, raised $24.75 million to invest in content, frameworks, data partnerships, and integration. And in December, OneTrust raised $300 million for its data governance and compliance automation platform.

Privacera claims its platform is differentiated in that it enables analytics teams to access data across on-premises and multiple cloud services without compromising compliance with regulations like the EU’s GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act, Brazil’s LGPD, and the U.S.’ HIPAA. Privacera allows companies to respond to data subject access requests, as well as any requests to delete data. Moreover, it supports unified authorization and authentication to meet requirements for multitenant data access by customer, subcontractor, contractual terms, franchise, or department.

According to Ganesan, Privacera leverages an open source AI and machine learning library for natural language processing to automate the discovery of personally identifiable data. “Ongoing digital transformation programs force companies to be more data-driven and, as a result, there is even more pressure to migrate to the cloud and make data accessible to data analytics teams,” he told VentureBeat via email. “The pandemic drove more consumers online who are becoming more educated on how and where their personal data is being utilized and possibly exploited. This places even more pressure on organizations to control data privacy locally — as evidenced by … the latest privacy regulations proposed in Virginia and globally.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the market for cloud security and compliance products is huge, expected to reach $12.63 billion by 2024, according to a report by Grand View Research. In a December 2020 Hyperproof survey of over 1,029 IT decision makers, 54% of respondents said they anticipated spending more money this year on IT risk management and compliance, while 86% said they were preparing for the potential passage of a federal data privacy and security law in the U.S. in the next few years and had factored this into their compliance budget.

Privacera today announced that it raised $50 million in a series B funding round led by new investor Insight Partners, with participation from Sapphire Ventures, Battery Ventures, and existing investors Accel, Cervin, and Point 72, bringing its total raised to date to $63.5 million. The 130-employee company, which notched 2.5 times annual recurring revenue growth in 2020, says the funds will be used to support its go-to-market strategy as well as product research and development.

“We help organizations use data effectively and responsibly, so they remain compliant with an ever-growing number of regulations,” Ganesan said. “The latest investment will ensure we continue to deliver on our mission of accelerating data democratization by enabling IT and data teams to easily empower analytical teams with the data they need.”

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