Trust but Vera-fy: Our Investment in Vera

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There has been a surge in data breaches impacting many aspects of our lives, targeting tech startups and political parties to financial institutions owning some of the most critical consumer information. In a world where cloud is ascendent, supply chains are digitizing and integrating, and employees and partners expect to access data anywhere from any device, perimeter driven cybersecurity solutions are failing to provide sufficient protection. We believe there is a perfect storm for data protection for a few reasons.

First of all, there has been a massive shift in the infrastructure environment. According to Gartner, 90% of organizations will adopt hybrid cloud/on-premises infrastructure by 2020. Given cost advantages, efficiency and flexibility gains, the shift to cloud is a no-brainer, yet this also changes the way organizations need to think about security. Being inherently shareable, the cloud brings greater challenges with managing security and proper visibility.

Concurrently, more enterprises are adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies to enhance employee satisfaction and reduce costs. 60% of organizations already allow employees to use their own devices at work, and an additional 14% plan to begin allowing within the next twelve months. According to research by European Commission, losing critical company data, especially customer data, represents the major concern for most companies that have not adopted BYOD.

As data is moving to the cloud, and employees are demanding access from their own devices, compliance and data privacy rules, such as GDPR, are increasing. GDPR, in particular, applies not only to Europeans but also any organization with business in the EU. GDPR effectively holds companies that store or transmit personally identifiable information accountable for the safekeeping of that information, and fines can total up to 4% of the annual global sales.

We are seeing additional trends in the manufacturing industry with the rise of powerful on-demand manufacturing platforms, such as Xometry, quoting parts instantaneously and helping companies get parts cheaper and faster. The workflows are getting digitized and supply chains are becoming more integrated and global. As a result, there is constant sharing of data among enterprises all around the world, no matter what sector they are in. As some of the data could contain valuable core IP in forms of CAD files, images, PDFs, among others, there is an increasing importance to protect, control access to and track data.

Given the challenges we’ve highlighted above, there is a need for a new approach that can protect the data at the file level, no matter where it travels. During our deep dive into the topic, we’ve had a chance to learn more about Vera. The team at Vera has built a powerful data-centric security tool encrypting individual files with specific and dynamic access controls that travel with the file across networks, ecosystems, and applications. Thanks to Vera, you can instantly revoke access to any document, take back control over sensitive emails, and lock down confidential data - even if it’s been copied, forwarded, downloaded or shared in platforms, such as Box and Dropbox. Vera can help secure most common enterprise file types, such as MS Office, PDF, creative content and CAD files seamlessly across Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.

Now is a pivotal point for Vera as Carlos Delatorre is joining as the CEO. Carlos brings more than 20 years of software industry leadership experience to Vera, and most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer at MongoDB, Inc., where he was a key member of the company’s IPO leadership team.

We are convinced that Vera stands out in the crowd thanks to its mature solution, solid customer base of blue chip companies like GE, Cisco and Capital One, and impressive management team who helped scale some of the most successful enterprise SaaS companies. We are thrilled to announce our investment in the Vera team and join other investors, including Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill and Hasso Plattner Ventures, to help shape the future of data security!

P.S: Special thanks to our rockstar interns, Brett Neustadt for the help in diligence, and to Benjamin Kleinschnitz in helping shape our initial thinking around data protection in manufacturing!