Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Cloud Security Attracting More Investors 

As more data, enterprise applications and other workloads move to public clouds, greater attention and investment are going into cloud security as a way to protect data while managing information and cloud services. Those services in particular are attracting investment capital.

Among the latest startups to reap that windfall is cloud data protection startup Druva Inc., which on Wednesday (Sept. 28) announced the closing of a $51 million Series E funding round joined by a trio of new investors along with NTT Finance. Japan's giant telecommunications vendor, NTT Group, competes against the likes of SoftBank (TOKYO: 9984), which also has been investing in cloud startups such as bare metal server automation startup Packet.

Druva said the latest investment round was led by existing investor Sequoia India along with new investors Blue Cloud Ventures, Hercules Capital and EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Singapore's Economic Development Board. NTT Finance also chipped in again, raising the startup's total capital raised so far to $118 million.

The funds will be used for product development around the startup's secure cloud platform.

Highlighting the "fragmentation of data" and growing data governance requirements, Druva executives stress the need for a unified approach to securing data in the cloud. Moving beyond the management of data siloes such as backup and data recovery, the company's twist on cloud data security emphasizes backing up information once, then allowing its platform to manage information and leverage analytics capabilities.

That approach, company officials argue, increases the availability of mission-critical data in the cloud while at the same time managing and securing it. Druva's platform is built natively on public clouds including Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Investors also said they were attracted by the ability of Druva's unified cloud-native platform to reduce the risk of breached business data in the cloud as the enterprise workforce becomes more mobile. The platform converges data availability and governance to provide security on a par with datacenter availability and governance to mobile and distributed enterprises.

As it attracts more investors, especially in Asian markets, Druva said it has grown to more than 400 employees over the last two years. It has also launched subsidiaries in key markets such as Germany and Japan. Over that same period, it has added new customers including Chipolte, Hulu, Leidos, the Marriott hotel chain, NBC Universal along with NASA and Stanford University.

As cloud security requirements grow with stiffer governance requirements on enterprises to manage data they are compelled to retain, Druva is reportedly considering an initial stock offering. According to the news website TechCrunch.com, an IPO could come within the next year.

Meanwhile, several recent industry surveys found that enterprises are looking to outsource their security operations just as they have turned over management of parts of their IT infrastructure to public cloud suppliers. For example, a vendor study released in June found that about half of those surveyed are investing more in security operations after adopting cloud computing.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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