On behalf of everyone at Virtru, I am thrilled to share that Virtru has raised a $60M growth financing round led by ICONIQ Growth and Foundry Capital, with participation from Tiger Global, MC2, Bessemer Venture Partners and other existing investors. These are world class firms, and I am grateful to them for putting their trust in Virtru. I am also thankful for the incredible employees that have supported us thus far in our journey, and beholden to our more than 7,000 customers without whom none of this would be possible.
In reflecting on this milestone, it is important to acknowledge that raising capital is simply a means to an end. It provides us with resources necessary to hire many more talented employees. It empowers us to accelerate innovation and introduce multiple new products. It allows us to increase investment in sales, marketing, and customer success. All of which we will be doing aggressively in the coming months and years.
Further, it’s also important to recognize that raising a round of capital like this validates the impressive progress that we’ve already made in tackling one of the most critical problems facing the world today.
What problem are we tackling? It’s the fundamental lack of respect for data that is all too common in the modern digital economy. Respect for data? I understand that might sound a bit esoteric, but consider the following: the word respect is defined as “due regard for the rights, feelings and wishes of others.” Tragically, exponential growth in breaches and unauthorized resharing and repurposing of data over the past decade is undeniable proof that data has yet to get the respect that it deserves.
How did we come to understand this problem? Will, my co-founder and brother, and I both had prior careers in the United States government. I worked in the White House as the lead technology policy advisor and was in the West Wing on 9/11. Will worked in the national intelligence community, bravely served his country in Iraq, and subsequently invented the Trusted Data Format (TDF) in 2009 while working at the NSA. Collectively, our experiences allowed us to see and understand real-world problems that arise when people are either compelled to share sensitive data without proper controls, or refuse to share data with collaborators because proper controls are not available.
Why did we start the company? We did it for one simple reason: to empower people and organizations of all sizes to easily share data so they can collaborate and innovate without sacrificing privacy and security.
How did we innovate and deliver value to customers? We leveraged the open TDF standard to develop a portfolio of Zero Trust data access products that give people a remarkably simple way to protect and control sensitive data wherever and however it might be shared.
What have we accomplished thus far? Our products have now protected more than 1B sensitive assets in support of more than 10 million users and 7,000 businesses. We’ve strategically and effectively partnered with Google, the world’s largest provider of cloud based productivity tools. We’ve deployed our Zero Trust data access technology across numerous agencies in the federal government. We’ve seen usage of Virtru products increase 3.5X during COVID as cloud migrations have accelerated, traditional IT perimeters have evaporated, and the flow of sensitive business data has become fundamentally distributed.
Where will we go from here? We’re going to be the “data-centric” pillar for Zero Trust security. That said, we deeply appreciate that Zero Trust security is not a destination, but rather a journey. And we know that the journey begins with a collection of principles, technologies, and policies that range from networks, to endpoint devices, to identities, to applications, and, indeed, to what matters most – the data. Regardless of where organizations choose to begin their journey, we will dedicate ourselves to helping them realize the full promise of Zero Trust security by offering a simple way to control sensitive data flowing in and out of the enterprise. As more and more of the world migrates to Zero Trust cybersecurity models, we intend to make the Trusted Data Format (TDF) the open standard for sharing and protecting sensitive data.
Indeed, today is an exciting day for Virtru. And while I can’t predict the future, I do know this about the present. Traditional IT perimeters have evaporated while cyber threats have grown exponentially. Our digitally transformed economy is now operating in a cloud native world. People, employees, and devices are mobile-first and business itself is fundamentally distributed. Above all, I know that data has become the world’s most valuable resource, and it’s time that we respect it as such.
Respect the People, Respect the Data.
At Virtru, that’s been our mission for the past decade. And while we’ve made great progress, we’re only just getting started.
As CEO and Co-Founder of Virtru, John is a long time privacy advocate. Prior to co-founding Virtru, John was an investor at Lindsay Goldberg LLC, working with entrepreneurs to dramatically scale their businesses. John also served as the lead technology policy advisor at the White House National Economic Council and was the Policy and Strategic Planning Director at the U.S. Department of Commerce.View more posts by John Ackerly
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