Palerra, an automated cloud security company, raises $17 million—and ‘coolness’ by Robert Hackett @FortuneMagazine April 8, 2015, 1:50 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Linkedin Share icons It’s been a good day for the Santa Clara, Calif. security company Palerra. In addition to raising a $17 million Series B round of funding, the startup—formerly known as Apprity before leaving stealth in November—has gotten another feather in its cap. It has been named one of research firm Gartner’s “cool vendors in risk management,” along with two other firms: Australia-based Camms and CXOWARE in Spokane, Wash. The Gartner IT tout is as much an endorsement of an emerging company’s technology as it is of its intangible aspects, like culture and success. “They’re a signal of what’s coming in the future,” says Gartner VP, Michele Cantara in a video explaining the distinction. Palerra’s product—a browser-based “software as a service” platform that detects threats and anomalies and automatically works to mitigate them—is called LORIC. The technology uses data modeling to help manage users’ access to cloud services such as Amazon and Microsoft Office 365. By learning employees’ behavior and setting privileges, it aims to quickly detect and respond to suspicious activity. Palerra co-founder and CEO Rohit Gupta tells Fortune that the company’s cloud-based automation is the company’s key selling point. “Emergency responders to critical situations like cyclones and stuff have automated procedures that kickstart under certain conditions,” he says. “Security is no different.” “When you deal with velocity of threat proliferation,” he says, “automation is a more elegant way to do it.” The company’s latest funding round was led by August Capital, a new investor. Other participators in the funding round include current investors Norwest Venture Partners, Wing Venture Capital, and Engineering Capital. August Capital general partner Vivek Mehra, who previously invested in the online fraud prevention platform ThreatMetrix among other security startups, has also joined Palerra’s board of directors. Mehra says he is impressed with both Palerra’s product and its founders: Gupta and CTO Ganesh Kirti. “We like the tech and the team,” he tells Fortune. “They have deep experience based on what they had done at Oracle.” Founded in summer 2013, the company now called Palerra has collectively raised $25 million so far. At the beginning of 2014, it received an $8 million Series A round of funding from investors including Promod Haque (at Norwest) and Gaurav Garg (at Wing Capital), who also notably funded the recently public security companies FireEye FEYE and MobileIron MOBL . Gupta describes the Series B injection and the Gartner recognition as “a great shot in arm for the company.” He adds, “it allows us to continue investing in the sales and marketing side of things as we expand our customer base and the addressable market we’re going after and and as we continue to innovate.” Gupta says he plans to use the money to double the team’s headcount (currently it has around 60 employees) by the end of the year.