This Computer Security Firm Scored More Funding and Data Security Smarts

July 11, 2017, 11:40 PM UTC

Computer security company HyTrust has raised $36 million in additional funding, part of which it used to acquire data security specialist Data Gravity.

Data Gravity chief technology officer David Stiles and 20 other employees will move over to HyTrust, but founder and former chief executive Paula Long left the company a few weeks ago, according to HyTrust. Co-founder John Joseph also left Data Gravity sometime before that.

Long is a respected technologist—she co-founded EqualLogic, a storage startup that Dell bought for $1.4 billion in 2007. The idea behind Data Gravity, which received $92 million in funding by late 2014 from Andreessen Horowitz and others, was to tell companies where sensitive data resided in their storage systems so they could better protect it.

Bu the company struggled. By 2016, it cut an undisclosed number of its workforce of around 150. It had tried to bundle its software with hardware, but then reversed that plan to focus on software only.

Related: Data Gravity Gets Out of the Hardware Business

HyTrust founder and president Eric Chiu would not comment about the acquisition price for Data Gravity.

Data Gravity is just the latest example of a well-funded startup that succumbed to reality. Last week, for example, fitness device maker Jawbone failed after having snagged $590 million in its 20 year existence. Chat app Yik Yak ($73 million in funding) called it quits in March. Sprig, a popular food delivery app that had raised $56 million, shut down in May.

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Chiu said that a combination of Data Gravity and HyTrust capabilities will ensure that data remains safe whether it’s stored on a customer’s own servers or in data centers run by Amazon (AMZN) or Microsoft (MSFT) Azure.

Data Gravity’s software figures out what kind of sensitive data—like Social Security numbers or credit card information—is sitting in various data troves. Then HyTrust ensures that a company’s data security policy and also encryption is applied to that data, Chiu told Fortune.

HyTrust’s latest funding round, led by Advanced Venture Partners, brings total funding to about $100 million.


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