Vera Looks To Expand Channel As It Adds New Funding, Former Veritas CEO To Board

Data security startup Vera continued to add to its funding and leadership base Tuesday, additions it said it would funnel in part toward a growing emphasis on the channel.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup revealed that it is adding Veritas founder and former CEO Mark Leslie to its board of directors. Leslie has also invested in startups such as Pure Storage, Big Switch Networks and Nutanix.

Vera also said it had obtained additional strategic funding from Leslie, through Leslie Ventures, and Capital One Growth Ventures. The new funding is adding to the company's $17 million in Series B funding it announced in February. It brings the company's total funding raised to $35 million, up from the more than $31 million total it had earlier this year.

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"At Capital One, our goal is to help innovative startups gain traction and evolve their business ideas," Adam Boutin, principal at Capital One Growth Ventures, said in a statement. "With data breaches at an all-time high, the concept that security must be embedded directly into the entire enterprise software, hardware and data stack, holds true more than ever. What’s most exciting about working with the Vera team is that they’re helping enterprises solve a massive security challenge: securing and sharing information, at a global scale."

CEO Ajay Arora said the new funding and addition of Leslie to the board will help propel Vera's sales and marketing strategy to the next level. Arora said Leslie brings "sales and go-to-market expertise beyond anything else we can imagine" and the additional funding is very "strategic."

"It's a huge vote of confidence for us. … You can see the external market trying to latch onto that there is a strong need for this kind of approach to data security," Arora said.

Vera has seen strong momentum in recent months, including the earlier Series B funding as well as having been named a finalist in this year's RSA Innovation Sandbox competition. The company's technology is a data security solution that secures and manages data as it travels within and outside of an organization.

Arora said the company still plans to invest in growing its scale and technology, as previously stated when it landed funding in February. He said Vera will be putting particular emphasis on growing its channel strategy in the coming months, as it sees "accelerated interest" from large enterprise companies.

One key piece of that is the company's hiring of Andy Zambito as its first vice president of worldwide sales, Arora said. Zambito comes to Vera from Appcelerator, where he was also vice president of worldwide sales.

Zambito started with Vera about a week ago, Arora said, and has been charged with expanding the company's go-to-market and sales teams, especially around the channel.

The company's channel push is expected to be particularly important as Vera looks to expand internationally in the second half of this year or early in 2017. Arora said Vera is already looking for international partners to help with that expansion.

"The channel expansion is critical for us," Arora said.