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Cloud Security Firm Bitglass Raises $70M, Plans To Double Headcount

Bitglass CEO Nat Kausik anticipates the money will help the company shift from doing just under half of its business through the channel today to 60 percent a year from now.

Cloud security startup Bitglass has raised $70 million to help broaden its product capabilities and customer base by hiring more engineers and salespeople.

The Campbell, Calif.-based vendor said the money will help Bitglass add new detection and protection features such as cloud-to-cloud data protection, according to CEO Nat Kausik. The $70 million Series D round was bankrolled by new investor Quadrille Capital, as well as existing investors FutureFund, New Enterprise Associates, Norwest and Singtel Innov8.

"We're in the SaaS business, where you build a building and rent out floors," Kausik told CRN. "Raising more capital will allow us build more floors."

[Related: Microsoft Leapfrogs Google As Cloud Productivity Market Surges, Bitglass Reports]

Bitglass needs additional engineers to write more code and extend the reach of the company's technology, according to Kausik. He intends to use the proceeds to double Bitglass' headcount from 100 to 200 employees over the course of 2019 by hiring people in roles ranging from regional sales managers to inside salespeople to solution engineers.

The company was founded in 2013, and has now raised $150 million in four rounds of outside funding. Kausik anticipates that will be Bitglass' last round of private equity before pursuing an initial public offering.

From a channel perspective, Kausik anticipates the money will help Bitglass shift from doing just under half of its business through the channel today to 60 percent a year from now. Bitglass has strengthened and revamped its channel organization, according to Kausik, hiring new leaders and establishing relationships with large partners like Hitachi in Japan and General Dynamics in the United States.

In the United States, Kausik said Bitglass is looking to increase its channel presence by organizing regional events that feature solution providers and early customers to evangelize on behalf of the company. Bitglass has approximately 300 channel partners globally today, and Kausik is looking to grow that figure the company's market presence expands.

Solution providers that have experience working with cloud applications or security tend to enjoy the most success partnering with Bitglass, according to Kausik. A typically Bitglass deployment takes just a week and doesn’t require any hardware or software agents, Kausik said, meaning that partners will enjoy rapid time to revenue.

"We're a channel-friendly SaaS company that's eager to work with channel partners," Kausik said.

Dark Rhino Security began working with Bitglass a year ago, and today has pending 75,000-license and 200,000-license deals with customers, according to Kevin Casey, CEO of the Dublin, Ohio-based solution provider.

Casey would like to see Bitglass use a majority of their Series D process to hire sales professionals and pre-sales engineers to espouse the value of what the company does relative to competing offerings from Netskope, Symantec and McAfee.

From a channel perspective, Casey said he'd like to see Bitglass hire a "rockstar veteran" who can put a proper program in place to facilitate rapid growth. Casey believes a channel leader with deep industry experience could be effective in advocating for solution providers within the organization.

"You can't be half-pregnant. You're either channel-focused or you're not," Casey said. "It's now time that they grow up a little bit and find other partners in order to espouse the value that Bitglass has already demonstrated in the marketplace."

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