Proofpoint Buys AI-Powered Data Protection Startup Dathena

‘Proofpoint has firmly established itself as a DLP leader, and joining them provides us with the perfect opportunity to fulfill our mission of protecting the data and privacy of organizations around the world,’ says Dathena’s Christopher Muffat.


Proofpoint has purchased Dathena to help organizations better understand information risk and eliminate data loss through artificial intelligence-based data classification.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based email security vendor said its acquisition of Singapore-based Dathena will help organizations automatically discover and classify data as well as better understand information risk. Dathena offers both industry specific out-of-the-box as well as custom AI and machine learning-driven data classification models, according to Proofpoint.

“Integrating Dathena’s multi-patented, next-gen AI engine into our people-centric DLP [data loss prevention] solutions will provide our customers with unparalleled data protection and help them meet their challenging internal and regulatory compliance requirements,” Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele said in a statement.

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[Related: Proofpoint Alleges Ex-Exec Took Trade Secrets To Abnormal Security]

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, and Proofpoint executives weren’t immediately available for additional comment. Dathena was founded in 2016, employs 45 people, and has raised $12 million in three rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company most recently closed a $12 million Series A round in May 2020 led by Jungle Ventures.

“Proofpoint has firmly established itself as a DLP leader, and joining them provides us with the perfect opportunity to fulfill our mission of protecting the data and privacy of organizations around the world,” Dathena Founder and CEO Christopher Muffat said in a statement. “I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a team through our unique technology and many innovations enabling better data protection.”

The Dathena acquisition will allow Proofpoint to fully migrate customers of legacy DLP suites with data at rest requirements as well as extend its existing integration with Microsoft Information Protection. The deal increases Proofpoint’s presence and investment in Asia and reinforces the company’s commitment to innovation and growth as a private entity.

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo took Proofpoint private through a $12.3 billion acquisition in August 2021 in what’s currently the second-largest cybersecurity acquisition of all time. Proofpoint said in February 2020 that one key element of its growth strategy is to develop a worldwide customer base and expand our operations worldwide by adding employees, offices and customers in Europe and Asia.

Proofpoint said its cloud based DLP offering provides data visibility and context across multiple channels from a single console by leveraging automated content classification that’s been honed for nearly 15 years. Data discovery and classification is key to an effective DLP strategy in today’s hybrid world thanks to increased digital file sharing, regulation, and privacy requirements, according to Proofpoint.

“Data doesn’t lose itself. People lose data, and organizations are increasingly adopting data loss prevention strategies to manage that risk,” Steele said in a statement. “Unfortunately, legacy products fall far short in actually preventing, detecting, and investigating data loss incidents in real time or immediately after they occur.”

This is Proofpoint’s first deal since being bought by Thoma Bravo, and comes 11 months after Proofpoint purchased data loss protection MSP InteliSecure for $62.5 million to help customers protect critical data in diverse environments. In November 2019, the company acquired insider threat management platform provider ObserveIT for $225 million to better protect data across email, cloud and the endpoint.

Six months before that, Proofpoint purchased Meta Networks for $120 million to better protect people, applications and data as they move beyond the traditional perimeter. The company also bought browser isolation startup in November 2017 for $60 million as well as phishing simulation and training provider Wombat Security Technologies in February 2018 for $225 million.