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Vade Secure Gets $79.2M Investment To Forge Ties With U.S. MSPs

The firm plans to leverage its technical expertise around detecting email-based phishing, polymorphic injection, and targeted malware attacks to broaden its base of channel partners in the United States.

Vade Secure has entered into a $79.2 million financing agreement with venture capital firm General Catalyst to increase its MSP footprint in the United States.

The Hem, France-based email security vendor said it plans to leverage its technical expertise around detecting email-based phishing, polymorphic injection, and targeted malware attacks to broaden its U.S. customer base.

As part of the financing agreement, former Datto founder and CEO Austin McChord will join Vade Secure's board and help the company take its capabilities in the enterprise and extend them to MSPs. MSPs need not only stellar technology, McChord said, but also quality support and organization from the vendor in order to effectively support small businesses.

[Related: Zix Buys AppRiver: Email Security Game-Changer]

"Email threats are where bad things happen," McChord told CRN. "This is how phishing and malware and everything gets in."

Vade Secure was founded in 2009, had raised $11.3 million prior to the General Catalyst investment, and employs 107 people worldwide, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company plans to hire between 20 and 30 new people in its Boston-based U.S. headquarters by the end of 2019, and between 50 and 100 staffers within the next 24 months, the company said.

Today, however, Vade Secure derives between 20 percent and 25 percent of its overall revenue from North America, and has a "small number" of MSPs and MSSPs in the region, according to CEO Georges Lotigier. The company to date has primarily partnered with large OEMs, ISPs and technology vendors like Comcast, Cisco, and Mimecast to provide email security services, Lotigier said.

The company plans to engage both directly with larger MSPs as well as with distribution to develop a go-to-market motion that's fast, inexpensive and efficient for the channel community, according to Lotigier. He anticipates that Vade Secure's API-based security offerings around Microsoft Office 365 will be of particular interest to solution providers.

Vade Secure's API technology makes it possible to re-scan incoming data for new attack vectors in a way that would be next to impossible for traditional security gateways or boxes as well as cloud-based email security tools. This provides Vade Secure with an advantage over peers in detecting unique polymorphic threats or other types of targeted attacks, according to Lotigier.

The proceeds from General Catalyst will be used primarily to support sales and marketing initiatives in North America, but Lotigier said some of the money will also be used to strengthen its artificial intelligence capabilities around rapidly determining whether a link embedded in a email leads to a legitimate website or a site infected with malware.

AI is the only way to effectively deal with the human error that ultimately drives the success of so many email-based phishing attempts, Lotigier said.

Wieda IT Solutions has been a Vade Secure partner for less than a year, and would like to see the company use the proceeds from the General Catalyst investment to build upon their tenant portal so that MSPs can more easily add customers, set up trials, and provision licenses, according to David Wieda, CEO of the Atlanta-based managed service provider.

Wieda would also like to see Vade create a centralized billing portal so that MSPs can easily see what each customer costs and simply pay for the technology using a recurring method. Vade should also ridge into the top PSA systems to allow for automated invoicing, which Wieda said will be a huge selling point to larger MSPs.

Vade's technology, though, is second to none when it comes to detecting sophisticated threats and updating to account for new attack vectors, Wieda said. Plus Vade responds very rapidly to questions or requests from its channel community, Wieda said.

"They've been fantastic," Wieda said. "The system is super-simple to user from an administrator perspective. It just works."

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