Partnerships / Acquisitions

Amazon Web Services Acquired Harvest.ai To Protect Cloud Offering

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has reportedly acquired Harvest.ai, a cybersecurity startup based in San Diego.

According to a report, which cited Fred Wang, a general partner with Trinity Ventures, an investor in Harvest.ai, Amazon Web Services quietly acquired the company to increase the security of its cloud offering for its customers. Wang said Amazon Web Services acquired the company early last year and has invested a little under $2 million in the startup. The deal had not been revealed prior to the report. While Wang would not disclose how much Amazon Web Services paid for the startup, he said it “was a good win for the investors and for the management team.” An unnamed “tipster” told GeekWire the price tag was $19 million. Amazon declined to confirm it even made the purchase, noted the report.

“The company works in an area called data-leakage prevention,” Wang said in the report. “At one time, a lot of companies got into it, but most of them didn’t get much traction. Harvest.ai automated looking at file-access patterns to detect which are normal and which are not.”

Harvest.ai was founded in 2014 and uses artificial intelligence algorithms to classify and then protect information stored on the cloud from cyberattacks. The company is led by Founder and CEO Alexander Watson, who, according to the report, has 10 years’ experience with the intelligence community in the U.S. Amazon Web Services moved the team to Seattle from San Diego, Wang said in the report, noting: “I know AWS is selling” Harvest.ai’s technology, but “I’m not sure if it’s been rolled into AWS’ own offerings.”

Amazon, which has been known to be secretive in the past, also reportedly acquired Biba in 2015, a startup that makes chat, video and audio conferencing tools, under the radar of most people, including the media.

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