Atlanta-based Ionic Security has just bagged $45 million in VC funding in a round that included Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Hayman Captial as new investors and existing investors GV, Icon Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meritech Capital Partners and Tech Operators.
The firm was initially conceived to function as a sort of “anti-Facebook” that would give a user (in this case, Ionic’s founder and CEO, Adam Ghetti) full control of the data he shared on the social network.
Five years later, Ionic now provides tailored controls that help employees protect corporate and personal data with the aid of layered access and encryption.
It has been a full five years — particularly, the last 365 or so days of it. The firm has roughly doubled in size to 200 employees in the last year, with project management and development being the leading staffing growth areas. And the growth is just starting, according to the CEO.
“[Ionic will] double down on engaging the external development community,” Ghetti noted, with a focus on designing developer tools that will make its base product more customizable to a firm’s software.
“We can throw out SDKs and say, ‘Good luck!’” Ghetti said. “Or we can do a good job supporting them.”
Goldman is now an investor but has long been a client of Ionic’s. It has been using the firm’s encryption product for about two years.
“We believe that Ionic’s platform addresses one of the biggest unsolved security problems for large enterprises today: how to enable employees to utilize modern communication and collaboration platforms, while also maintaining adequate controls and security standards,” said Ward Waltemath, Goldman’s managing director and head of software investment, in a statement.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) killed two birds with one stone, so to speak, and struck a business partnership with Ionic on top of the funding deal.
“Internet-scale, high-assurance data protection and control services are critical to the success of a cloud- and mobile-enabled ecosystem,” said Stephen Schmidt, chief information security officer at AWS. “The goal of our collaboration with Ionic is to deliver these services to any organization, at scale, with provisioning, management ease and streamlined procurement via AWS Marketplace.”
Ghetti mentioned that, based on his own experience and accounts he has heard from others, “things are starting to get dicier in the fundraising environment.”
“We have never taken the highest-priced term sheet offered to us,” Ghetti added. “We’ve taken the one that the investors behind [the] term sheet are most aligned to where we are, where we’re going and how [we] plan to get there.”