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DataGravity's mystery buyer rips off mask: It's HyTrust

Software maker buys virty firm

Data management platform DataGravity has been bought by HyTrust which has also pulled in a $36 million funding round.

DataGravity was sold last week and its CTO David Siles told us: "We're all very excited, along with our new colleagues."

HyTrust is a well-funded software business focusing on VMware/cloud security, compliance and control. Investors include Cisco – which participated in three rounds – VMware, Intel and Intel Capital. CIA investment arm In-Q-Tel is also an investor.

It is led by CEO John De Santis and co-founder and President Eric Chiu. HyTrust was started up in 2007 and enjoyed a $5.5m A-round funding event in 2009, followed by a $10.5m B-round in 2010, an $18.5m C-round in 2013, $25m in D-round funding in 2015 plus $8m in debt financing that year. There was another $5m in debt financing in 2016.

HyTrust has just announced a $36m E-round, giving it a total of $95.5m in funding. The round was led by Advance Venture Partners (AVP) with participation from existing investors Sway Ventures, Epic Ventures, Vanedge Capital and Trident Capital, and strategic investors Cisco, Fortinet, Intel Corp. and VMware.

Terms of the DataGravity acquisition were not disclosed, but some DataGravity team people will be joining HyTrust. Through the DataGravity for Virtualisation product, HyTrust expects to be able to identify and classify data, and tag workloads to ensure policy enforcement for data access, encryption and key management and applying boundary controls.

Eric Chiu, HyTrust’s co-founder and president, issued a quote: “The acquisition will accelerate the expansion of HyTrust’s platform capabilities and capitalise on the high-growth cloud security market. DataGravity’s data discovery and classification capabilities support HyTrust’s mission to deliver a security policy framework that provides customers with full visibility, insight and enforcement of policy across workloads. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Sources told us that many employees were let go.

DataGravity CTO Siles tells us: "Since I am in the office looking at my team I can assure you our employees were retained – how else do you keep a company that is acquired operational? The tech is only as good as the people behind it. We are an energized team with amazing new colleagues who have joined us here. We have the same office; the only thing that will change is the name on the door, as we have become part of a great company.

"This transaction like any other transaction was approved by respective sides. We won't confirm the acquisition price as we are both private companies. It wasn't a fire sale. We were acquired because we complete a vision, add value, have customers who love what we do. Together we will offer a very compelling offering to the marketplace solving very pressing needs for many enterprises."

Siles stressed: "We are open for business, we will continue to do business, and we are definitely an on-going concern. We already exited the hardware business. It is the only thing we have stopped at DataGravity."

Yes, there were layoffs. "Again, we weren't able to bring everyone over at the close of the transaction. There is overlap when you get acquired. Where there was redundancy we had to make appropriate decisions." ®

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