Big50-2017 Startup Spotlight: Virtru


What they do: Develop encryption software.

Problem they solve: Virtru argues that while most organizations know that encryption is a critical data protection tool, existing encryption solutions are “are either too difficult to use or not flexible enough for the job.”

How they solve it: Virtru’s encryption “travels with your data. . . wrapping and protecting emails and files wherever they’re shared.” Virtru’s protection platform is built on top of the open-source TDF format, which was developed out of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to secure U.S. interagency communications.

Backed by $35M VC, #Big50-2017 #startup Virtru offers one-button encryption that travels w/ your data, protecting email and files as they are shared within and outside of your org. Click To Tweet

Using this “nation-grade security solution,” Virtru simplifies encryption. “[With Virtru], you don’t have to be an email or encryption expert to encrypt everything you do,” Kevin McGrail, Virtru’s Head of Enterprise and Emerging Technology, wrote to Startup50. “We educate you to make sure you encrypt what is needed, and we make it one-button simple.”

Virtru gives end users control over their privacy settings and insight into risks and threats, so, for instance, a user can expire an encrypted email, revoke access to a file, or limit the forwarding of an email. Virtru can also be used to provide gateways that encrypt/decrypt all your inbound and outbound emails for regulatory compliance with SOX, HIPAA, SEC, etc.

Virtru protects major enterprise applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Google G Suite, and native iOS and Android apps.

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

CEO: John Ackerly, who previously served as Associate Director of the National Economic Council & Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning at the Commerce Department under President George W. Bush.

Year Founded: 2011

Funding: $35M total. Virtru’s $29M series A round closed in August 2016. It was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and included Thyra Global Management, Portage Partners, Blue Delta Capital Partners, Quadrant Capital Advisors, Haystack Partners, Soros Fund Management, and New Enterprise Associates

Competitors include: Paubox, NeoCertified, ProtonMail, and penango.

Customers include: Bancroft, Venture Forthe, the International Republican Institute (IRI), the State of Maryland, and Essence.

Why they’re in the Big 50-2017: Virtru is targeting an undervalued security niche. Encryption is often considered too difficult or cumbersome to enable, so many organizations don’t (or they say they do and never get around to it).

Virtru did well in Big50 online voting, and with $35M in funding, a long list of on-the-record customers, a solid management team, and a foothold in the government market, we like their chances going forward.