The privacy technology market has been a priority for investors and venture capitalists. The early days of 2020 have shown this trend is not slowing down anytime soon as another tech vendor closed a funding round worth millions of dollars. Independent software vendor AvePoint announced it has raised approximately $200 million in financial commitments from minority equity investors. Leading the round of funding was a Series C Preferred Equity investment from TPG Sixth Street Partners.
"I think this latest round of investments, which brings the total investment at AvePoint to around $294 million, is real validation of our place in the market, and we are very happy about that," said AvePoint Chief Risk, Privacy and Information Security Officer Dana Simberkoff, CIPP/US.
Simberkoff said the company plans to use its new resources to enhance existing offerings, to "develop and deepen" its relationship with its key tech partners and continue to innovate within both the privacy and security space.
The company also seeks to use the cash influx to enhance its channel offerings for managed service providers. AvePoint hopes to add an additional 40,000 customers through those offerings over the next two years. Simberkoff said AvePoint set the goal before it closed the round of funding; however, the commitments will help the company add those customers much sooner.
As part of the deal, TPG Sixth Street Partner and Co-Head of Capital Solutions Michael McGinn will join AvePoint's board of directors. The commitments included financial contributions from existing investors, such as Goldman Sachs.
While the funding stands to help AvePoint and its customers, Simberkoff highlighted just how important it will be for its partners.
"We believe our partners are a critical part of our ecosystem, as well, and that our success is their success and vice versa," Simberkoff said. "I think it’s very important for us take a moment to thank them ... This is something that will benefit them, as well, because expanding our presence and continuing to grow helps support our entire ecosystem."
The new capital will also be used to help AvePoint continue its global expansion and grow its tech. Simberkoff said the company wants to use the funds to "give back to the community through programs that are cost free" and build solutions to help less tech-savvy customers automate their privacy practices. She added the company is able to do that by its own investments into its research and development team.
Simberkoff said AvePoint always reviews each investment opportunity very carefully. Those opportunities have appeared with greater frequency not only for AvePoint, but also for the entire privacy technology market.
Why has that been exactly?
One reason is what Simberkoff calls the "hockey-stick growth" privacy technology has experienced with the advent of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and California Consumer Privacy Act.
Another reason Simberkoff cites is one that BigID CEO and Co-Founder Dimitri Sirota mentioned after his company announced it had closed a $50 million funding round of its own. Investors are betting on privacy following the same path as the security market. Simberkoff said the investments in newer tech vendors, in particular, is a sign privacy will travel a similar road security had decades earlier.
Privacy has become popular and is a frequent topic of conversation, and investors have become wise to its importance.
"For customers and organizations that have regulatory requirements to manage, (privacy) is a must-have, not a nice-have. Investors understand that it is very critical," Simberkoff said. "Investors spend money to make money, and from the regulatory landscape and what we are seeing around the world, this is here to stay. It’s going to continue to grow with fines and regulations and breaches happening on a regular basis."
AvePoint may have closed its $200 million funding round, but Simberkoff knows the company is not going to rest on its laurels. She expects AvePoint to release new offerings in 2020 and beyond.
"I think I speak for everyone when I say none of us feels like we are ever in a place where we want to rest," Simberkoff said. "Every addition that we have just dares us to do more in the future. While we are definitely thrilled and excited, and we look forward to working with our new board members, our customers and our partners, we really set our sights always on what’s next."
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