SAN FRANCISCO — Data security firm Very Good Security (VGS) has raised $8.5 million via a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. NYCA, Vertex Ventures, Slow Ventures and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin also participated in the round.
Founded in 2016, the company has raised $9.9 million to date.
The funding will allow VGS to further scale its core security product, which lets companies collect, secure and exchange sensitive data without the risk or liability associated with storing it on their own systems. By reducing or eliminating data security scope, VGS’ customers can rapidly achieve compliance certifications (e.g. PCI, SOC2, EI3PA, HIPAA) and accelerate their time to market.
“Data security and compliance shouldn’t hold companies back from getting to market safely and quickly,” Mahmoud Abdelkader, CEO and co-founder of VGS, said. “This investment fuels our mission to securely power the world’s sensitive data and transform data security from a business obstacle into a competitive advantage.”
“VGS ensures that businesses and services requiring identification ‘keys’—e.g. credit card or Social Security numbers—for their customers will not have to worry about compliance around the storing of confidential or private data, and frees them from vendor lock-in,” said Alex Rampell, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We are incredibly excited to partner with Mahmoud and team to build a category-defining enterprise platform.”
VGS is built on the premise that you can’t hack what isn’t there, allowing companies to preserve the functionality of their sensitive data without having to store that data on their own systems. VGS instead collects and stores the sensitive data in its own highly secure vaults, freeing customers from the costs and liability of building and maintaining their own compliant security systems. When customer applications require sensitive data, VGS identifies that data in transit and swaps it—in real time—for surrogate values that retain the same functionality of the original data.
Integrating VGS requires no changes to existing products or legacy architecture, and the service starts working instantly. Because VGS maintains multiple compliances and isolates customers from sensitive data, it enables businesses to quickly achieve regulatory compliance. Customers include Flutterwave, a payment technology provider for pan-African commerce; Shift Payments, a card issuer that allows users to spend both fiat and digital/cryptocurrencies anywhere major credit cards are accepted; Deserve, an analytics-based financial technology company that connects customers to fair credit products; and LendUp, a fintech company providing loans and credit products as well as financial education in pursuit of better financial health and empowerment for its customers.