Kstart, a unique seed programme by leading Indian VC firm Kalaari Capital, announced on Friday that it had invested $500,000 in ParaBlu, a cloud security startup. Founded in 2014 by Anand Prahlad and Ananda Rao Ladi, ParaBlu provides intelligent cloud access security broker (CASB) enabled cloud security solutions for enterprises, enabling them to store business assets safely on the cloud.
What does Parablu do?
Most security software today, like firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, deep packet inspection, are mainly focussed on watching what’s coming in to the system. ParaBlu, on the other hand, focusses on watching what’s going out. On their Kstart page, ParaBlu explains,
Is everything leaving the enterprise, leaving securely, and in a form that nobody else but the enterprise can decipher? That’s our job. In other words, our solutions will enable safe storing of business critical digital information outside the enterprise perimeter.
ParaBlu’s technology is pre-integrated with a range of cloud data management applications they’ve developed, which are designed to protect data that flows out of a company’s networks into the public cloud, thereby enabling easy adoption for enterprises. Ananda, Co-founder and EVP of Engineering and Support at ParaBlu, says,
Our solutions enable enterprises to become less dependent on in-house storage and adopt cloud with confidence. The association with Kstart will help us in expanding our product portfolio for global markets and I feel very excited about it.
ParaBlu is Kalaari Capital's fourth investment as a part of its Kstart initiative, for which it had allocated an estimated $20 million. The previous three investments include- Active.ai, Affordplan and Indee. Kstart was launched in Febraury 2016, with the goal to empower startups and accelerate disruptive ideas to become market-leading companies. Kalaari Capital describes itself as an early-stage, technology-focussed venture capital firm with $650 million in assets under management. On Thursday, Kalaari had announced the appointment of three new hires to its investment team. Talking about their most recent investment in ParaBlu, Vani Kola, MD, Kalaari Capital says,
ParaBlu has a very strong team with deep understanding of the cloud security space. As cloud usage continues to increase within enterprises, there is tremendous opportunity ahead for ParaBlu’s unique product.
Related read from Vani Kola: Why Kalaari Capital decided to launch Kstart, ‘yet another seed programme’
Sector overview and future plans
Talking to YourStory, Anand estimates that the CASB sector is a $3.5-billion market globally and is estimated to grow to $8 billion by 2020. According to Gartner estimates, by 2020, 85 percent of large enterprises will use a CASB solution for their cloud services, which would be up from fewer than five percent in 2015.
ParaBlu currently consists of a 16-member team mostly in engineering roles, and with this round of funding, aims to focus on distribution, marketing and also increasing its headcount to 26 in the next six months. The company works on a hybrid revenue model, where it either provides a traditional licencing deal or annual subscription model, based on the client's needs and preferences.
ParaBlu offers four main solutions but BluKript is the startup's anchor product, with the other three being add-on solutions that enterprises opt for based on their needs. ParaBlu's current clientele are mainly based out of India, but it is establishing strategic relationships with channel partners and system integrators who have reach in countries outside India. While cloud migration is happening across the globe, Anand sees the highest rate and pace of cloud migration happen in Europe, while the overall cloud adoption is faster in USA.
Even in more conservative markets like Eastern and Southeast Asia and India, where enterprises weren't even thinking of cloud a few years ago, Anand notes that there is massive interest now. This is partly accelerated by large cloud vendors like Micorosft and IBM setting up shop in India. Anand was previously MD & Head of McAfee’s India Center and is now President & CEO, ParaBlu. On a closing note, he said,
We’re very pleased to be a part of Kstart. ParaBlu was founded with the vision of being the security vendor of choice for all enterprise data outside the firewall. The experience and mentorship the Kstart team brings with them are without doubt among the best in the industry, and we’re excited to be able to take advantage of it.
(Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital is one of the investors in YourStory)