White-label security software provider White Sky has raised a $7.5 million round of financing, as it seeks to staff up after landing major enterprise customers like AOL and Comcast. The round comes from existing investors Prism VentureWorks, Trinity Ventures, and risk management firm Intersections.
You might remember White Sky under its former name, GuardID. Around 2007 or 2008 the company was best known for selling a USB-based security stick designed to keep identity thieves away from consumers’ personal data. While it was able to get some traction with the overly paranoid, the company realized that it would need to shift to a different business model to gain wider acceptance.
So it rebranded and shifted away from a hardware-based solution to one that was routed in software. It also switched from trying to sell to consumers directly, to a model where it licenses its software, named White Sky Connect, to large corporations with significant user bases. Under this new B2B2C model, White Sky has thrived, according to CEO David Watkins, signing up major customers like Comcast and AOL.
The idea is to provide those enterprise customers with security tools that also keep their end customers coming back and engaging with their companies’ portals. And so it partnered with Comcast to introduce the Constant Guard Protection Suite, and teamed up with AOL on its OnePoint secure desktop application. In both cases, White Sky provides its own set of security services alongside customized applications from its partners. For that, it gets paid licensing fees on a per-active customer, per-month basis.
With two major customers announced and a few more yet to be named, White Sky is looking to ramp up staffing, particularly in engineering. It currently has about 25 to 30 employees in its Silicon Valley headquarters, but plans to increase that by an additional 15 by the end of the year. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., has raised a total of about $27 million to date.