Sookasa scores $5M to protect your files wherever they go

Sookasa, which aims to bring compliance to the wild-wild-west that is Dropbox, Gmail, and other consumer-oriented cloud services, now has $5 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners and others to do so.

The 12-person startup is focusing on medical and education verticals for now and claims that its cloud service will bring HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act) and FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) compliance to Dropbox etc. In theory, that means personal medical data and student records are secured against prying, unauthorized eyes.)

The San Mateo, Calif. company offers a cloud-based service that adds encryption and identity management atop Dropbox or whatever cloud storage the customer wants to use,  and a user-friendly front-end to manage it, said CEO Asaf Cidon. “We do a layer of security that protects files across services and mobile devices so we let professionals in regulated industries use tools like Dropbox and Gmail at work and remain compliant but also make sure the user experience remains completely natural,” said Cidon, pictured below, standing at far right.

Sookasa customers get a graphical console that lets them manage encryption and access to files in one place and, if need be, revoke access on the fly — in the case of a stolen or lost device, for example.

Sookasa team

Previously, Sookasa netted about $1.6 million in seed money from First Round Capital and Silicon Valley Angels. Accel Partners led this round with participation from previous investors and Andreessen Horowitz.

With the new cash the company wants to add protection to email attachments as well as files. “Many people want to use file share in a compliant way and at first we didn’t think email was a big deal but many people do want to send patient data and legal documents via Gmail. That’s a cool challenge, Cidon said.

Making Dropbox, Google Drive etc. safe for use in compliant industries is the driver for many competitors these days. Ncrypted Cloud, AeroFs, BoxCryptor and other companies have their own take on this problem. In fact, it seems a no brainer that flush-with-cash Dropbox will just buy one or more of these companies at some point. And then there are a raft of other players including Accellion, Egnyte, and LogMeIn(s logm) that sell their own secure cloud storage and file share as a safer alternative to Dropbox.