Amazon Web Services (AWS) acquired San Diego-based cybersecurity firm harvest.ai for a reported $19 million sometime in early 2016, investor Fred Wang has confirmed.
Wang, a general partner with harvest.ai investor Trinity Ventures, declined to confirm the terms of the deal, but told GeekWire “it was a good win for the investors and for the management team.”
“The company works in an area called data-leakage prevention,” Wang said. “At one time a lot of companies got into it, but most of them didn’t get much traction. Harvest.ai automated looking at file-access patterns to detect which are normal and which are not.”
It does this by using neural nets, natural-language processing, and other AI algorithms, and tracking data storage and access, and components, applications, and users on the network. Its flagship product is called MACIE Analytics, and while AWS does not list it among its products, Wang told GeekWire that it is already selling harvest.ai’s technology.
Harvest.ai was founded by two former NSA employees in September 2014, as 405Labs, and had received just over $2.7 million in two rounds of seed funding, according to Crunchbase. Wang said the company’s 12 employees had moved to Seattle as part of the deal.
The company had been an AWS customer, and was featured in an AWS Startup Spotlight in August 2015.
As the big hyperscale cloud providers compete for market share, security and features like AI offerings will play a major roles in attracting and retaining customers, according to a survey released last week by Clutch. AWS jumped into the VPS market with the launch of Lightsail at re:Invent in late 2016.