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April 27, 2022

Veza: Data Security Done Right for the Multi-Cloud Era

virtual city

Today Norwest is thrilled to announce our investment in Veza, a next-generation data security company built for the multi-cloud era. Veza empowers security, IT, and data teams to secure their organizations by answering a simple, but critical question: who can and should take what action, on what data?

Category Creation

Here at Norwest, we love betting on new categories. As the first investors in category-defining companies such as Gong, we felt the same thrill when we met Veza co-founder and CEO Tarun Thakur. As longtime security investors in companies such as Exabeam, Shape Security (now part of F5), and FireEye, we had repeatedly heard CISOs, CIOs, and other security and IT leaders emphasize the growing importance of data security. With the volume of data in the cloud exploding, a trend that was accelerated by COVID-19, we observed that the tools available today to secure cloud data simply don’t meet the needs of a multi-cloud, multi-vendor world. True end-to-end security begins with authorization – understanding and managing who can and should take what action on what data.

Enter Veza’s data security platform, which enables organizations to understand and control enterprise-wide authorization for any enterprise identity (human and non-human), to critical enterprise resources – data systems, applications, and cloud services. Veza’s secret sauce lies in its ability to translate the vast complexity of permissions structures across Cloud IAM technologies into a common language of effective permissions presented in a single control panel – something no other product on the market does today. Veza integrates with best-in-class identity providers such as Microsoft Azure AD, Okta, enterprise apps such as GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, cloud data systems such as AWS S3, and modern data systems such as Snowflake, AWS Redshift, GCP BigQuery, and many, many more so you have a complete view into effective permissions across the enterprise.

Experienced Leadership

From our first conversation with Co-Founder and CEO Tarun Thakur and meeting his co-founders Robert Whitcher (Chief Architect) and Maohua Lu (CTO), it was clear that Veza was a perfect example of what we like to call “founder-market-fit.” Tarun had previously co-founded Datos IO (acquired by Rubrik in 2018), where Maohua was a founding engineer and technical director. Robert served as principal architect at Datos IO. All three founders are now applying their strong domain expertise in “data” to solve a problem they witnessed firsthand. We were further impressed by the extensive product discovery conducted by the founders – Tarun, Robert, and Maohua spoke to hundreds of customers and operators in the data and security space, and these interviews inspired their ultimate product vision for Veza.

Meet the Veza cofounders
Meet Veza’s cofounders (left to right): Tarun Thakur, CEO; Maohua Lu, CTO; Rob Whitcher, Chief Architect

Strong Customer Love

At the core of every product decision at Veza is to make their customers successful. During our diligence process, we tested the Veza value proposition with personas ranging from CISOs and CIOs, to CDOs (Chief Data Officers), to Heads of Compliance, all of whom corroborated the need for a new approach to data security. Veza’s system of record for data access and authorization is helping enterprises eliminate information silos, enabling customers to confidently use and share their data in the cloud. Customers have been delighted that Veza provides a normalized data model and metadata graph that’s extensible to any app, database, and cloud service. This has helped companies meet audit and compliance needs, enforce least privilege to reduce the risk of data breaches, and avoid privilege abuse and time-consuming access and entitlement review processes, to name a few use cases. It’s no wonder Veza has attracted top talent from organizations such as Okta, Microsoft, Nutanix, Netskope, and AWS to take this mission on.

We’re excited to announce that Veza has emerged out of stealth. If you’re looking for a data security solution, check out