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Proofpoint, email security company, raises $28M more; Breach Security raises $17M

Proofpoint, a Sunnyvale, Calif. email security company, has received $28 million in a new round of venture funding.

DAG Ventures led the round, but all of Proofpoint’s previous investors participated as well.

The company, founded by email guru Eric Hahn several years ago (see our coverage) has now gobbled up a significant amount of cash. Two years ago, the company had already raised $58 million.

Proofpoint provides security for inbound and outbound email traffic. Inbound email is scanned for viruses and spam, while outbound email is screened for content not be suitable to leave a company, like social security numbers and account information.

In an interview with VentureBeat, CFO Paul Auvil (former CFO of VMware) said users can teach a Proofpoint filter what to block in outbound emails. A company can, for example, feed old earnings releases into the system so the filter would become accustomed to what an earnings report looks like. The filter can then prevent future earnings reports from being leaked out of the company via email.

Proofpoint’s biggest clients, including healthcare, banks and retail companies, hold mass amounts of personal data. Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Tyson Foods, and Outback Steakhouse are all Proofpoint customers.

Auvil also addressed the competitive landscape. Proofpoint sells both hardware and software services. In terms of hardware, it competes mainly with Ironport (http://www.ironport.com), which was acquired by Cisco for $830 million last year. On the software side, Proofpoint’s on-demand hosted service competes with Postini (www.postini.com), which Google acquired last year for $625 million. So few independent player are left, Auvil says, and he’s raising money to exploit the environment, he said. Proofpoint’s revenues grew more than 50% last year and their market share is increasing, he said.

In other data security news, VentureBeat has learned that Breach Security has taken in almost $17 million in venture capital. Breach Security, which operates out of Carlsbad, California, develops and sells web application firewalls.