A data security company based out of Boulder and Bozeman announced it raised $1.5 million in venture capital, bringing its total fundraising to $3 million in over the past 18 months.

Founded in 2015 by CEO Patrick Walsh and Bob Wall, both formerly of RightNow Technologies, IronCore Labs is a cloud privacy platform technology that allows for stronger controls over potentially sensitive data transmitted through apps and websites.

The company plans to use the $1.5 million — raised in a seed funding round led by Bozeman-based venture capital firm Next Frontier Capital — hiring sales and marketing staff. The company is also planning an announcement regarding the release of a public product sometime next week.

Recent data privacy breaches at Facebook and Yahoo, among others, have brought the importance of the IronCore’s platform into sharper public focus, said Walsh.

“We are a data privacy platform, so if you think about things like Facebook, what they didn’t do is protect their data from their partners,” he said. “That doesn’t work very well.”

“We have a lot of wind in our sails,” Walsh added. “The need for controlling data in the cloud is just exploding.”

In 2017, IronCore participated in Techstars, a prestigious global business accelerator program, and now the company is focused on spreading its name.

“We have this great solution, but few people know about it yet,” Walsh said. “That’s our first and most important challenge.”

The $1.5 million sum was the latest in a string of successes for Next Frontier, which has raised $100 million in funds for 12 companies since its inception in 2015, among them SiteOne Therapeutics, Submittable, Clearas Water Recovery, Quiq, Orbital Shift and Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, all based in Montana.

The firm held its annual meeting this week, where founder Will Price underscored the growth of venture capital in Montana, though he cautioned that the state has a ways to go to catch up to its neighbors in the Rocky Mountain West.

Montana attracted $83 million in venture capital in 2017, 10 times the 2015 amount, according to data from financial data company PitchBook.

“Montana founders are now in a position to build market-leading companies without compromise when choosing to do so from Montana, and they no longer have to rely solely on (federal) grants to fund core research, which greatly increases the likelihood of shipping product,” Price wrote.

For its part, IronCore’s growth was facilitated in large part by the financial support of firms like Next Frontier, Walsh said.

“When you talk about tech that requires research and development to bring to market, venture capital is a good way to bring innovation,” he said. “Next Frontier has been a tremendous help for us. What we’re doing today and have achieved wouldn’t be possible without them.”

Kendall can be reached at 406-582-2651 or lkendall@dailychronicle.com. He is on Twitter at @lewdak

Lewis Kendall covers business and the economy for the Chronicle.

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