Cloud data security company CloudLock today said it has raised a new round of $16.5 million. The Series C round of funding was led by new investor Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Cedar Fund and Ascent Venture Partners.

The company said the funding will be used to expand into new markets, invest in existing and expanded product lines, and grow operations in the United States, Europe, and Israel -- but that's not all.

CloudLock co-founder and CEO Gil Zimmermann told Talkin' Cloud that the company plans to "bolster its channel and partner business significantly" with this round of financing.

"We've seen the cloud channel ecosystem mature significantly over the past few years, and we’re investing in channel enablement -- our products and our go-to-market enablement materials and processes," he said.

Zimmermann also said that CloudLock is expanding its global partner program to satisfy businesses that are seeking "to adopt the cloud as their primary business platform, yet want to retain the security and compliance controls they need to protect their business and users."

CloudLock is seeking out channel partners who understand the cloud "and are proactively helping customers overcome the objections and reap the business transformation benefits that the cloud has to offer," Zimmermann said.

"We're looking for those partners that subscribe to the software as a service (SaaS) model of providing a continuous stream of added value services (both software and professional services) that set customers on a continuous path of success and growth," he said.

CloudLock plans to compete in the SaaS security market with its "unique people-centric security automation approach, with a pure SaaS content-aware and policy-based solution," Zimmermann said.

According to him, this strategy will allow "customers to enforce their own security, governance, and compliance requirements, on their data and users in the cloud, without diminishing the functionality of the platforms they protect or disrupting the end-user experience."

Prior to this funding round, CloudLock had raised $8.7 million of Series B venture capital funding from Cedar Fund and Ascent Venture Partners in March 2012. The company had also raised $5.25 million in Series A funding under the name Aprigo (CloudLock's founding name before it rebranded itself in April 2011) from Cedar Fund.

In separate news, CloudLock launched CloudLock Labs in December 2013 to focus on "innovation-focused projects." The first product out of the gate was GeoFence for Google Apps, which will help organizations track where users are accessing data from.

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