DURHAM–Bull City Venture Partners (BCVP) participated in a $2.5 million in seed funding of Fulton, Maryland-based Attila Security to bolster its security product line dubbed GoSilent.

Maryland-based Data Tribe, which BCVP partner David Jones tells WRAL TechWire  “Is a bunch of startup veterans and intelligence community alumni that are experts in bringing out technology from government agencies and giving them capital and support.” TEDCO also invested in the round.

Attila’s products are designed to help large companies and government agencies secure data that’s being accessed by employees, whether it’s on mobile devices, servers or in the cloud. It sells a portable, Enterprise-grade firewall and VPN Jones said “Is geared toward the enterprise and government markets” and added the company has clients in both sectors.

It  includes a portable device that is part-mobile firewall, part-virtual private network and part-WiFi hotspot.

“The GoSilent product is smaller than a wallet, and slightly bigger than a tic tac container,” CEO Gregg Smith said in a statement. It’s designed to secure data for employees connecting to a public internet source on mobile devices, or connecting IoT devices to the internet. The company also offers cloud services and a virtual server to help secure data.

Attila Securitys GoSilent device. Attila Security photo.

Jones notes that “Cybersecurity is a $600 billion plus market and affects almost everyone. It has become increasingly more important as governments, enterprises, and consumers collect, process and store vast amounts of information and transmit that data across the network.”

You don’t have to be a tech news junkie to realize that data breaches have become increasingly commonplace at great cost. “Companies across the globe are growing more aware of this threat,” Jones said, “which is leading to greater spending and allocation of resources focused on helping mitigate these risks.”

BCVP has increased its investments outside of North Carolina. Its first Fund invested 87 percent of its money in Triangle startups. In Fund II, the percentage fell to 66 percent in the Triangle and 50 percent of Fund III,  investments were in Triangle companies.

BCVP  has invested in Adwerx, Art.com, Artuslabs, AVcode, brightcontex, ChannelAdvisor, doublePositive,, eTix, Full Measure Education, Global Value Commerce, Medfusion, Motricity, Reveal Mobile, Reverb Nation, Spiffy, Spoonflower, Synthematix, VividCortext, VIX, Wealth Engine, Wedding Wire (also a Maryland company), and Zift Solutions.

“We continue to focus mostly on the East Coast and have been active in the Washington DC area, including Baltimore, and in Atlanta, another great cybersecurity market, and over the last few years, in Nashville,” Jones said.

David Jones

WRAL TechWire asked how BCVP sources its deals and whether there is shift toward larger “mega-deals?”

“We source deals through all the normal channels–other service providers, entrepreneurs, programs we put on and an outbound program,” Jones said. In the case of Attila, “We have known CEO Gregg Smith and some of the team for almost ten years.”

He agrees that the VC market is shifting toward larger mega-deals and that many VC firms continue to raise larger funds. “I see this continuing in the near-term,” Jones said, “but also believe we have seen this movie before and an economic correction will reset this fast.”

Many of the mega-deals are focused on growth stage companies, but “The seed and earlier stages continue to be thriving in the Southeast.”

The environment in NC “Continues to boom,” he added. “Epic’s recent funding created another NC unicorn, and the very recent acquisition of Red Hat by IBM will continue to increase the rate of new company formation.”

BCVP, he said, “Continues to be bullish on the investing environment in NC and the Southeast and continue to see more and more outside capital coming into town to find great companies. Pendo is a great example of this.

WRAL TechWire writer Jason Parker conducted the email interview with David Jones for this story.