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As cyberattacks mount, security startups reap the rewards

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On a Friday evening in October, venture capitalist Greylock Mr. Chandna introduced the CEO of the email security company he invested in, Abnormal Security, to another investor, he said. That investor, Venky Ganesan of Menlo Ventures, who was following a meeting with CEO, Evan Reiser, immediately emailed Reiser to invite him to dinner that night.

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He said Mr. Reiser drove from San Francisco to Mr. Janesan’s home in Atherton, California, about 30 miles away. By the end of the weekend, Abnormal had signed a deal to raise $50 million worth $600 million, making its total funding of $74 million. The $40 million Chic Menlo was the company’s largest investment of all time.

“With weddings going on with guns, the gun is about as far as you can get,” said Mr. Ganesan.

Since then, ransomware attacks have given an additional boost to the wave of funding.

In January, Lacework, a cloud security startup in San Jose, California, raised $525 million in funding. Andy Byron, the company’s chief resource officer, said investors reached out thanks to Lacework products, which use artificial intelligence to identify threats. In total, Lacework has raised $625 million since its founding in 2015.

He said Sutter Hill Ventures venture capitalist Mike Spizer, who led the Lacework financing in January, had no problem convincing other investors to participate.

“I called the five people I thought were the best investors and asked them if they were interested. They were all interested, and within 48 hours we had a deal,” Mr. Speiser said. “One hundred percent of the people I called said they wanted to get in. We could have raised over a billion dollars.”

David Hatfield, who joined the startup in February as CEO, said the Lacework business thrived due to “the combination of all these ransomware and nation-state attacks, along with people moving to the cloud aggressively.”

Referensi: www.nytimes.com

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