Hexadite Nabs $8M as Cybersecurity Urgency Grows

This week brought more reminders that cybersecurity remains top of mind for leaders from the White House to boardrooms everywhere.

President Barack Obama grabbed headlines with a $19 billion initiative—$5 billion higher than the federal government’s current cybersecurity spending—to battle cyber threats, overhaul federal computer systems, and boost cybersecurity training. The investment, part of Obama’s larger $4 trillion annual budget proposal, might struggle to pass the Republican-controlled Congress, but it signals the president’s urgency on cybersecurity in his final year in office.

Meanwhile, a series of much smaller (but real) private investments in cybersecurity companies have been announced in the past few weeks, including $50 million for Malwarebytes, $13.7 million for Carbon Black, and $9.5 million for EiQ Networks.

Now add Hexadite to the list. The startup, with offices in Boston and Tel Aviv, Israel, today announced an $8 million Series A round from Hewlett Packard Ventures, TenEleven Ventures, and YL Ventures. Hexadite previously raised $2.5 million in seed funds.

Hexadite developed software that it says automates the process of investigating and resolving cyber breach alerts, enabling it to shut down attacks in minutes or seconds, the company claims. Founded in 2014, Hexadite has about a dozen paying customers, co-founder and CEO Eran Barak said in an e-mail message. The company says its technology helps protect more than 500,000 devices used by customers in financial services, retail, insurance, manufacturing, telecommunications, life sciences, and other industries.

Mark Hatfield, TenEleven’s co-founder and general partner, will join Hexadite’s board. Hatfield was previously a partner with Fairhaven Capital, where he invested in or served on the board of a number of cybersecurity companies, including Cylance, CounterTack, Trust Digital, Resilient Systems, and Digital Guardian.

“Enterprises are desperate to close the gap between security event detection and resolution,” Hatfield said in a press release. “We were very impressed with the maturity of Hexadite’s solution.”

Plenty of companies have rolled out technology to detect and shut down cyber attacks, but Barak thinks Hexadite’s approach can help the company stand out in the field. “While other cybersecurity companies are interested in detection and handing off instructions to security personnel, we instead automate the entire investigation and resolution process,” Barak said.

The new money will help fund Hexadite’s research and development at its Israel office, as well as expand its sales and marketing efforts around the world. This year, the company intends to at least double its current staff of 20 people, who are mostly located in Tel Aviv, with smaller teams in Boston, San Francisco, Denver, and Philadelphia, Barak said.

Jeff Engel is Deputy Editor, Tech at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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