With Ransomware Concerns Fresh, Cybersecurity Firms Tap VC Funding

While a wave of cyber attacks like the coordinated “WannaCry” virus may be bad for business, it’s no secret that it means good business promotion for the cybersecurity industry.

As cybersecurity stocks rose across the board Monday after a weekend full of hacks, a variety of startups rode the wave of interest in Web security by announcing new rounds of financing.

This morning, San Francisco-based Wandera said it added a $27.5 million Series C round of equity and venture debt financing led by Sapphire Ventures. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and 83North also participated in the funding round, bringing the company’s total raised to $50 million.

Wandera is focused on mobile security for businesses in healthcare, finance, technology, and professional services. The company’s software is two-pronged. On the security side, it monitors Wi-Fi networks, scans apps and other components of phones for abnormalities, and has an artificial intelligence program, MI:RIAM, that it has used to identify ransomware programs, including one called SLocker, the company says. It also has programs that let companies monitor and manage employee data usage.

Meanwhile, Irvine, CA-based CrowdStrike gained a $1 billion valuation as it announced yesterday it raised $100 million in a Series D funding round led by existing investor Accel. Other previous investors CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) and Warburg Pincus also participated, bringing the company’s funding total to $256 million. CrowdStrike says it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to prevent attacks on devices on computer networks—a subsector known as endpoint security. (The company is best known for linking the hacking of the Democratic National Committee to Russia.)

And on Monday, automotive cybersecurity startup Karamba announced it raised $12 million in a Series B round, bringing its total investment capital raised in the past year to $17 million. YL Ventures and Fontinalis Partners led the round. Karamba, which is based in Ann Arbor, MI, and Hod Hasharon, Israel, builds software that blocks outside hacking attempts by preventing access to the electronic control units in autonomous and connected cars, which hackers may target.

Of course, the WannaCry attack wasn’t the reason for the capital raises—the companies may have had preexisting announcement plans—but the timing (and overall threat environment) doesn’t hurt. The cybersecurity industry has been active when it comes to deals; just last week, CyberArk Software, which has U.S. headquarters in Newton, MA, acquired Conjur for $42 million in cash. Look for more acquisitions and financings to follow.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @xconholley

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