Maryland-based cybersecurity startup IronNet Cybersecurity, led by former NSA chief General Keith Alexander, has raised $78 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by London-based investor C5 Capital, and joined by existing Silicon Valley blue-chip investors ForgePoint Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The round brings total disclosed investment in the company to $110.5 million.
“It is apparent to all of us that the threats enterprises face will continue to evolve in a way that traditional solutions are not able to cope,” said Marcos Battisti, Managing Partner of C5 Capital. “IronNet’s platform is the only scalable solution in the market providing a truly holistic protection to today’s constant and ever-changing attacks.”
Ted Schlein, general partner at Kleiner Perkins, added: “IronNet has established a new standard for cybersecurity solutions with its strong leadership and advanced cyber infrastructure for detecting – and combating – increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. We are excited for the IronNet team as they continue expanding on the initiatives and products to better defend ourselves and our allies.”
It is apparent to all of us that the threats enterprises face will continue to evolve in a way that traditional solutions are not able to cope.
– Marcos Battisti, Managing Partner, C5 Capital
Details of the funding were announced just ahead of IronNet’s reveal of significant advancements in the adoption of its IronDome and IronDefense products. This was the first public announcement of the standup (effective in late 2017) of its IronDome collective defense system, by five multi-state energy providers covering well over a dozen operating subsidiaries across 25 states.
As well as winning these key contracts in the infrastructure sector, IronNet also announced that its IronDefense platform has obtained key customers in the financial and energy sectors including a large custodian bank, a prominent hedge fund, and the energy companies participating in IronDome.
The funding will be used to support IronNet’s strategic growth and to continue accelerating the development and adoption of its security solutions. The company plans to stand up additional IronDome collective defence systems in the financial and healthcare sectors, and to expand internationally in regions including Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
In addition to Alexander, who ran the NSA from 2005 to 2014, IronNet’s 150 employees include former high-ranking officials from U.S. military and intelligence agencies. National security is a priority for the company, which emphasises the increasing role of sophisticated actors such as nation states and organised criminal gangs: “If our nation is under attack by another nation, we need to be able to share information in time to be able to prevent it,” said Alexander.
Given this motivation, the choice of sectors to focus on is unsurprising, especially given growing concerns about the potential impact of cyberattacks (particularly IoT-related) on critical national infrastructure, demonstrated recently by allegations that Kremlin-linked hackers had gained remote access to energy sector networks.
The company provides a suite of next-gen technologies that provide real-time threat assessment and updates, behavioural modelling, big data analytics, and incident response, as well as consulting services and training programs.
“This investment represents a clear endorsement of our core technology and strategy for defending nations and industries around the world,” Alexander commented. “We look forward working closely with our new investors joining us in this funding round to continue to rapidly innovate and expand our efforts in this critically important national security arena.”