Security startup Balbix today said it raised $20 million in Series B funding from investors led by Sigtel Innov8, the corporate venture fund of Singaporean telecommunications giant Singtel Group, and Mubadala Ventures, the venture arm of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company. This brings the company’s total to $28.6 million since its launch in June 2017
Other investors include Cisco veteran leaders: former CEO and executive chairman John Chambers, who recently founded JC2 Ventures, and former EVP and chief development officer Pankaj Patel. Balbix Series A investor Mayfield Fund also participated.
The company’s platform uses predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically measure breach risk and calculate resilience. Specialized sensors deployed across the enterprise continuously discover and monitor all devices, applications, and users across different attack methods and indicators of business impact. Self-learning algorithms analyze this telemetry data and use it to build a risk model.
“Balbix is taking a game-changing approach to address the most fundamental cybersecurity challenges of today, including the ever-increasing volume and complexity of major breaches,” said Chambers said in a statement. “Cybersecurity threats are evolving faster than we could have ever imagined, and Balbix is a true leader in the space with their innovative approach to improving cyber-resilience.”
Balbix CEO and founder Gaurav Banga said the company will use the Series B funding to accelerate its growth.
“What we tried to do in this round is make it very strategic,” Banga said, pointing to investors including Singtel, which owns telecommunications companies in Asia, U.S.-based managed security service provider Trustwave, and Optus Telecom in Australia. He also singled out Abu Dhabi’s $127 billion sovereign wealth fund (Mubadala Investment Company), and former CEOs of Cisco (Chambers) and NetScaler (BV Jagadeesh), which also participated in the round.
“We were able to get in with these investors, connect with them, capture their imagination so to speak, and these are all people we hope can help the company,” Banga said.
Nutanix, Equinix Are Customers
Balbix emerged from stealth last year with customers including semiconductor company Cavium and professional services firm Aon. Since then, “we’ve added more customers and added more features to the platform,” Banga said. Hyperconverged software vendor Nutanix and data center giant Equinix are two of these customers.
The platform’s new features include integrations with data from other vendors’ security incident and event management (SIEM) tools and next-gen firewalls. The platform contextualizes global threat feeds and industry-specific threat models. Balbix also added new APIs for security orchestration and automation tools.
“If you really want to build this concept of breach avoidance then you must empower the rest of the security infrastructure around you and that means other tools,” Banga said. The new APIs allow these other security tools “to call in and find out, hey what’s the risk?” he explained. “We are the brain and they are the muscle.”
The startup also will use the latest funding to scale out its sales force, both by selling directly to enterprise customers as well as partnering with managed security service providers, Banga added. In April, Balbix teamed up with Tech Mahindra in a partnership that will see Tech Mahindra offer managed security services based on Balbix’s breach avoidance platform.
“Without having visibility in a converged, automated fashion, we are going to be behind the adversary,” Banga said. “We will be using the funding and strategic investors and distribution partners to seize this opportunity.”