Security startup Vectra closed a $36 million Series D funding round, bringing its total funding to $123 million. The company will use the latest investment to help build a research and development center in Dublin as it pushes its artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform into the global market.
Atlantic Bridge led the Series D round. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Nissho Electronics Corp. also participated along with returning investors Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, IA Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, DAG Ventures, and Wipro Ventures.
The funding comes as a new report from McAfee, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, found cybercrime costs businesses close to $600 billion per year. This is up from a 2014 study that put global losses at about $445 billion.
Mobile devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, present growing risk to companies, according to Verizon’s Mobile Security Index 2018. It said almost a third (32 percent) of organizations surveyed admitted to sacrificing mobile security to improve business performance.
Vectra Security Platform
Vectra’s platform, Cognito, uses AI to try to detect threats as they are happening. It monitors all network activity — across cloud and data center workloads as well as user and IoT devices — and uses machine learning to identify bad behavior. By automating threat detection and response, Vectra says it can reduce security investigation workloads by up to 29 times, compared to manual analysis.
In addition to saving time, a shortage of skilled security professionals means most companies simply don’t have enough manpower to analyze the massive volume of threats they receive. Because of this, chief information security officers (CISOs) agree that AI and automation are important tools to secure their networks.
Cisco’s annual cybersecurity report, also released today, found that 83 percent of CISOs surveyed said they rely on automation, and 74 percent said they use AI to reduce the level of effort to secure the organization.
Revenue Growth, Global Reach
This reliance on AI and automation seems to be paying off for Vectra. In 2017, the startup’s revenue grew 181 percent over the previous year, according to Hitesh Sheth, Vectra president and CEO.
Sheth was chief operating officer at Aruba Networks before Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) acquired it in 2015. He also previously held executive roles at Juniper Networks and Cisco.
Also today, Vectra announced that Shop Direct, a major digital retailer based in the U.K., is a customer.
In addition to the new Dublin R&D center being built, Vectra has R&D facilities in San Jose, California; Austin, Texas; and Cambridge, Massachusetts.