As Covid-19 continues to sweep across the globe, a whole other type of virus might be boosting the strength of the cybersecurity sector.
Last week the CEO of Avast made a claim. While it probably past most of the general public by, it highlighted a notion that seems to becoming more and more prevalent. Ondrej Vlcek, the CEO of Avast, spoke after the cybersecurity company had become a FTSE 100 company.
What he said was that not “only are the tech stocks now more resilient than most other industries, but Covid-19 has also been associated with a significant increase in cyber attacks. So I don’t see it as a coincidence that we’re being added now.” In other words, the coronavirus could seemingly spell out good news for cybersecurity companies.
And it’s easy to see why he might have a point. Ever since the health crisis began, the news have been absolutely overflowing with stories about the increasing risk of hack attacks brought on by Covid-19. Cyber criminals have upped their digital assaults. Bodies like the World Health Organization, the FBI and the European Central Bank (ECB) have all warned that the pandemic has seemingly made bad actors more bullish with the result that they have launched more and more cyber attacks.
Just last week RegTech Analyst reported that hackers have increasingly been targeting smartphones in their phishing scams to gain accesses to companies’ digital infrastructure, according to cybersecurity company Lookout. The number of mobile phishing attacks had skyrocketed by 37% between the last quarter of 2019 and the first three months of this year, which was when the pandemic really started.
Of course, Avast is not the only cybersecurity venture to seemingly benefit from the chaos. For instance, CrowdStrike apparently proved last week just how vital digital defences have become as the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to accept remote working as the tech company’s stocks jump. On Wednesday last week, CrowdStrike’s stock closed at $98.10, almost at the record high seen on August 13, 2020.
Add to that the fact that investors like Team8 and MassMutual Ventures have both announced new investment initiatives and its easy to feel confident in the cybersecurity segment’s ability come out on top of the global health crisis.
And it’s not like the cybersecurity industry has not been been growing tremendously in recent years. Back in 2016, the cybertech sector raised $700m in total around the world, according to RegTech Analyst’s research. Fast-forward to 2019 and that figure jumped to $4.7bn. Then, in the first quarter of 2020, the sector attracted investment worth $1.5bn.
Synack has raised $52m in a Series D round
Just before the end of May, cybersecurity company Synack announced that it had raised $52m in a Series D funding round. It said that it would use the money to transform security testing through its crowdsourced platform powered by ethical hackers.
New investors B Capital Group and C5 Capital co-led the round, bringing total funding to $112.1m. Previous investors GGV Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Icon Ventures, Intel Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Microsoft’s venture fund M12 and Singtel Innov8 also participated in the round.
Cybersecurity company Aqua Security has netted $30m in its Series D round
Also at the end of May, cybersecurity company Aqua Security made quite a splash when it raised $30m in an impressive Series D round. The investment was led by Greenspring Associates, with support also coming from Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and TLV Partners.
The cybersecurity company was founded in 2015 and develops solutions to enable firms to better protect their infrastructure. Its Cloud Native Security Platform offers full visibility and security automation throughout an application lifecycle to better detect and prevent online threats.
Aqua has more than 400 clients spanning the finance, energy, aerospace, internet, media, travel, retail, pharmaceutical and hospitality industries.
Just like the rest of the sector in general, Aqua Security has had a good year. In the 12 months leading up to the announcement, Aqua Security doubled its revenue and headcount.
INKY Technology Corporation closes $20m Series B round
INKY Technology Corporation, which helps businesses protect themselves from email phishing, scored $20m in its Series B round in the beginning of June. The investment was led by Insight Partners.
With the close of the round, the company will look to accelerate the enterprise adoption, expand globally and bolster its innovation roadmap.
The investment comes less than a year since INKY closed a $6m round from ClearSky Security and Gula Tech Adventures. INKY has raised a total of $31.6m in funding since it was founded.
Magic launches from stealth after close of seed round
Magic, a passwordless authentication platform, has come out of stealth mode after closing a $4m seed round.
The investment was led by Placeholder, with additional support coming from Lightspeed Ventures, SV Angel, Social Capital, Cherubic Ventures, Volt Capital, Refactor Capital, Unusual Ventures, Naval Ravikant, Guillermo Rauch and Roham Gharegozlou.
Ironchip collects €1m from the VC firms Inveready and Easo Ventures
The Spanish venture provides a location-based authentication solution. It was founded d in 2017 by a team of two telecommunications engineers who began by developing a secure investment platform for an American broker. They now have a staff of eight technology experts, who create innovative security solutions based on their technology.
RiskIQ picked up a Series D round from National Grid Partners
Attack surface management company RiskIQ has raised $15m in a Series D round to spread the usage of its solutions.
RiskIQ will use the money to bring its cybersecurity solutions to critical infrastructure industries, which face a host of unique security challenges entering the new decade.
National Grid Partners (NGP), the venture and innovation arm of British multinational utility company National Grid, was behind the investment.
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