- We asked several venture capital investors to tell us which cybersecurity startups will boom in 2019.
- We asked the investors to name the startups they’re excited about, from the earliest-stage startups to those poised to make a big exit.
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More companies than ever are paying attention to cybersecurity — and not just in Silicon Valley.
From retail to manufacturing to banks to healthcare, cybersecurity is an important issue touching every type of company today. Cyberattacks may come from petty criminals, or from sophisticated nation-state operations. Major companies are turning to creative solutions to get employees to adopt two-factor authentication or sometimes launching cybersecurity products of their own — signs that these concerns are hitting the mainstream.
The rush of interest into the industry has led some experts to say there’s too much noise and not enough clarity, especially in the startup scene. Still, the problems are real, and so too is the demand for solutions.
Some companies specialize developing software that protects networks, applications, or Internet of Things devices. Some specialize in specific sectors like healthcare. Others help software companies find flaws in their products with the help of ethical hackers.
We asked venture capital investors to name the cybersecurity software startups they think will boom in 2019. Those investors identified startups both in and outside their portfolios that they are particularly excited about this year.
What follows is the list cybersecurity startups that they believe are set for success in 2019. They range from fledgling companies that just launched, to well-established ones that could very well be heading for a huge exit.
Read more: VCs say these 19 startups for open-source software developers will blow up in 2019
The funding information is according to official announcements, as well as Crunchbase and Pitchbook, keepers of such records.
Startup: Altitude Networks
VC: Cack Wilhelm, partner at Accomplice VC
Total raised: $2 million
What it does: Altitude Networks provides tools to help companies clamp down on their data, so it doesn’t find its way to the bad guys — protecting both against hack attack, and from absent-mindedly sending sensitive information to the wrong person.
Why it’s hot in 2019: “Led by former-CISO at Twitter, the team is trying to solve enterprise security for enterprise SaaS applications, particularly the question of cloud data access and protection — who has shared which document with whom? This is a top concern for CISOs and not something cloud vendors solve.”
VC: Aaron Jacobson, partner at New Enterprise Associates
Total raised: $122.74 million
What it does: Vectra develops a system that detects network intrusion and suspicious activity, allowing companies to secure themselves against cyberattacks.
Why it’s hot in 2019: “They run a bunch of AI and ML to detect breaches. They build a whole bunch of models. It’s a killer team with really sophisticated and advanced technology.”
VC: Steve Herrod, managing director at General Catalyst
Relationship: Investor and board member
Total raised: $16.5 million
What it does: Armorblox uses artificial intelligence to analyze and protect text-based communication from security threats.
Why it’s hot in 2019: “Many companies claim to use AI to create better security solutions, often with more marketing bluster than technical substance. Armorblox is truly and deeply leveraging a branch of AI called Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to analyze and protect a company’s most frequent form of communication – text. What’s more, they can provide protection from phishing, data leakage, and other threats across all of the forms of text-based communication in a company – email, Slack, documents, texting, and more.”
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