Our investment in AirMDR: Closing the cyber inequity gap

Foundation Capital

06.13.2024 | By: Sid Trivedi

LinkedIn

A product and GTM strategy discussion with Kumar Saurabh and Foundation Capital Partner Sid Trivedi in Palo Alto.

Last week AirMDR emerged from stealth to announce its SMB-focused autonomous Managed Detection and Response (MDR) platform and the $5M seed round led by Foundation Capital. We were the first investor in AirMDR and incubated the company in summer 2023. I’ve personally been on the board of directors since inception and worked closely with the team from day zero.

Advances in automation have given AirMDR a chance to level the playing field in cybersecurity, giving small and medium enterprises the same detection and response capabilities as Fortune 2000s. Here’s the story of how the journey began, why we invested, and what’s ahead.

Kumar with Nick (CISO of Scrut Automation and an early customer) at Foundation Capital’s San Francisco office in May 2024.

A massive and unprotected attack vector

SMB executives have long believed that hackers pose a threat only to the largest companies—those with big brands to protect and plenty of capital to pay ransom demands. But this isn’t entirely true. Hackers have recognized that SMBs typically have limited cybersecurity tooling or knowledge and so are much easier targets. During the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses were attacked at twice the rate of larger organizations.

SMBs have started to recognize that they are the weakest link, and they want to fix this problem. The most recent US Chamber of Commerce Survey from Q1 2024 found that cybersecurity threats are now the biggest concern for SMBs, ahead of supply chain breakdowns, theft, weather, or even another pandemic. Despite this strong demand, there is a significant talent shortage in cybersecurity (3.5M unfilled positions globally), and according to data from the World Economic Forum and Accenture, over half of SMBs don’t have the skills to respond to and recover from cyberattacks.

On the other hand, large companies typically have an internal 24/7 security operations center (SOC) that monitors alerts from across their IT and security tooling to detect threats and respond to them in real time. For a mid-size business of ~1-2K employees to maintain this level of capability you need to build a team of at least a dozen security analysts, detection engineers, and automation engineers. You also need to pay for the necessary software to log alerts, build playbooks, and run orchestration. Even for mid-market enterprises, this can end up costing $1-$3M a year.

This is where managed detection and response (MDR) providers come in. These providers become a mid-market customer’s outsourced security team and augment the in-house SOC for larger enterprises. MDR providers combine technology and human expertise to perform remote threat hunting, monitoring, and response. According to data from Emergen Research, the global MDR market was $4.9B in 2021 and is estimated to grow to $21.9B by 2030. It’s one of the fastest-growing segments in cybersecurity, but it’s mostly powered by services—typically located offshore in lower-wage economies.

Reinventing MDR with a virtual AI analyst

The rise of large language model innovation, supercharged by the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, started to get me thinking about the opportunity ahead for new cybersecurity innovation. Two areas where I believed we would see significant innovation using generative AI are in a reinvention of detection and response tooling and the opportunity to target SMB cybersecurity. When Microsoft launched Security for Copilot in March 2023, I shared some of my thoughts on startup opportunities publicly on LinkedIn.

Kumar Saurabh saw this post and sent me a note:“This is a super interesting area for me. I do not have a concrete enough plan yet to start executing – but I am seriously exploring that area. My gut tells me that a new product should exist in that space.”

Kumar is no stranger to the detection and response category. He was one of the early employees at ArcSight, which helped to create the SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) market, and where he led the analytics and solutions teams. He eventually rose to become Director of Engineering and stayed right through the company’s IPO. After this journey, in 2010 alongside Christian Beedgen he co-founded Sumo Logic, a cloud-native SIEM platform that provided log management and analytics services. He ran engineering at Sumo and when he left at the end of 2015, half the company reported to him. Even after a successful IPO and thousands of new team members, employees have shared with me that part of the core codebase that runs the search query capabilities at Sumo Logic still comprises the original code written by Kumar. Most recently, Kumar served as CEO and co-founder of LogicHub, a cloud-native SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation and Response) platform that was acquired by Devo in September 2022.

After some initial brainstorming, we spent a few months discussing how to leverage LLMs within detection and response. Both of us believed that one of the biggest opportunities created by generative AI was to completely reinvent the MDR through automation and target the underserved small and mid-market customer base. We believed a new startup could embed context learned from security-specific events and build on top of existing LLMs. The goal would be to reduce costs while significantly improving response times using a virtual AI analyst for each piece of the platform experience – from onboarding, detection content deployment, playbooks, threat hunting, and response actions.

Most importantly, instead of exposing a virtual analyst directly to the customer, we would leverage the AI analyst internally so that our own human SOC team could train the chatbot over time. This would ensure that customers didn’t have to deal with issues around the quality of responses and hallucinations. For the customer, the entire experience would feel like just another MDR platform, but under the hood, it would be a completely different engine.

A slide from AirMDR’s original May 2023 seed pitch deck, which walked through the reinvention of the MDR platform by augmenting human security analysts with AI.

Once the idea had crystallized into a product vision, we incorporated the company and signed a term sheet to lead the seed round in June 2023. Tae Hea Nahm of Storm Ventures, who was an early investor in Kumar’s last company LogicHub, also joined us as we began this journey.

Assembling the A-team

To go after a big vision in a competitive market, you need a world-class team. Kumar’s first partner in this journey was Anthony Morris who was an early employee at LogicHub and ran their MDR service. With experience working at top-tier SOC teams at Bank of America and Experian, Anthony knows what a good SOC looks like and wants to bring that same experience to SMBs. In fall 2023, Sekhar Sarukkai, the technical co-founder of Skyhigh Networks introduced me to his CPO, Anand Ramanathan. After long careers at Skyhigh, McAfee, Proofpoint, and Cisco, Anand was thinking about his next role and really wanted to go early. We were looking for a product leader and quickly realized that Anand brought the right mix of deep market insight, an execution-focused attitude, and the humbleness to realize what he didn’t know.

 

One of my former portfolio companies, Attivo Networks, which sold to SentinelOne for $617M in March 2022, also became a key ground for us to recruit talent. Carolyn Crandall, Attivo’s CMO became available in October 2023, and we knew she would be an excellent fit given her experience running marketing orgs at Cisco, Juniper, and Riverbed. Carolyn can make products stand out in the crowd and run focused demand-generation campaigns. And just as we thought things couldn’t get any better, in December 2023, Srikant Vissamsetti, the technical visionary behind Attivo, called me to say that he was thinking about what to do next. Srikant built Attivo’s platform to scale to over 300 customers across 6 continents and ran an engineering team of over 100 employees. This was a hire we couldn’t miss, and I immediately called Kumar. We got to work convincing Srikant to join us as CTO and by the start of the New Year he was all in.

With Kumar, Anthony, Anand, Carolyn, Srikant, and 20 other engineers, we have a dream team that brings enterprise-grade expertise to the SMB market.

With Srikant, Anand, Kumar, and Carolyn at Foundation Capital’s Palo Alto office in June 2024.

 

Pulling back the curtains

After a year of building, we’re finally ready to share the AirMDR platform publicly. We want to deliver on the promise of quality and speed— something that most human-oriented MDRs have failed to do—while also opening the market to a customer base that previously couldn’t afford a cybersecurity team. Our 24/7 human SOC leverages our virtual analyst (named Darryl) to investigate, triage, respond to, and contain threats. With AirMDR’s automation capabilities, we’ve shown that Darryl can perform tasks in under 5 minutes which would normally take human analysts over an hour to do. AirMDR’s platform supports each company’s business tech stack of choice with over 200 vendor integrations out of the box covering 90% of the integrations a typical customer might require.

We’ve already connected the team with several early customers and advisors like Nick MuyChris CastaldoAssaf KerenKane Lightowler, and Mahendra Ramsinghani. This is also the only cybersecurity investment where we fit the customer profile, and I’m proud to say that Foundation Capital is also a paid customer of AirMDR.

We’ve had a long history of investing in novel approaches within detection and response security. From Phantom Cyber (which helped create the SOAR market) to Respond Software (which worked to automate the security analyst role before LLMs) to Anvilogic (which provides enterprises with a multi-platform SIEM architecture) to Permiso (which helps companies manage real-time cloud threats). We believe that AirMDR unpacks another new opportunity and focuses on a customer base we haven’t yet touched—the SMB market. We’re excited for AirMDR to finally bridge the cyber inequity gap. Congratulations, Kumar and the entire AirMDR team.

AirMDR is headquartered in Menlo Park, Ca. If you’d like to try their MDR platform, you can do so risk-free and for a limited-time 40% discount using an exclusive link here.

Published on 6.13.24
Written by Foundation Capital

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Wendel Growth invests in YesWeHack, a leading Bug Bounty1 and Vulnerability Management Platform

Wendel

Wendel (Euronext: MF.FP), through its Wendel Growth investment arm, announced today the acquisition of a
minority stake in YesWeHack through an equity investment of €14.5 million. Wendel invests alongside Adelie,
Seventure Partners and historical investors Eiffel Investment Group, Open CNP2 and Caisse des Dépôts et
Consignations.

YesWeHack is a cybersecurity company that was founded in 2015. The company has developed a platform to
manage Bug Bounties, a cybersecurity technique consisting in incentivizing a community of ethical hackers to
detect and report vulnerabilities in exchange for bounties. YesWeHack connects organisations to tens of
thousands of ethical hackers. The goal is uncovering and patching vulnerabilities in websites, mobile apps,
connected devices and digital infrastructure. YesWeHack has a strong international footprint with dominant
positions in France and Singapore and clients coming from over 50 countries.

Hundreds of organisations worldwide – private, public and governmental – already benefit from YesWeHack’s
in-house triage3, personalised support, customisable model and a results-based billing model for the customer.
Built and run by ethical hackers, YesWeHack has in-depth knowledge of what ethical hackers and
organisations need from a Bug Bounty platform to cost-effectively secure digital assets, reputations and
customer data.

Antoine Izsak, Head of Growth Equity, said:
« Bug bounty is now recognised as a must by some of the companies most exposed to the cyber threat. We
are delighted to be working with the European leader YesWeHack, which stands out for its quality of service,
compliance with regulations and the relevance of its technological roadmap for customers who are increasingly
overwhelmed by the growing volume of vulnerabilities.»

Guillaume Vassault-Houlière, YesWeHack CEO, stated:
« This new round of funding is a vote of confidence in our commitment to excellence and ambitious vision.
Thanks to this investment, YesWeHack commits to delivering even higher levels of customer satisfaction and
accelerating development of innovative solutions in one of the most dynamic market segments in
cybersecurity. We would like to express our deep gratitude to Wendel for their support. Their considerable
experience and long-term vision will be decisive assets for YesWeHack in this new phase of its development,
which will make it a global player in cybersecurity.”
1 where ethical hackers can report security exploits
2
the Corporate Venture Capital fund of CNP Assurances
3
the triage team main role is to check the vulnerabilities found before forwarding them to the customers

About Wendel
Wendel is one of Europe’s leading listed investment firms. The Group invests in Europe and North America in companies which are leaders in their field, such as ACAMS, Bureau
Veritas, Crisis Prevention Institute, IHS Towers, Scalian, Stahl and Tarkett. Wendel often plays an active role as a controlling or significant shareholder in its portfolio companies.
Wendel seeks to implement long-term development strategies, which involve boosting growth and margins of companies so as to enhance their leading market positions. With
Wendel Growth, Wendel also invests via funds or directly in innovative, high-growth companies. In 2023, Wendel initiated a strategic shift into third-party asset management of
private assets, alongside its historical principal investment activities.
Wendel is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris.
Standard & Poor’s ratings: Long-term: BBB, stable outlook – Short-term: A-2 since January 25, 2019
Wendel is the Founding Sponsor of Centre Pompidou-Metz. In recognition of its long-term patronage of the arts, Wendel received the distinction of “Grand Mécène de la Culture”
in 2012.

For more information: wendelgroup.com
Follow us on LinkedIn @Wendel

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Trellix Collaborates with Google Cloud to Protect Enterprises and Governments

Stg Partners

Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), today announced new collaborations with Google Cloud to simplify customer access to security protections in the cloud. In addition to achieving Google Cloud Partner Advantage Build authorizations for both Google Cloud and Google Workspace, Trellix has joined Google Cloud Ready – Distributed Cloud initiative. Through both, Google Cloud customers are equipped with open, interoperable security solutions from Trellix.

Trellix and Google Distributed Cloud

Google Distributed Cloud’s air-gapped option meets rigorous regulatory, durability, and availability standards for customers requiring air-gapped systems with no connectivity to Google Cloud or the public internet. Trellix is working towards making Trellix Endpoint Security available to Google Cloud customers seeking on-premises protections through the new Google Cloud Ready – Distributed Cloud initiative.

“Joining the Google Distributed Cloud initiative represents a pivotal milestone in safeguarding heavily regulated sectors and securing our customers where they operate,” said John Morgan, XDR General Manager at Trellix. “For customers seeking the security benefits of on-premises infrastructure while leveraging Google Cloud’s state-of-the-art cloud technology, Trellix stands ready to ensure comprehensive protection.”

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GuidePoint Security Attracts New Round of Growth Capital

Audax Group

HERNDON, Va. — GuidePoint Security, a cybersecurity solutions leader enabling organizations to make smarter decisions and minimize risk, today announced the closing of a funding round led by Audax Private Equity, a leading alternative investment manager and capital partner to middle market companies. GuidePoint will leverage the investment to further accelerate growth across the United States and expand internationally. Terms of the new investment are not disclosed.

“As the complexity of the cybersecurity landscape becomes more pronounced — with ever evolving threats, thousands of products, and continued resource challenges — demand for our services and solutions has never been higher,” said Michael Volk, Chairman and CEO of GuidePoint Security. “We attribute this consistent and continued rapid growth to our steadfast commitment to partnering with our customers to solve their cybersecurity challenges. We’ve focused on hiring the best and brightest cybersecurity minds across the United States and investing in innovative service offerings to address new and emerging risks. Now with Audax Private Equity, we are set up to help even more customers across the U.S. and expand overseas.”

Founded in 2011, GuidePoint Security has become the trusted cybersecurity advisor to more than 3,800 organizations across the U.S., including one-third of the Fortune 50 and 40% of the Fortune 500, along with more than half of the U.S. government cabinet-level agencies. The company’s unique business model provides local engagement and delivery teams, national scale and purchasing power for industry-leading cybersecurity solutions, breadth and depth of cybersecurity expertise across all disciplines, and engagements that are tailored to each customer’s specific environment and needs.

“GuidePoint has distinguished itself as one of the premier providers of cybersecurity solutions, where local coverage, sophisticated technical skillsets, and industry expertise are crucial to address, mitigate and stay ahead of cyber risks,” noted Iveshu Bhatia, a Managing Director at Audax Private Equity. “Our investment experience in this area should prove beneficial as we work closely with the GuidePoint team to drive growth.”

“GuidePoint Security’s value proposition revolves around the team’s sophisticated technical skillset coupled with deep industry expertise,” added Tim Mack, Partner of Audax Private Equity. “We see a tremendous opportunity to invest in the company’s continued expansion and build upon its track record of growth over the last 12 years.”

Guggenheim Securities, LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor, while DLA Piper provided legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis served in the same capacity to Audax Private Equity. ABS Capital Partners, a prior investor in GuidePoint Security, participated in the transaction.

ABOUT

About GuidePoint Security:

GuidePoint Security provides trusted cybersecurity expertise, solutions and services that help organizations make better decisions that minimize risk. Our experts act as your trusted advisor to understand your business and challenges, helping you through an evaluation of your cybersecurity posture and ecosystem to expose risks, optimize resources and implement best-fit solutions. GuidePoint’s unmatched expertise has enabled a third of Fortune 500 companies and more than half of the U.S. government cabinet-level agencies to improve their security posture and reduce risk. Learn more at www.guidepointsecurity.com.

About Audax Private Equity:

Based in Boston and San Francisco, Audax Private Equity is a leading middle market investment firm with approximately $18 billion of assets under management, over 210 employees, and 100-plus investment professionals. Since its founding in 1999, the firm has invested in more than 165 platforms and 1,200 add-on acquisitions. Through our disciplined Buy & Build approach, across six core industry verticals, Audax helps portfolio companies execute organic and inorganic growth initiatives that fuel revenue expansion, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value. For more information, visit audaxprivateequity.com or follow Audax Private Equity on LinkedIn.

“GuidePoint Security’s value proposition revolves around the team’s sophisticated technical skillset coupled with deep industry expertise. We see a tremendous opportunity to invest in the company’s continued expansion and build upon its track record of growth over the last 12 years.”
Tim Mack
Partner, Audax Private Equity

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Nord Security surpasses $3bn valuation with new $100M funding round

Burdaprincipal

 

Burda Principal Investments proudly continues to back Lithuanian unicorn Nord Security on its exceptional growth path

Burda Principal Investments (BPI) continues to support Nord Security: Just over a year after the first financing round, which made Nord Security the second tech unicorn in Lithuania, the provider of internet privacy and security solutions raises another $100M in new funding. Next to BPI, the existing investor Novator also participates in the round led by Warburg Pincus valuing the company at $3bn.

Changes in the cybersecurity landscape drive the need for online security and privacy

Over the past few years, the cybersecurity landscape has changed dramatically due to the emergence of new technologies. These trends have sparked increased awareness of online security and privacy issues across a wider audience of internet users. In this constantly changing digital environment, VPN service providers NordVPN and Surfshark have become mainstream and remain the flagship products of Nord Security. With the new funding, the company plans to continue to drive organic business growth, expand Nord Security’s product offering, and further accelerate growth through acquisitions.

“The outstanding growth of Nord Security’s business within the last years confirms their market-leading position in the consumer cybersecurity space. We are excited to continue to back the exceptional management team on their growth journey.”

Christian Teichmann, CEO of Burda Principal Investments

“Not a day goes by without news about the next cyber attack succeeding. That is not only because cyber threats are becoming much more frequent, but also due to them consistenlty increasing in sophistication. Nord Security has managed to create a suite of products that fits the ever evolving needs of customers.”
Luisa Frank, Investment Manager at Burda Principal Investments

Cybersecurity tools to create a radically better internet

Nord Security was founded in Vinius, Lithuania in 2012 by co-CEOs Tom Okman and Eimantas Sabaliauskas. Their goal is to develop tools that are easily accessible to everyone and create a radically better internet. In addition to the NordVPN service, the product suite includes password manager NordPass, network access security software NordLayer and encrypted cloud storage NordLocker. In 2022, Nord Security merged with Surfshark, one of the most popular consumer cybersecurity companies globally, adding a series of additional consumer cybersecurity products to  Nord Security’s portfolio. Today, Nord Security’s suite of products is trusted by millions of users worldwide – both businesses and individuals.

We will continue to address the needs of our users by bringing market-leading innovative features, informative marketing, and a holistic approach towards consumer and businesses cybersecurity needs. The new financing round, together with our investors’ experience and know-how, allow us to be in an even stronger position to make the Nord name synonymous with online privacy and security.”
Tom Okman, co-CEO and co-founder at Nord Security
“Modern cybersecurity requires cutting-edge innovations, and that’s where our talented professionals make Nord Security stand out. Over the years we focused on fostering a community where driven experts are welcomed and enabled to make radically better internet. The Nord community, made up of individuals from all corners of the globe, work together to make sure that our users can be safer online, every day. And we believe there are many who share our cause and our mission.”
Eimantas Sabaliauskasco-CEO and co-founder at Nord Security

 

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IK Partners enters into exclusive negotiations for the sale of its stake in Pr0ph3cy Group to Carlyle

IK Partners

Press Release
Monday, 3 July 2023

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap III Fund (“IK SC III”) has entered into exclusivity negotiations for the sale of its stake in Pr0ph3cy Group (“Pr0ph3cy” or “the Group”), a leading ‘one-stop-shop’ cybersecurity business in France, to global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG). This represents the first exit from the Development Capital pool within the IK SC III Fund, after a holding period of under two years. IK will be reinvesting alongside Carlyle and the management team. The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Led by CEO Arthur Bataille, Pr0ph3cy Group is a leading provider of IT and cybersecurity services to a highly diversified blue-chip customer base within the public and private sectors, including: Aerospace & Defence; Financial Services; Transport and Consumer. Resulting from the merger of Silicom and Seela in 2021 in a primary leveraged buyout led by IK and together with the subsequent acquisitions of OpenCyber and Harmonie Technologie in 2022, the Company now operates across the entire cyber services value chain with expertise in: cyber strategy, risk and identity management; audit and penetration testing; configuration of security software and hardware (NetSecOps and DevSecOps); cyber e-training and upskilling solutions; and artificial intelligence.

At present, Pr0ph3cy has around 600 employees who serve hundreds of customers from its nine offices across Europe and North America. With IK’s support and including the two add-ons, the Company roughly tripled its size through the acceleration of its activity through an ambitious recruitment strategy, initiation of a significant internationalisation effort in Canada and Belgium; and delivery of Seela.io’s product roadmap to become a best-in-class, global cyber-focused e-learning tool. An overall reinforcement of group processes and managerial structure also commenced.

The Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (“CETP”) platform will enable Pr0ph3cy’s continued growth and the Carlyle team will work with management and IK to continue the Company’s buy-and-build strategy to gain further scale, broaden its service portfolio and expand internationally. Upon acquisition, the Group will rebrand and change its name to “NEVERHACK”.

Pierre Gallix, Managing Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK SC III Fund, said: “Over the past two years, we’ve worked in partnership with the team at Pr0ph3cy to deliver their ambitious strategic agenda and pursue numerous value creation opportunities. We have been impressed with their dedication and hard work to date and look forward to continuing our work with them, alongside Carlyle.”

Arthur Bataille, Founder and CEO of Pr0ph3cy Group, said: “With the support of IK, we have experienced a significant acceleration in growth which has helped us to evolve substantially. They understood our vision and passion for innovation from the start and have worked with my team and I to help us begin releasing our ambitions. We are proud of all that we have achieved in such a short space of time with and look forward to welcoming Carlyle as we enter the next phase of our journey. We thank the team at IK for their continued support.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to works council consultation and customary regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

About IK Partners

IK Partners (“IK”) is a European private equity firm focused on investments in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €14 billion of capital and invested in over 170 European companies. IK supports companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects. For more information, visit www.ikpartners.com

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About Pr0ph3cy Group

Pr0ph3cy (to be renamed NEVERHACK) is a fast-growing cybersecurity company dedicated to protecting digital infrastructures against cyber threats to businesses and individuals. Founded in 2021, the company has rapidly established itself as a key player in the sector, thanks to the expertise of the companies it has acquired in Harmonie Technologie, Silicom and OpenCyber (cyber strategy, integration and development, pentest and technical audit), Seela (training center) and weS4FE (risk rating service). The company currently employs 600 people in 4 countries.
Pr0ph3cy aims to become a leader in cybersecurity services, building a secure digital world for all.

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IK Partners enters into exclusive negotiations for the sale of Nomios to Keensight Capital

IK Partners

Press Release
Tuesday, 27 June 2023

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK VIII Fund has entered into exclusivity negotiations to sell Nomios (“the Company”), a European expert in cybersecurity and secure network services, to Keensight Capital (“Keensight”), one of the leading private equity managers dedicated to pan-European Growth Buyout[1] investments. Financial terms of the contemplated transaction, which is subject to the prior information and consultation of the relevant employee representative bodies and other customary approvals, are not disclosed.

Nomios has a presence in over 20 offices across Europe, more than €400 million in revenue coupled with a healthy profitability and over 600 employees; a large portion of which are certified engineers. The Company specialises in helping customers secure their increasingly complex digital landscape. It provides an end-to-end offering, including: Nomios support; solutions from trusted and high-quality vendors; professional services; and managed services, including but not limited to Nomios’ security operating centres (“SOCs”).

Since IK acquired the Company in January 2019, it has undergone a transition towards a cybersecurity expert of scale across Europe. It has successfully doubled its revenues through organic growth realised across service lines and geographies. Under the leadership of CEO Sébastien Kher, Nomios has capitalised on its proven track record of client stickiness, maintaining and achieving high vendor accreditations and high employee loyalty. In addition, Nomios has also launched several new strategic initiatives, including the successful unveiling of various SOCs in its key markets. It has also expanded its footprint in Europe through two acquisitions in Poland and Italy.

Sébastien Kher, CEO at Nomios, said: “We are grateful for the support that IK has offered the business since 2019. With its help, we have significantly grown Nomios through new services and a broader geographic footprint. We are excited by the opportunity to enter into a new partnership with Keensight and to benefit from their significant experience in — and expertise on — the markets in which Nomios is active, in order to continue our strong organic growth, combined with further acquisitions in Europe to grow our footprint.”

Remko Hilhorst, Managing Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK VIII Fund, said: “We are proud of all that we have achieved in partnership with the management team at Nomios. We have established the Company as one of the clear leaders in the European cybersecurity market, positioning it as a scaled provider of increasingly recurring services to its loyal client base. The quality of the entire Nomios team has allowed us to strongly grow the business year on year. We are convinced that the contemplated transaction will ensure continued success of team and wish them and Keensight every success in the future.”

Philippe Crochet, Managing Partner at Keensight Capital, added: “We’re very excited at the prospect of embarking on this journey with the management of Nomios, a leader in cybersecurity with recognised expertise and a unique presence in Europe. We’ve been extremely impressed by the work they have done and we look forward to partnering with them in an ambitious new stage of growth.”

In addition to what is set out in this message, signing and completion of the transaction is subject to the prior information and consultation of the relevant employee representative bodies, as well as further legal and regulatory approvals.

 

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

Nomios
Tim Fleur
Phone: +31 6 4346 4012
tim.fleur@nomios.nl

Keensight Capital
Cindy Giraud
Phone: +33 6 37 96 55 37
cgiraud@keensightcapital.com
H/Advisors for Keensight Capital
David Stürken – david.sturken@h-advisors.global +44 (0) 799 059 5913
Aliénor Miens – alienor.miens@h-advisors.global +33 (0) 664 32 81 75

[1]  Growth Buyout: investment in profitable, private companies experiencing strong growth, in minority or majority positions, with or without leverage, using a flexible approach tailored to the needs of individual entrepreneurs, in order to finance organic growth projects, acquisition strategies or provide historic shareholders with liquidity.

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Blackpoint Cyber Secures $190 Million Growth Investment from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Accel

BainCapital

Blackpoint Cyber Secures $190 Million Growth Investment from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Accel

Funding supports Blackpoint’s mission to be a one-stop-shop for MSPs to combat escalating cyber threats

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. and BOSTON – June 8, 2023 – Blackpoint Cyber (Blackpoint), a leading, technology-focused cybersecurity company providing its advanced security suite via managed service providers (MSPs), today announced it has received a $190 million growth investment led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities, with participation from Accel. Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Accel join existing investors including Adelphi Capital Partners, Telecom Ventures, Pelican Ventures and WP Global Partners. The investment will be used to fund further development of Blackpoint’s security technology and enable its MSP partners to combat a constantly changing threat landscape.

Founded in 2014 by CEO Jon Murchison, a former National Security Agency computer operations expert who spent more than a decade executing high-priority national security missions, Blackpoint leverages real-world cyber experience and deep knowledge of cyber defense tactics to help MSPs safeguard their customers from cyberthreats. Blackpoint’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) technology rapidly detects and isolates threats at the earliest sign of a breach. Many security services place the burden of response and action on their customers, whereas Blackpoint’s 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) investigates suspicious activity and takes action to neutralize threats in real-time on behalf of its MSP partners. This eliminates alert fatigue and time spent on false positives.

“The MSP market is growing fast, and we are matching that growth by scaling and innovating new cybersecurity solutions,” said Jon Murchison, CEO and founder of Blackpoint Cyber. “Cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated and advanced, forcing MSPs to rapidly adapt to protect their customers and infrastructure. Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Accel bring deep experience in cybersecurity, a sophisticated understanding of the threat landscape, and the resources needed to propel our next phase of growth, and we are thrilled to partner with them and continue providing our MSP partners with an elite and ever-innovative cybersecurity ecosystem.”

Blackpoint is committed to adding additional products to its platform and simplifying the security stack for its MSP partners as they play an ever-increasing role in cybersecurity. Blackpoint recently introduced its Managed Application Control solution to help MSPs ensure that only authorized applications are running on devices and reduce the risk of unauthorized activity or malware infiltration. Blackpoint also launched the Blackpoint University learning platform in 2023 to provide MSPs with access to sales and technical cybersecurity training and lessons from leaders in the military, intelligence, and business communities.

“Blackpoint sets itself apart as the security service of choice for MSPs with its next-gen MDR technology and integrations to detect and actively respond to threats,” said Dewey Awad, a Partner at Bain Capital Tech Opportunities. “We are thrilled to join Jon and the management team to help accelerate the growth of the business and drive new product development that delivers a unique value proposition to MSPs and their customers.”

Bain Capital has deep experience across the cybersecurity sector, having invested in and added value to a wide range of early-stage to mature software companies such as InAuth (acquired by American Express), Rapid 7Check PointBarracuda NetworksSolarWinds, Evident.io (acquired by Palo Alto Networks), Blue Coat (acquired by NortonLifeLock), ExtraHop, and BioCatch.

William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to Bain Capital Tech Opportunities.

About Blackpoint
Blackpoint Cyber offers the only world-class, nation state-grade cybersecurity ecosystem serving the MSP community. Using its own software and SOC, Blackpoint’s true 24/7 MDR service not only detects breaches earlier than any other solution on the market, but also provides an actual response rather than just an alert to keep your and your clients’ networks safe from widespread damage.

About Bain Capital Tech Opportunities
Bain Capital Tech Opportunities (www.baincapitaltechopportunities.com) aims to help growing technology companies reach their full potential. We focus on companies in large, growing end markets with innovative or disruptive technology where we believe we can support transformational growth. Our dedicated, tenured team has deep experience supporting growing technology businesses—bringing together differentiated backgrounds in private and public equity investing as well as technology operating roles. We invest behind fundamental long-term tailwinds as technology penetrates across industries, creating a large and growing number of investment opportunities. Bain Capital Tech Opportunities focuses on five priority sub-verticals: Application Software, Infrastructure & Security, Fintech & Payments, Healthcare IT, and Internet & Digital Media. We are a business unit of Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading private investment firms with approximately $160 billion in assets under management that creates lasting impact for our investors, teams, businesses, and the communities in which we live.

About Accel
Accel is a global venture capital firm that is the first partner to exceptional teams everywhere, from inception through all phases of private company growth. Atlassian, Bumble, CrowdStrike, DJI, Fiverr, Flipkart, Freshworks, Qualtrics, Segment, Slack, Spotify, Squarespace, Tenable, and UiPath are among the companies Accel has backed over the past 40 years. We help ambitious entrepreneurs build iconic global businesses. For more, visit www.accel.com or www.twitter.com/accel.

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Truesec acquires Venzo Cyber Security A/S, a leading Danish cyber specialist organization

IK Partners

Press release – June 1, 2023

Today, Truesec announces the acquisition of the Danish company Venzo Cyber Security A/S. The purpose of the acquisition is to further strengthen Truesec´s position as preferred cyber partner in Northern Europe, preventing cyberattacks and minimizing impact.

Truesec´s acquisition of Venzo Cyber Security A/S, a former Venzo Group company, marks an important step for Truesec on its mission to create a safe digital future, as well as to further strengthen its cybersecurity capabilities.

“The acquisition of Venzo Cyber Security A/S significantly enhances our cyber defense capabilities, enabling us to better protect society from cyberattacks. We are excited to welcome the team to Truesec, as their expertise combined with our cyberspecialists in Denmark will make a significant difference in creating a safer society for all organizations in Denmark and Northern Europe”, says Anna Averud – CEO of Truesec Group.

“We are pleased to have found a new owner for our group company, Venzo Cyber Security A/S, and we are very happy on the team’s behalf. In Truesec, they will become part of a dedicated security firm with a global reach, while VENZO continue to pursue our strategy of delivering large multi-disciplinary digital transformation programs in Denmark and the Nordics” says Søren Luplau-Pagh, CEO of VENZO Group.

“This is a significant step forward and will further strengthen Truesec’s offering in Denmark and the Nordics. At Truesec our ambition is to secure Europe´s society against cyberattacks. With our strong team, we’re better equipped to proactively prevent cyberattacks and minimize their impact” says Morten von Seelen, CEO Truesec Denmark.

The acquisition is expected to be completed 1st of June 2023.

Contact us for further information or any inquiries you may have.

Jennie Mattar
CMO, Truesec
Email: Jennie.mattar@truesec.com
Phone: +46-72 858 88 78

Anna Averud
CEO, Truesec
Email: Anna.averud@truesec.com
Phone: +46-70 918 30 48

Søren Luplau-Pagh
Group CEO, VENZO A/S
Email: slp@venzo.com
Phone: +45 20 28 56 7

About Truesec

Truesec is a global cybersecurity company with a clear purpose: Creating a safer society by preventing cyber attacks. Since its founding in 2005, Truesec has gained a strong reputation and earned the trust of organizations worldwide. Today, Truesec consists of over 300 dedicated cyber specialists in Sweden, US, Denmark, Finland and Germany – covering the full spectrum of cybersecurity. www.truesec.com

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About Venzo Cyber Security A/S

Venzo Cyber security A/S was founded 2020 as part of Venzo Group, a leader in digital change. Venzo Cyber Security A/S is focused on protecting enterprise and public clients against cyber threats. Today, Venzo Cyber Security A/S has obtained a strong position in the Danish market delivering high quality security advisory, solutions, and managed services.

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ABN AMRO Ventures invests in ThreatFabric

Abn Amro Ventures

ABN AMRO Ventures, the corporate venture fund of ABN AMRO, has invested in the EUR 11.5m Seed round of ThreatFabric, an Online Fraud Detection solution that helps ABN AABN AMRO Ventures, the corporate venture fund of ABN AMRO, has invested in the EUR 11.5m Seed round of ThreatFabric, an Online Fraud Detection solution that helps ABN AMRO protect its clients from the growing fraud and malware epidemic.MRO protect its clients from the growing fraud and malware epidemic.

The battle against online fraud has become a lot more complex with continuous data breaches and the availability of AI driven tools. In 2022 alone, criminals in the Netherlands caused €62.5 million in damage through payment fraud, including bank helpdesk fraud and phishing, which is 25% higher than two years earlier according to the 

Dutch Banking Association

. Banks and e-commerce platforms are continuously searching for accurate warning systems before payments are made.

ABN AMRO Ventures invested in ThreatFabric because online fraud does not show any signs of slowing down, with the bank’s clients as the most vulnerable part of the chain. ThreatFabric’s software can positively contribute to this fraud epidemic by helping their clients – banks and financial institutions – protect their end-users from fraud and malware by using different protection layers, such as on-device malware detection and behavioural analytics.

This EUR 11.5m Seed round is co-led by ABN AMRO Ventures and Motive Ventures, alongside 10xFounders and 14Peaks capital. The capital will be used to increase ThreatFabric’s international expansion and extend its fraud detection layers with behavioural based detection. This consists of the fraudster’s footprint with advanced AI models that include continuous threat modelling of attack paths inside online signup and payment journeys.

Han Sahin, CEO at ThreatFabric: “The ever-changing online fraud threat landscape can proactively be protected by including AI driven threat modelling in behavioural based defence layers. Fraudster also have a strong need which is strongly reflected in their digital footprint. This Seed Round with investment capital from ABN AMRO Ventures, Motive Ventures, and participation from 10xFounders and 14Peaks capital will be used for further expansion and to extend our Fraud Risk Suite platform focused on new proactive fraud controls. For example, with behaviour-based location intelligence and behavioural biometrics that use advanced AI models that forecast potential fraudsters online footprint inside payment journeys”.

Hugo Bongers, Managing Director at ABN AMRO Ventures: “The fraud issue is large and complex problem, that is only expected to get bigger in the future, as technologies like AI further develop. As a long-standing partner of ThreatFabric, ABN AMRO Bank has seen ThreatFabric’s profound understanding of the fraud issue and the high-quality solution the company offers. ABN AMRO Ventures is proud to support the co-founders Han and Yorick, and the entire ThreatFabric team in their next stage of growth and their mission to combat fraud and malware.”

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