Cybersecurity Startups Venture

Trio Of Cyber Companies Become Newest Minted Unicorns, Continuing Strong Start Of Year In Funding In Sector

Illustration of masked thief sneaking away with huge smartphone in a pillowcase.

This week is off to a furious start for cybersecurity startups—as three new unicorns have been minted in the space in two days.

Tuesday saw not one, but two new unicorns born as eSentire and Beyond Security joined the herd. That was followed on Wednesday by New York-based BlueVoyant hitting a $1 billion-plus valuation.

Managed detection and response firm eSentire, based in Waterloo, Ontario, closed a $325 million round at a valuation of more than $1 billion through an agreement with Georgian and Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ). The round is the third largest raised by a Canadian company this year, behind only fellow cybersecurity company 1Password’s $620 million Series C and SaaS-based compliance solution provider Assent Compliance’s $350 million Series D—both last month—according to Crunchbase data.

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In addition, multi-factor authentication (MFA) developer Beyond Identity on Tuesday locked down a $100 million Series C led by Evolution Equity Partners that values the  New York-based company at $1.1 billion.

On Wednesday New York-based BlueVoyant closed a $250 million Series D at a $1 billion-plus valuation on Wednesday led by Liberty Strategic Capital—a private equity firm founded and led by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

BlueVoyant becomes the third large cybersecurity funding round Liberty has led since it was reported early last year by The Washington Post that Mnuchin was starting his own fund with money from sovereign wealth funds in the Persian Gulf region and other investors.

Last July, Boston-based security company Cybereason raised $275 million at a reported $3.1 billion valuation in a round led by Liberty. Then in November, Los Altos, California-based Contrast Security closed a $150 million Series E at a greater than a billion-dollar valuation, also led by Mnuchin’s new firm.

The trio nearly doubles the amount of unicorns minted in cyber this calendar year, and bring the number born just this month to five, according to Crunchbase data. Earlier this month, Salt Security and Aleo reached that status, and in January Veriff and SparkCognition were minted.

This month has not just seen a growing herd of unicorns in cyber. Last week, Securonix announced a raise of more than $1 billion from Vista Equity Partners—the second-largest round by a U.S.-based, VC-backed company this calendar year—behind Cruise‘s $1.35 billion raise earlier this month, according to Crunchbase data.

The company, which offers security information and event management and extended detection and response capabilities, declined to give a valuation.

The amount of newly minted unicorns and large rounds seem to indicate 2022 could be a banner year for security—even after a record-breaking 2021 that saw more than $20 billion invested in the space.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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