Armorblox closed a $30 million Series B to move email security beyond just blocking spam raids and into stopping targeted, socially engineered attacks.
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The new Series B was led by Next47, with participation from Polaris Partners and Unusual Ventures, General Catalyst and other early investors. Armorblox has raised $46.5 million since being founded in 2017, according to the company.
“In 2019, the FBI reported that cybercriminals raked in $1.7 billion through phishing scams and other, more sophisticated, business email compromise (BEC) attacks,” said TJ Rylander, general partner at Next47. “So, this is clearly an area of concern for large organizations around the world that is not being met by the technology solutions on the market today.”
The Sunnyvale, California-based company uses natural language technologies to analyze signals and understand the context of communications, protecting both people and data, said co-founder and CEO DJ Sampath. The platform’s ability to analyze and recognize more socially engineered attacks helps differentiate Armorblox from other email security providers like Mimecast and Proofpoint, he added.
Although email is no longer the only means of tech-enabled communication in the business world, Sampath said it is still the system of record at many companies when it comes to compliance, audit and even legal purposes. It also still is how most companies that rely on messaging systems such as Slack and Microsoft Teams communicate outside of their own company, he added.
The importance of email was again illustrated last year, as the pandemic sent many employees home to work and made many rely on email to communicate, Sampath said.
“We saw a massive spike in both email volume and attacks,” Sampath said.
Although the company offers no financial details, its platform is being used by more than 9,000 customers, Sampath said. While the majority of its customers are small and medium-sized businesses, the company is realizing traction among larger enterprises, he added.
While Sampath said he has no doubt the email security market alone could produce another $10 billion-plus company, Armorblox will expand into messaging and even document security in the future.
“We are definitely looking at what is around the corner,” he said.
Rylander said the company will use its natural language understanding models to protect the enterprise across cloud-based communication platforms such as Slack or Zoom.
“That opens up a far greater opportunity as the world of work increasingly migrates to online platforms, and more forms of communication become vulnerable to attacks,” he said.
Sampath said he sees that as the next frontier for cybersecurity.
“The next Palo Alto Networks is going to look like this,” he said. “It will not be a firewall company.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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