San Jose-based cybersecurity firm Virsec received an investment from JC2 Ventures — headed by former Cisco Systems Executive Chairman and CEO John Chambers — as part of a larger round that will be announced later.
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Chambers joins the company as a strategic adviser after the investment — of which more details were not released — and said he sees Virsec as the next consequential cybersecurity company in a market that is estimated to be in the trillions.
“Is it a dream to think (Virsec) can be the next great security company?” Chambers asked. “I don’t think so.”
Security after SolarWinds
CEO Dave Furneaux describes Virsec as a provider of “application-aware workload protection.” In simple terms, Virsec integrates security into a customer’s infrastructure and defends it against a wide range of attacks in real-time. That differentiates it from other application security providers such as Palo Alto Networks and Trend Micro, which use an AI-based platform to secure server workloads, he said.
The SolarWinds attack was another case study why runtime, or real-time, security is needed, Furneaux said. In the case of that attack, processes running in real-time were targeted and injected with malicious code which took months to identify.
“We can stop that attack at the infiltration stage,” he said of Virsec.
Since the attack, Virsec has received a significant amount of interest from customers, Furneaux said. The company was founded in 2015 and, after working on the company’s patents and platform for a few years, launched into the market in late 2019. The company now is in 16 countries and has “north of several dozens of customers,” he added.
With the increased traction, Furneaux said he is now looking to scale up the company. Virsec, which now has 117 employees, expects to announce the round JC2 was part of at a later date. Furneaux said the company has now raised $60 million in total.
According to Crunchbase data, the company has raised $31.6 million after a $24 million Series B in March 2018.
The investment from JC2 also will allow Furneaux to continue his partnership with Chambers, who previously acquired two companies in which Furneaux was an investor. Furneaux was the founding investor, board member and a vice president at Skystone Systems, which Cisco acquired in 1997. He also was an early investor at AuroraNetics, which Cisco acquired in 2002.
Chambers said Virsec was interesting to him because of Furneaux and the company’s ability to disrupt a major market — especially as security only has become more complex and issues have proliferated through the years.
“If I had stayed at Cisco, I felt my next priority would have been security,” he said.
Virsec may help companies accomplish that priority.
“Do they have a chance to be a number one player in security?” Chambers asked. “I wouldn’t have invested if I didn’t think that.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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