Strategic Cyber Ventures Invests in Deception Technology Vendor TrapX

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2016-04-19 Print this article Print
Strategic Cyber Ventures

Tom Kellermann, former CSO of Trend Micro, started Strategic Cyber Ventures three months ago, and now he's ready to announce his first investment.

After working at Trend Micro for the past two years as the company's chief security officer, Tom Kellermann moved to become the CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures in February. Now after three months on the job, Kellermann is revealing his firm's first investment, with deception technology vendor TrapX.

SCV is investing $5 million into TrapX as part of an extended Series B round of funding. In July 2015, TrapX announced that it raised $9 million in its initial Series B round of funding led by Intel Capital, Liberty Israel Venture Fund, BRM Group and Opus Capital. Total funding to date for TrapX stands at $19 million.

TrapX develops deception-based technology to help organizations trap attackers and limit security risks. SCV's investment into TrapX isn't just financial; it's also about providing guidance and direction.

"We're not a traditional VC [venture capital firm] in the sense that when we invest, we help [the company's] go-to-market strategy, technology roadmaps, partnerships and whatever the company needs," Kellermann told eWEEK.

Kellermann is joined at SCV by Ann DiCamillo as the CTO of the firm. DiCamillo was previously the director of the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Hank Thomas is SCV's chief operating officer; his background includes more than a decade at security consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

"We chose TrapX as our first investment because we think that the future of cyber-security is all about disrupting the kill chain," Kellermann said.

The general idea is to make it more difficult for attackers to get what they want. The overarching concept is one that Kellermann referred to as "intrusion suppression."

"TrapX provides contextual capabilities to deceive, divert and contain an adversary once they are inside a network, without the knowledge of the adversary," he said.

Greg Enriquez, CEO of TrapX, said SCV brings value to his company as both an investor and as an adviser.

"SCV brings not only capital and funding, but connections and guidance," Enriquez told eWEEK.

For SCV itself, Kellermann said his firm is fully funded and isn't seeking to raise additional capital. He explained that SCV is a partnership between himself and Hudson Bay Capital.

"They have given us [SCV] sufficient capital to invest in eight to 10 entities over the next 20 months," he said. "The average investment size will be between $5 million and $10 million."

SCV will be most interested in Series A and B rounds of funding, according to Kellermann. He added that each company that SCV invests in will be synergistic with the rest, and SCV will not invest in two companies that do the same thing.

Beyond TrapX, Kellermann is also looking at mobile security, identity, advanced insider threat protection and next-generation endpoint defense types of technologies. He noted that SCV will be looking at technologies that are able to disrupt an attacker's ability to move laterally in an organization and exfiltrate data.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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