Security firm CrowdStrike today announced that it has closed a Series C round of funding for $100 million led by Google Capital and including the participation of Rackspace, Accel and Warburg Pincus. The new investment will be used by CrowdStrike to expand the company’s geographic footprint into Europe and Asia, as well as fund further development of CrowdStrike’s technology.
CrowdStrike’s Falcon platform provides security intelligence and insight capabilities to enterprise and government customers, while its incident response services help organizations deal with security incidents.
“We have spent the last four years building a platform that delivers next-generation endpoint security in a different way than others in the marketplace,” George Kurtz, CEO and co-founder of CrowdStrike, told eWEEK. “We have taken a page out of the Salesforce.com playbook, creating a cloud-based SaaS [software-as-a-service] architecture that provides the ability to rapidly roll out sensors, quickly identify advanced malware and adversary activity, and do it in a very effective and cost-efficient manner.”
As to why Kurtz and his investors decided that $100 million was the right amount needed for CrowdStrike at this time, he said funding is always a function of valuation and what is needed to fuel growth (total funding to date for CrowdStrike now stands at $156 million). Kurtz did not provide a valuation figure for CrowdStrike, though he noted that at this point in the security business, it’s all about market share and there is a “land grab” going on to grow share as quickly as possible.
“One hundred million dollars is a great war chest for us and gives us a lot of money to really rapidly expand our customer base,” he said. “To be able to build the resources to capture customers is very important.”
From a product engineering standpoint, Kurtz said that CrowdStrike today has a platform on which security applications run. Currently, CrowdStrike’s applications include Falcon Intelligence for security insight and detection as well the Falcon DNS service that aims to secure DNS from attack. Looking forward, Kurtz said CrowdStrike is looking to expand the capabilities of the platform into mobile, which is where having a relationship with Google is very important. Growing a mobile security capability will also likely lead CrowdStrike into the Internet of things (IoT) realm.
The other key area for CrowdStrike is incident response services, a capability that competes directly against FireEye’s Mandiant division. FireEye acquired Mandiant in January 2014 for $1 billion.
Given the incessant volume of security breaches that are being reported on a regular basis, fear is playing a factor in fueling the security business overall, though Kurtz emphasized that fear isn’t the only factor at play.
“The macro environment is such that people are really concerned about the headline risk and companies really want to make sure that their brand isn’t impacted by a security incident,” he said. “So some of it is fear, but it’s really about brand reputation and trust with companies wanting to make sure they retain the trust of their customers.”
Going beyond fear, Kurtz said that CrowdStrike’s customers want to increase overall operational efficiency and visibility, as well as prevent bad things from happening in the first place. He explained that the Falcon platform can in effect work like a DVR (digital video recorder) for endpoints on threat-related information. As such, if a CrowdStrike customer wants to search 100,000 endpoints for a particular risk, the customer can do that in under a second.
“It’s all big data in our cloud and is easy to access,” Kurtz said. “The information is available in real time as well historical information, so from an operational perspective, we do have a meaningful impact on reducing incident response time.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.