Tanium Raises Another $120 Million to Build Its Security Business

Tanium's co-founder details what the new money will enable, and why Windows 10 is helping companies realize they need more visibility.


One of the hottest cyber-security vendors today is Tanium, which is now raising $120 million in a new round of funding from TPG, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and Andreessen Horowitz. The new funding round follows a $52 million round announced by Tanium in March and a $90 million round in June 2014, bringing total funding to date to $262 million.

Tanium was founded by father and son team David and Orion Hindawi, who both in 1997 started security vendor BigFix, which IBM acquired in 2010. BigFix built endpoint security and compliance technology, while the goal for Tanium is to go beyond that by providing a full platform that enables visibility, control and compliance. Tanium's primary product is the Tanium Endpoint Platform, which provides a modular framework for security controls.

Tanium co-founder, President and CTO Orion Hindawi told eWEEK that the purpose of the new funding round wasn't to raise capital to fund current operations. Tanium is already making money and is growing at a healthy pace, he said. Rather, the new funding is an opportunity to help secure the future of Tanium against any potential market downturns. Hindawi emphasized that the new funding round wasn't about diluting equity either, but rather is based on a high valuation for the company. Hindawi did not provide a specific figure for the current valuation of his company.

"It's a little bit of a magic show," Hindawi said when asked how his investors came up with the $120 million figure for the new funding round.

"The logic we used is, Let's figure out the worst circumstance that we can model and the nastiest downturn that could hit our business. How much money would we need so we would have a comfortable cushion?" Hindawi said. "It's almost like asking how much food would I need to store if I never wanted to go to the grocery store again in my life."

With the new funding in place, Hindawi stressed that he will now be able to spend all his time on research and development to grow Tanium and its technology, rather than spending time chasing his next round of funding.

From a go-to-market perspective, Hindawi said Tanium focuses on Global 2000 organizations, and he isn't interested in chasing the consumer or small business market. That focus has resulted in Tanium having an average transaction size with customers of $1.7 million.

The company's Tanium Endpoint Platform was updated to version 6.5 in March, introducing forensics and incident response modules that Hindawi said customers have embraced.

"Prior to Tanium, customers would have bought two different point solutions for forensics and incident response and then joined them together in a process," Hindawi said. "With Tanium, they can use one platform."

As such, if an organization uses the Tanium trace module for forensics, there is an easy way to take the output of the process and input it into the Tanium indicator of compromise detection module and then enable an enterprise to see if any other systems in the organization have the same issue, he said. Going a step further, Tanium also has a patch management module, so if the organization then needs to patch machines to fix the issue that forensics first identified, that's all possible in the same platform.

With the recent release of Microsoft's Windows 10, Tanium also is seeing some opportunities as organizations realize that they don't have visibility into what is running in their enterprises.

"Without Tanium, at large scale, most organizations don't know what they have running," Hindawi said. "So, many organizations have no idea how many Windows 7 boxes they want to replace and don't know which machines are ready for an upgrade."

With the new funding in place, the primary goal for Hindawi moving forward is to continue to grow the technology capabilities. He noted that his immediate goal is not to target an initial public offering (IPO) and generate a large sum of cash for himself.

"I don't have any dreams other than running this company. I really enjoy it, and I'm not hankering for a boat or plane," Hindawi said. "The goal is not to try to figure out how to go public so we can take bunches of money out. The goal is to be able to solve a security problem that without Tanium many of our customers just wouldn't be able to solve."

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

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.