Helping Cyphort Defeat The Enemy Inside The Gates

Originally published June 1, 2015

When it comes to cybersecurity, we live in unprecedented times! The enemy has figured out how to breach the perimeter security — including firewalls, anti-virus, endpoint security, and more — that enterprises have put up over the last decade and is already inside the gates of enterprises.

Security breaches have become so passé that some of them don’t even get mentioned in the press, and if they do the shelf-life of news about the breach lasts only a few days. However, for nearly all enterprises these kinds of security breaches are top-of-mind since the costs associated with each breach continue to creep up and up. According to an IBM study, the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is $3.8 million representing a 23 percent increase since 2013. Furthermore, the boards of directors of these enterprises are concerned because they might be held liable for some of these breaches, which in turn could make them subject to fines by regulators, shareholder lawsuits and even criminal prosecution.

That’s why today we are excited to announce that Sapphire Ventures has led the $30 million Series C financing of Cyphort, an emerging leader in Advanced Threat Detection systems, alongside return backers Trinity Ventures, Foundation Capital and Matrix Partners. This investment marks our decision to help enterprises defend against criminals, hackers and bad-actors and help put a stop to the crippling effect that data breaches have on businesses globally.

Having invested in over 130 companies at Sapphire Ventures, we have learned that a company’s technology not only needs to be unique and well-differentiated, but it also has to have a market/solution fit and be desired by customers. In assessing Cyphort, we found that it had completely re-thought how to solve the Advanced Threat Detection problem and created a solution suited for the modern, web-scale, virtualized and cloud-enabled infrastructure that enterprises currently have.

The company’s solution also accurately detects and analyzes next generation malware, targeted attacks and zero day vulnerabilities while providing actionable, contextual intelligence that enables security teams to respond to attacks faster and more effectively. The customers deploying Cyphort also liked the costs they were cutting since they could now reduce the number of security experts they needed to hire to look for security breaches and manage an enterprise network.

As growth stage investors, Sapphire Ventures always looks for management teams with the acumen, experience and passion to take companies global and eventually public. Manoj Leelanivas, CEO of Cyphort, has assembled such a management team that not only has a deep security background but also the ability to recruit top talent, scale operations, predict where the puck will be in 12–18 months and build partnerships with other players in the security ecosystem. We are also humbled to be working with Dr. Fengmin Gong, who co-founded Cyphort and previously co-founded Intruvert (McAfee) and Palo Alto Networks as well as served as the chief security content officer of FireEye.

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Cyphort to the Sapphire Ventures family. In the battle against the enemy that is already in every enterprise network, we are helping Cyphort — the cybersecurity superheroes — respond to the avalanche of network attacks, prioritize work and go after the most harmful security threats targeting enterprises today.


The information set forth herein is not intended to constitute investment advice and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Sapphire Ventures does not solicit or make its services available to the public and none of the funds are currently open to new investors. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

The portfolio companies referred to above do not necessarily represent all of the investments made or recommended by Sapphire Ventures, and were not selected based on the return on Sapphire Ventures’ investment in them. It should not be assumed that the specific investments identified and discussed herein were or will be profitable. Not all investments made by Sapphire Ventures will be profitable or will equal the performance of the companies identified above.

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