By Jessica Lyons Hardcastle and Azure Security News
Vectra AI joined the cybersecurity unicorn pack today with a $130 million funding round on a $1.2 billion valuation. The late-stage funding round, led by Blackstone Growth, brings Vectra’s total raised to $350 million.
The vendor’s Cognito cloud security platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to find and respond to threats across cloud and data-center workloads as well as users and devices. It competes against vendors including ExtraHop and DarkTrace.
According to CEO Hitesh Sheth, Vectra will use the new investment to build out its platform and expand its global customer base — and he’s not ruling out acquisitions.
The product strategy will deliver expanded detection and response coverage for exposed attack surfaces in customers’ public cloud, SaaS [software-as-a-service] applications, cloud-centric identity infrastructure and Zero Trust access frameworks,” he wrote in response to questions.
For the public cloud, this includes expanding its threat detection and response capabilities for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, he explained. For cloud identity, the vendor plans to expand support beyond Azure AD and into other SaaS-friendly identity providers.
“And on the SaaS application front, detecting attacks on several SaaS applications which hold key mission-critical data (beyond Office 365, which is already supported) are planned,” Sheth said. “The roadmap also includes the evolution of the Cognito platform to include full SaaS delivery of both cloud and traditional network detection and response capabilities. There are no concrete plans to use the funds for acquisitions, though opportunities which are conducive to the pursuit of our strategy will of course be considered.”
Vectra’s strategy sounds similar to extended detection and response (XDR), minus the endpoint detection and response capabilities. And while Sheth describes XDR as “a concept that is still in a rapid evolutionary phase,” Vectra does “certainly intend to deliver functionality which some analysts include in their definitions of XDR.”
Specifically, this includes providing high-fidelity detections covering network, public cloud, SaaS applications, and identity. It also plans to integrate with detection signals from spaces that its platform doesn’t cover — first and foremost EDR — and then prioritize threats and enable manual or automated action to remediate those threats, Sheth said.
The latest funding round follows a year during which Vectra saw a compound annual growth rate that exceeded 100%. Additionally, it claims sales of Cognito Detect for Microsoft Office 365 grew more than 700% year over year in 2020.
It also comes at a time when investors seem to be throwing millions of dollars at security companies, boosting many of them into unicorn status. Also this week Sysdig bagged a $188 million Series F, which pushed its valuation to $1.19 billion. Earlier this month WhiteSource raised $75 million in Series D funding.
And in March, Wiz closed a $130 million funding round that pushed its valuation to $1.7 billion, Orca Security closed a $210 million Series C funding on a $1.2 billion valuation, and cloud security unicorns Snyk and Aqua Security, announced late-stage financing totaling $435 million.