Citigroup, The New York Times and Twitter have been among the organizations targeted by cyberattacks in recent months. And as those threats gain in frequency and complexity, financing to security software and hardware companies (herein cybersecurity) is booming.
Though cybersecurity startups provide services spanning identity management software to virtual data protection, the industry is comprised of three primary areas:
Internet Monitoring & Security – Companies providing technologies aimed at eliminating Internet-based cyberattacks including threats via browser as well as data entered through a Web form or sent via Internet Protocol (IP). This includes companies like Lookingglass and WhiteHat Security.
Mobile Security and Management – Companies protecting smartphones, tablets, and other wireless portable devices against cyberthreats and security vulnerabilities such as data leakage, device loss and malware attacks. This includes firms in the enterprise-level mobile device management space, which has seen VC funding grow 118% YoY. Examples in this category include Mocana and Lookout.
Data and Network Security - Companies that allow network administrators, IT personnel and enterprises the ability to protect and monitor against threats to computer networks, network-related sources or data. Examples include Tenable Network Security and vArmour Networks.
Over the last year, venture capital, angel, and private equity investors poured over $1.4 billion into the security market across 239 deals. Year-over-year (YoY) funding has jumped 29% behind a massive Q1’13, which saw 10 companies receive funding rounds over $10M including AirWatch, WhiteHat Security and Nok Nok Labs. Meanwhile, YoY deal growth in the security space hit 19% behind a surge in deal activity in 2013.
With increased discussion of cyberattacks, seed-stage investment into cybersecurity firms has taken off spurring overall deal growth in the market. In fact, seed deals consumed over 35% of all deals in the past two years and are growing at a 60% clip. YoY, late stage activity at the Series D+ stage took over 12% of deals in the space, including several firms on the Tech IPO Pipeline, a report of firms showing momentum and that might be on the road towards an eventual IPO. FireEye, for example, raised a $50M Series D round in January, before filing for a $175M initial public offering in August.
Breaking down the cybersecurity space by geography reveals that 1/4 of all deal activity over the past two years has taken place to Silicon Valley. Interestingly, median deal size for Silicon Valley-based security companies has trended at $6.38M, a notably higher amount than those in other U.S. venture hubs. Nearly 50% of deal activity is occurring outside of prominent U.S. venture hubs, with Israel being the largest international market for security startups, followed by Canada and the U.K. Together, the three have seen over 40 security deals since the start of 2012.