Accel, NEA, and A16Z are top VCs in cybersecurity. A16Z has backed the most cybersecurity unicorns since 2012, with four.
Cybersecurity is one of the hottest tech sectors of recent years — with explosive growth in deals and dollars since 2012 that peaked last year, and cooled off slightly in Q1’16 and Q2’16.
Looking at the current run-rate funding to these companies will surpass $3B across more than 300 deals by the end of this year, falling below 2015 levels for activity and dollars, but well above 2014 totals.
But which specific firms are the most active investors in cybersecurity? We used CB Insights data to rank VCs by their unique cybersecurity investments (i.e., number of portfolio companies) since 2012.
Some more context: In the last year, we have seen a flurry of mega-rounds and a number of new cybersecurity unicorns. Also, the top five most well-funded VC backed cybersecurity companies have all raised over $200M, among them are: Lookout ($281M), OpenPeak ($233M), and Okta ($229M).
Mega-rounds in 2015 included: CrowdStrike ($100M Series C), Illumio ($100M Series C), CloudFlare ($110M Series D), and Tanium ($117.5M Series G). The largest round of last year was obtained by Tenable Network Security ($250M Series B).
The most recent cybersecurity unicorn to emerge at a valuation of $1B+ is Cylance. Last year’s cybersecurity unicorn births included: Tanium, Okta, Zscaler, ForeScout, and Illumio. AVAST Software and Lookout became unicorns in 2014.
Accel Partners tops the list as the most active investor in cybersecurity since 2012. Accel Partners has backed the unicorns Lookout and Illumio. New Enterprise Associates and Andreessen Horowitz tied for the second spot. New Enterprise Associates is also among the most active early-stage VCs investing in young cybersecurity companies from 2012 to 2016.
Some other takeaways from our infographic:
- Accel Partners’ notable investments in cybersecurity include participating in: a 2013 $25M add-on to a giant $200M Series A for AirWatch (the company was later acquired by VMware), a January 2014 $10M Series A in Aorato (later acquired by Microsoft), and an October 2015 $85M growth equity round alongside New Enterprise Associates and others in Code42 Software, and more.
- New Enterprise Associates participated in deals that include a September 2015 $110M Series D in CloudFlare, and an August 2014 $25M Series B in Bitglass alongside Norwest Venture Partners. Early-stage bets for NEA include participating in an October 2014 seed round for Veriflow Systems alongside the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Defense (NEA followed on in a $8.2M Series A last month, which also had the participation of Menlo Ventures).
- Andreessen Horowitz has participated in backing the most cybersecurity unicorns since 2012 with four $1B+ companies backed. Accel Partners has helped back two. Intel Capital, NEA, and Sequoia each have one.
- Intel Capital’s participation in cybersecurity deals include: Series B,C, and D rounds in Bromium alongside other investors that included Andreessen Horowitz, and Series C and D investments in Vectra Networks alongside other investors that included Accel Partners.
- Interestingly, five out of the nine firms featured are investors in the company CoreOS, which focuses on offering solutions including cybersecurity for warehouse scale computing.
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