Cloud Security Company Netskope Raises $100M From Old and New VCs

Venture capital firms are cash-rich, but they’ve been carefully meting out their funds since last summer. Cybersecurity companies, however, have a better chance to build up their troves of capital due to the drumbeat of cyberattack news that’s boosting business demand for their services.

Netskope, a security company that specializes in protecting data in Web-based storage and software, announced today that it has closed on a $100 million Series E financing round led by prior investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel, joined by returning investors Social Capital and Iconiq Capital. Netskope also attracted two new investors, Sapphire Ventures and Geodesic Capital.

The new money brings Netskope’s fundraising total to $231.4 million. The Los Altos, CA-based company will use the capital to expand the customer base for its cloud security platform for businesses. Netskope says it has already seen growth in revenue, customer counts, and staff in 2016. The company now has 350 staffers worldwide, it says.

Netskope was founded in 2012 to grapple with the growing migration of businesses to Web-based software subscriptions and data storage—a trend that not only took enterprise data out of in-house data centers, but also made it possible for employees to work remotely from almost any location on mobile devices—either their company’s or their own. That can be a money-saver and productivity booster, but it can also be a cybersecurity headache.

Juniper Networks veteran Sanjay Beri founded Netskope with early financial backing from Social Capital, which housed the startup cybersecurity company at its office in Palo Alto for six months. Rather than resisting the new free-wheeling business work patterns, Netskope decided to find ways to protect data in the cloud environment.

Back in 2010, venture capital firms invested $833 million in 117 cybersecurity startups, Bloomberg reported, citing research from CB Insights. In 2016, VCs invested $3.1 billion in a record 279 cybersecurity startups.

Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy's San Francisco Editor. You can reach her at btansey@xconomy.com. Follow @Tansey_Xconomy

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