Nexthink Nabs $40M as Cybersecurity, Machine Learning Unite

A Swiss data analytics and cybersecurity company is beefing up its Boston-area presence after grabbing $40 million in venture capital, led by Highland Europe.

Nexthink established a U.S. presence three weeks ago with the opening of a sales office in Cambridge, MA. The company employs about 10 people there to start, but it plans to grow to 120 local employees over the next 18 months, a spokeswoman says.

Nexthink helps IT departments analyze and monitor their businesses’ applications, devices, and other network activity in real time. The goal is to sniff out cyber attacks and minimize software disruptions for end users. Nexthink says its technology can detect security breaches in seconds across thousands of computers.

The company was born out of a research project in artificial intelligence at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne research institute in Switzerland in 2004. Its software uses machine-learning techniques to identify abnormal network activity.

The company is an example of the growing intersection of cybersecurity and A.I. Other cybersecurity companies utilizing machine-learning technologies include Boston-based Cybereason and Sqrrl, and San Francisco Bay Area-based Splunk and Palo Alto Networks.

Nexthink says it has more than 600 customers, and it helps keep a watchful eye on more than 2.4 million “endpoints” in their networks.

Nexthink currently employs 220 people at nine offices worldwide, and it’s poised to expand its global presence, thanks to the new $40 million investment. Waypoint Capital and earlier investors Auriga Partners and Galeo Ventures also contributed to the round. Nexthink has raised $65 million to date.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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