It’s 2018. How does Silicon Valley think about a Series B these days?

Posted by Heather Howland on Jul 5, 2018 4:08:54 PM
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With Silicon Valley continuing to lead the nation in VC funding (source: Bloomberg), expectations are clear: invest that funding and deliver, deliver, and deliver some more for your customers (and investors, employees, partners and stakeholders).

Gone are the days when raising money meant raising staff expectations about lavish events, corporate parties and customer giveaways. In 2013-2015, Silicon Valley hype included ever-increasing press around funding rounds, crazy valuations and acquisitions. Recall when Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, with only 55 employees, for $19 billion. That’s larger than the GDP of many countries (and the current market cap of American Airlines, with more than 120,000 employees). The acquisition is now widely considered a bargain given WhatsApp’s current customer base of 1.5 billion: four years ago, they had 450 million monthly users. The jaw-dropping dollar figure also seemed to set a new bar for startups to chase funding rounds at higher and higher valuations, some appearing to be more interested in press and industry hype than appropriate debt ratios.

Nowadays, virtually any startup, after virtually any funding round, needs sobriety, humility and most importantly, organization-wide drive. At Preempt, we just raised $17.5 million. We couldn’t be prouder of the team that made this possible, and the many, many fine individuals who helped and supported us along the way. Building off our Series B funding round, we are 100 percent focused on solving cybersecurity’s most critical challenges, and our identity and access threat prevention solution is hailed as the future of the industry by some of its leading voices. 

Harmony on edge

We were excited to see Gartner’s Top 10 Security Projects for Security and Risk Management Organizations focus significantly (four out of 10!) on the priorities Preempt addresses. We were thrilled to see 451 Research call Preempt  “one of the most interesting and powerful to hit the infosec market in years.” We were similarly enthusiastic about our funding coverage, from press highlights in the Wall Street Journal, PE Hub and Fortune’s Term Sheet to in-depth coverage in SecurityWeek and Cyberscoop.

  • SecurityWeek’s Kevin Townsend nailed it, noting that “The idea of identity being the true perimeter is a growing concept. It is no longer the firewall nor even the endpoint that should be considered the security perimeter -- it is each individual human. Preempt concentrates on real-time network threat prevention -- but [does so] based on user identity and behavior. Preempt further allows tool and protocol containment. The misuse of network tools can be controlled, and the use of hacking tools prevented. It can deeply inspect authentication protocols such as Kerberos, NTLM, RPC and LDAP, and detect known issues such as pass-the-hash.”
  • As did Cyberscoop’s Zaid Shoorbajee, who highlighted our stated approach of identity, behavior and risk within a company “to proactively catch insider threats and prevent breaches. Management of such threats is a constant struggle for enterprises, as they need to ensure that employees don’t willingly or inadvertently expose sensitive information.”

Our team was similarly thrilled with our press coverage in Israel, where our industry-leading research team resides. Calcalist’s Meir Orbach noted our plans to utilize this funding for “product development and to expand [operations],” while Geektime explained that Preempt offers an active response in real time, which is unlike other behavioral security products – as many only report alerts to a control center (SIEM) and wait for analysts to react (article in Hebrew).

Following our announcement of our Series B funding round, the stakes are considerably higher than in previous boom years (2018 is still a “boom year” for tech, right?). We are on a mission to combat the decades-old scourge of fatal cybersecurity weaknesses by empowering IT Security Teams and helping them transform the way they prevent breaches and internal threats. With the world’s first Identity and Access Threat Prevention platform, we have broken boundaries and delivered a solution to our customers that actively become a force multiplier for them - supporting and improving their security program while better protecting their employees. With successful deployment across Fortune 500 enterprise organizations, along with a presence across finance, retail, healthcare, higher education and legal industries, we have a track record to be proud of. We have a long road ahead, and we’ll continue to dream big.

The feedback from customers, press, partners and the broader industry around our funding announcement (and not to forget our recent partnership announcement with Demisto!) has been incredible. We’re especially appreciative of the support and guidance from our industry partners and peers. Thank you to all who made this possible – we’re looking forward to the journey and hope to hear from you (tweet us any time at @PreemptSecurity!)