At a glance.
- Optiv announces its acquisition of ClearShark.
- OpenAI competitor raises $300 million in investments.
- Executive moves.
- Pay inequality in tech.
- The fall of Silicon Valley Bank, and what it means for cyber and the tech startup ecosystem.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Denver's cyber advisory company Optiv has announced its acquisition of Maryland-based ClearShark (ClearShark LLC and ClearShark Services Inc.). ClearShark is an advisor and reseller of cyber technology for the federal government, and this acquisition increases Optiv's federal presence by more than double, while expanding its capabilities within the federal government. “Joining forces with the largest pure-play cybersecurity company in the world provides us, our clients and partners with a tremendous growth opportunity. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership or more bullish on the future,” said Brian Strosser, President of ClearShark LLC.
New York-based online defender ActiveFence has announced the completion of its acquisition of London's Rewire, an online safety startup. ActiveFence's existing Trust and Safety platform, content detection AI models and scalable API will combine with Rewire's text models for a stronger combined cybersecurity offering. "AI is the key to powering our fight against online threat actors, but your defense is only as good as your AI models. Joining forces with Rewire will allow us to build even more accurate and trustworthy models more efficiently, bringing together Rewire's high-quality datasets with ActiveFence's assets and infrastructure to create a significant step forward in AI for online safety at scale," said ActiveFence chief executive and co-founder, Noam Schwartz.
Investments and exits.
AI startup Anthropic, a competitor to OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, has reportedly raised $300 million in investments, led by Spark Capital, according to people familiar with the matter, the Information reports. The company is valued at $4.1 billion, and this funding follows a $400 million investment in the startup from Google.
Mitiga has completed its Series A Round, bringing total funding to $45 million. ClearSky Security led the round, with investments from Samsung Next, Blackstone, Atlantic Bridge, and DNX. The New York and Israel-based company intends to use the funding for the acceleration of growth of its services. "As more and more companies are advancing their cloud journeys, they're beginning to understand that growing their cyber resiliency is a vital part of that transformation" Tal Achituv, Samsung Next's CTO, said. "Mitiga's modern incident response solution combined with the team's deep cloud forensics expertise enables companies to prepare for cloud breaches before they happen—so they get back to business immediately. It's an important capability and we're happy to be supporting Mitiga to enable it."
Cado Security, a London-based cybersecurity company, has raised $20 million in funding, led by Eurazeo and Ten Eleven Ventures. The funding will allow for the company to expand worldwide, and accelerate product development, sales, and marketing efforts. James Campbell, Cado Security's chief executive, said, “Rapid, strategic innovation has enabled us to grow quickly and effectively. As a platform purpose-built for the cloud, we are providing the solutions needed so that security teams can drastically speed up incident response in the cloud."
Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platform provider, Revelstoke, has raised $20 million in Series B funding, led by SYN Ventures and ClearSky Security, with involvement from Rally Ventures and Crosslink Capital. The California company intends to use the funding to "enhance its Next Level SOAR platform, expand its team and its business reach, increase the number of out-of-the-box integrations, and grow its channel partner program, building relationships with other security product companies and managed services providers," Finsmes reports.
New York's auth.ID has closed a $3.6 million financing agreement with a longtime investor, Stephen J. Garchik, the company reports. The funding is planned for use to "support the reduced capital requirements and current business needs through the first quarter of 2024."
Confidential computing company Edgeless Systems has raised $5 million in seed funding, led by SquareOne, with participation from angel investors. The German organization is looking to expand into the United States, add platform features, grow sales and marketing teams, as well as product development.
Israeli SaaS cybersecurity company Grip Security has announced a strategic investment from venture firm The Syndicate Group (TSG). The funding is planned for use on the company's growth strategy. Lior Yaari, CEO of Grip Security, said, “The positive response we are seeing in the market and demand from large enterprise security teams has been truly amazing, and it is clear that Grip is solving a problem that has not been adequately addressed by the thousands of security products on the market,” he said. “TSG’s investment should make our phenomenal growth in pipeline and awareness even more impressive, and they are a great partner to help us scale our growth and accelerate our channel partnerships.”
Censys has made three new executive appointments: Sarah Ashburn as Chief Revenue Officer, Kathleen Thomas as Chief Financial Officer, and Dayna Rothman as the company's Chief Marketing Officer.
Zscaler has tapped Karl Soderlund as the company's new Senior Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances.
Doug Klotnia has been appointed as NCC Group's Global Capability Leader for Managed Services.
Netography has named David Meltzer as the company's new Chief Product Officer.
Code42 has named Michael Guglielmi as the company's Vice President of Channel Sales and Consulting Partners.
John Kindervag will be joining Traceable AI as an advisor.
QuSecure has appointed Aaron Moore as the company's new Executive Vice President, Head of Engineering.
John Katko has joined SecurityScorecard as a Senior Advisor on the company's Cybersecurity Advisory Board.
Pay inequality in tech.
Beqom Monday released their Leveling the Playing Field Report, detailing pay gaps, pay transparency, and other trends in compensation. The report surveyed 2,000 active employees in the US and the UK on their perspectives on wage inconsistencies in their respective markets. 60% of tech workers surveyed for the report were likely to suspect gender and age-based pay gap problems within their organization. 53% believe in the effectiveness of their employer’s plan to curb pay gaps. Retention proves difficult when pay gaps are part of the mix, with 53% of tech workers reporting that they would seek a job at a different employer with lower pay gaps. Pay equality is also at the forefront of the minds of tech workers, with 53% of those surveyed in the sector willing to go without annual bonuses if it meant more equal pay across the board.
The fall of Silicon Valley Bank, and what it means for cyber and the tech startup ecosystem.
Friday saw the closure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC). The CyberWire over the weekend summarized the events surrounding the collapse. After a bank run by depositors that drove SVB into insolvency, the FDIC has placed the bank in receivership and is working to find buyers. This significant institution’s failure is anticipated to cause blowback for big tech, particularly for the startup ecosystem that surrounds it. And that includes the cybersecurity sector as well. BankInfoSecurity reported Friday that what is being called the “second-largest bank failure in US history“ is anticipated to cause future troubles for startups in financing. The Information reported Monday afternoon that approximately 1,000 firms, from venture firms such as Sequoia Capital to crypto investors, had seen SVB’s involvement in their capital. This mass of firms is now going to have to find new banks to provide loans and lines of credit for their endeavors, which may likely prove difficult given the distinctive needs of firms that used SVB. Business Insider explained Saturday that the pressure caused by sudden hikes in interest rates on the economy could lead to instability in institutions thought to be immune, or at least somewhat stable against the tumultuous economy. For more on the effect of SVB's failure on the cyber sector in particular, see CyberWire Pro.