The list of CyberTech unicorns is continuing to grow rapidly. Over the past 18 months, cybersecurity systems have only become more important, with firms posed with new landscapes and a rise in threats.
When much of the world was put into high-alert in March 2020, many businesses were forced to have their staff work remotely. This came suddenly and left many companies unprepared for this change in working lifestyle.
Cyber criminals did not let the opportunity pass and there was a surge of cyber threats throughout 2020. The FBI documented an increase of 300% in reported cybercrimes between March 2020 and May 2020, according to a report from IMC Groupo. While a later report in Forbes stated malware incidents increased by 358% throughout the whole of 2020. There are countless stats which show the worrying state of cybersecurity and the size of the threat posed to businesses of all sizes.
Implementing cybersecurity systems and tools has become a top priority of businesses. Even their customers are often expressing their desire for better security procedures to be implemented. However, it is not always easy to implement technology quickly. When businesses had to adjust for mass remote working, 85% of CISOs claimed they sacrificed their cybersecurity in order to do so, a study from Netwrix stated.
Being at home leaves more gaps in security for criminals to exploit. If staff are using their own laptops they may not have adequate or any security software installed. There is also a lot more room for people to make mistakes and click a phishing email. Without having the support of the team or cybersecurity division to advise them, it is easy to make mistakes. Human errors are the predominant reason for a successful cyberattack, according to Cybnit.
High-profile cyber-attacks, like the recent Colonial Pipeline and the SolarWinds incidents, have helped show the digital threat is still major. Regardless of size, all companies can become a victim. Speaking recently with RegTech Analyst, Compliance Solutions Strategies (CSS) Director, Cyber IT Services E.J. Yerzak said, “Every company is now a data company, increasing the target on the backs of all of them.” In order to safeguard themselves, businesses need to get smarter security.
It is not just companies looking to improve protections. Interpol recently called on police agencies and industry partners to implement an international collaboration strategy to stop more attacks happening. US president Joe Biden recently signed a $100bn plan to improve cybersecurity projects in critical infrastructure. Biden also spoke with Russia president Vladimir Putin to outline an off-limits hacking list.
The importance of cybersecurity systems is reflected in the vast amount of investment capital they collectively raise each year. Since 2017, around $18.5bn has been invested into 1,044 CyberTech companies around the world, according to data from FinTech Global. While last year was a record high for annual investment, hitting $6.2bn through 354 transactions, 2021 looks set to beat it. In just the first quarter of 2021 a whopping $4.1bn was invested via 124 deals.
It is no surprise that 2021 has seen ten new CyberTech companies join the unicorn club and others further increase their status. One of the most recent ones was 1Password. The cybersecurity company reached a $2bn valuation after closing a $100m investment round, which was led by Silicon Valley-based investor Accel.
DarkTrace’s recent IPO shows the success these CyberTech companies can have. The cybersecurity company launched on the London Stock Exchange in May and was reportedly valued at over $2bn on launch. Another recent success story was SentinelOne, which reportedly recorded the highest-valued cybersecurity IPO to date. The company’s sale launched on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2021 and hit a market cap of over $10bn.
Here are the top 26 CyberTech unicorns
Tanium – $9bn
The endpoint management and security platform nearly reached decacorn status in October 2020, after it was valued at $9bn. It came alongside a $150m investment from Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC, Baillie Gifford and others.
It is hard to know when Tanium first exceeded a $1bn valuation, but the company was valued at $3.5bn in 2015 after a $64m Series F round. In 2016, it was reported by TechMonitor that the CyberTech company was planning to hold its IPO within 18 months. However, plans were halted in 2018 with a pair of funding rounds, which totalled $375m. There has not been any talk on an upcoming IPO.
The Washington-based company enables real-time data collection at enterprise scale. This is used to boost business-wide visibility and understand the quality of endpoints, ensuring better responses to attacks.
Netskope – $7.5bn
The secure access service edge developer managed to double its valuation to $7.5bn in July 2021. The investment round came just over a year after Netskope reached a $3bn valuation. Netskope originally reached the unicorn status in November 2018, after a $170m funding round.
Its latest investment was led by ICONIQ Growth, with commitments also coming from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Accel, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Base Partners, Sapphire Ventures, and Geodesic Capital.
The Californian company is using the fresh funds to further its expansion efforts. The company has built a cloud-native secure access service edge solution which allows users to secure their digital transformation and connectivity. Its core capabilities are zero trust network access, secure web gateway, and cloud access security broker.
Netskope has indicated that it will likely hold its IPO in the future and also stated it might not raise another funding round. The CyberTech company has raised a total of $1bn since it was founded in 2012.
The cybersecurity company has been involved with a couple of lawsuits with cloud security competitor Bitglass. A lawsuit in 2020 claims Netskope director Joseph Green, who previously worked as vice president at Bitglass, helped Netskope leverage confidential information to gain an advantage in the marketplace.
Earlier this year, Netskope sued Bitglass on allegations to stop patent infringement allegations Bitglass made on its website and emails to Netskope customers.
HashiCorp – $5.1bn
The San Francisco-based company received the capital from Franklin Templeton Investments.
HashiCorp was founded in 2012 and offers a selection of zero-trust authentication security tools and infrastructure protections. It has four core products, which ensure businesses can safely use cloud systems.
Its infrastructure automation tool automates provisioning, compliance and management of cloud infrastructure and its security automation solution helps manage secrets and sensitive information around users. The networking automation tool ensures protections on physical devices, virtual appliances and distributed services.
Finally, its application automation tool enables any application to operate safely with integrated security.
HashiCorp first earned its horn after a $100m Series D, supported by Bessemer Venture Partners and existing backers, put its valuation at $1.9bn.
The company recently extended its partnership with Cisco to provide clients with an infrastructure as code for hybrid cloud environments. The service aims to help customers establish hybrid cloud operating models easily and securely.
OneTrust – $5.1bn
Data security solution OneTrust managed to increase its valuation to $5.1bn in December 2020, when it closed its Series C on $300m.
The equity injection was led by TCV, who was joined by existing OneTrust backers Coatue and Insight Partners.
OneTrust has been a member of the unicorn group since 2019, when it was valued at $1.3bn. It then doubled this in 2020 to $2.7bn. Over the past 19 months, the CyberTech company has raised an impressive $710m.
Founded in 2016, the Georgia-based company helps businesses manage their privacy, security and governance requirements. Its product suite includes tools for privacy, consent, third-party risk, GRC, data discovery, data governance, ethics and compliance and ESG.
Snyk – $4.7bn
The London-based cybersecurity company originally hit a $1bn valuation in 2020, but managed to triple this by March 2021, reaching $4.7bn. The company also raised a $200m round in September 2020, which had put its valuation at $2.6bn.
Its most recent investment round, which bagged $300m, was led by Accel and Tiger Global. Other backers included Addition, BlackRock Inc., Boldstart Ventures, Canaan Partners, Coatue, GV, Salesforce Ventures and Stripes. The round also included new investors such as Atlassian Ventures and Franklin Templeton.
Snyk provides healthcare, financial services and retail companies with a developer-first platform that automates and secures their applications. Its technology can identify vulnerabilities and find a fix.
The company’s chief executive officer Peter McKay hinted at going public in the coming years.
Last year, the company launched a global partner programme, which aims to support collaborations within the market. This launch came alongside partnerships with end-to-end cybersecurity solution Optiv Security, cybersecurity strategy and services solution GuidePoint Security and IT consulting company Trace3.
Arctic Wolf – $4.3bn
The Minnesota-based security operations developer became a unicorn in October 2020 following a $200m Series E round. Viking Global Investors served as the lead investor, with commitments also coming from DTCP and unnamed existing backers.
Within less than a year, Arctic Wolf tripled its valuation to $4.3bn. The Series F round, which was closed in July 2021, was also supported by Viking Global Investors as well as Owl Rock and several unnamed backers.
With this capital under its belt, it is currently looking to make acquisitions and mergers to continue its growth momentum. Since it was founded in 2012, Arctic Wolf has completed three acquisitions. One of those was Canada-based RootSecure, which helps quantify cyber and data risk to provide real-time, actionable insights into vulnerabilities.
Arctic Wolf is a security operations-as-a-concierge-service, which acts as an extension of a client’s internal security team and supplies them with tailored threat detection and response. Clients can access threat telemetry from end-point, network and cloud sources to ensure protection from attacks.
The company has raised a total of $500m in funding since it was founded.
Cybereason – ~$3bn
It is also a little unclear as to when the CyberTech company first earnt its $1bn valuation. Cybereason raised a $200m investment from SoftBank Group in 2019, but it did not comment on its valuation. However, a source not authorised to discuss the deal terms, told Fortune the round had put the company’s valuation at more than $1bn.
Cybereason’s Series F round was led by Liberty Strategic Capital, a venture capital firm founded by former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The investment saw Mnuchin join the Cybereason board of directors.
Based in Boston, the company offers endpoint detection and response, anti-virus software and active monitoring services. The platform also ensures active monitoring and hunting, advanced analytics and more.
Illumio – $2.75bn
Cyber breach prevention firm Illumio recently closed a $225m Series F round that valued it at $2.75bn.
The round was led by private equity firm Thoma Bravo, with support also coming from Franklin Templeton, Owl Rock and funds managed by investment company Hamilton Lane. The investment came more than two years after its previous round, which had closed on $65m in 2019.
Founded in 2013, the Californian company combines intelligent visibility to detect threats with security enforcement achieved in minutes that allows world-leading organisations to strengthen their cyber resiliency and reduce risk.
It claims its clients include many of the Fortune 100 companies, including six of the ten biggest global banks.
The flagship products, Illumio Core and Illumio Edge, help companies to automate policy enforcement, which can help stop cyberattacks and ransomware attacks spreading across applications, clouds, containers, endpoints and data centres.
Acronis – $2.5bn
The Singapore-based cyber protection platform managed to increase its valuation to $2.5bn in May 2021, after it closed a $250m funding round.
The round comes less than two years after it initially joined the unicorn list, which it achieved in 2019 on the back of a $149m round. The company did not state its exact valuation at the time, with it estimated to be between $1bn and $2bn.
The company’s most recent funding round was led by CVC Capital Partners, with the investor having deployed more than $400m into Acronis to date. With the fresh equity investment, Acronis is looking to increase its marketing efforts and establish more data centres.
Acronis claims to unify data protection and cybersecurity in order to protect all data, applications and systems.
Exabeam – $2.4bn
Security analytics and automation company Exabeam closed its Series F on $200m at a $2.4bn valuation in June 2021.
It is unclear when the company first exceeded a $1bn valuation, but its former round was closed in 2019 on $75m.
Founded in 2016, the California-based company provides a cloud platform that simplifies security operations. Users can leverage the data analytics to understand user behaviour to quickly spot and respond to cyberattacks and insider threats.
By focusing on user behaviour, the company claims businesses are able to better notice suspicious network activity, rather than trying to see malware, which is constantly changing.
Armis – $2bn
The device security platform was initially valued at $1.1bn when it was acquired by US private equity firm Insight Partners in 2020.
However, the CyberTech company recently increased the valuation to $2bn, after a strategic investment was made by a group of backers. The investors were led by Brookfield Asset Management, with other commitments coming from Insight Partners, CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund and Georgian. The deal sees Insight Partners remain as the majority stakeholder.
As part of the investment, Brookfield is providing Armis with the opportunity to deploy its technology to its operations.
The San Francisco-based company supplies agentless internet of things security solutions, which empower clients to see and control their devices and networks. The platform offers real-time and continuous protection of devices and removes blind spots.
Druva – $2bn
Cloud data protection and management enterprise Druva scored $147m in April 2021, putting its valuation at $2bn.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a Canadian pension firm, acted as the lead investor, with Neuberger Berman also deploying “significant” capital.
Based in California, Druva allows organisations to protect their data centrally, wherever it is stored, including cloud environments, SaaS applications, Microsoft 365 and Salesforce. Built on Amazon Web Services and offered in a SaaS solution, the platform helps backup and protect information from online threats.
The CyberTech company previously raised $130m in 2019, which was reportedly when its valuation first peaked past $1bn.
Druva recently teamed up with Redington, helping it extend its product reach to enterprises in India. The agreement sees Druva leverage Redington’s customer base to provide them with cloud security tools.
Kaseya – $2bn
The IT automation platform has had a bit of a rocky year. The company joined the unicorn list in 2019 after closing a $500m investment.
Earlier in the year, the company fell victim to the REvil ransomware group. The Russian group asked for $70m in bitcoin to decrypt the company’s files. The criminal group also used the access to carry further attacks to managed service providers using Kaseya’s Virtual System Administrator software.
REvil was behind a number of high-profile cyberattacks, including hacks against food processing group JBS Foods, US nuclear weapons contractor Sol Oriens and Brazilian healthcare firm Grupo Fieury.
Kaseya builds IT and security management solutions for managed service providers and small and medium-sized enterprises. Its open platform and customer-centric approach helps clients manage, secure and backup their IT infrastructure to safeguard against cyberattacks.
1Password – $2bn
Canadian CyberTech company 1Password became a member of the unicorn club in July 2021, after its $100m funding round put its value to $2bn.
The company started life in 2005 as a consumer app. However, five years’ ago it moved into the corporate market. It now offers password management tools to businesses and consumers. Its software can create passwords and auto-fill logins for sites and applications.
In April, the company decided to enter the infrastructure security space with a tool that secures sensitive information with encryption keys.
The company’s previous investment was a sizable Series A, which secured $100m from Accel, Fund, Atlassian founders and co-CEOs Scott Farquhar and others.
Sysdig – $1.9bn
Sysdig, which provides security, monitoring and compliance management tools, hit a $1.9bn valuation in April 2021, after it closed its $118m Series F round.
Premji Invest & Associates and Third Point Ventures acted as the lead investors. Commitments also came from Accel, Bain Capital Ventures, DFJ Growth, Glynn Capital, Goldman Sachs, Insight Partners, and Next47.
Funds from the round are earmarked to foster Sysdig’s international marketing efforts, with a focus on the US, Europe, Japan and Australia. Funds will also be used to help the company move into the Asia-Pacific region.
The CyberTech company has had a strong period of growth. It claims to have recorded an annual revenue retention of 140% at the end of FY21. Sysdig also bagged a $70m Series E in January 2020 from Insight Partners, Bain Capital, Accel, Glynn Capital and Goldman Sachs.
Based in California, the company has built a SevOps platform to boost security and visibility to run containers, Kubernetes and cloud safely.
Sysdig recently revealed its plans to acquire fellow cybersecurity company Apolicy. Through the acquisition, Sysdig will provide customers with infrastructure-as-code security services.
Coalition – $1.75bn
Coalition is among the most recent CyberTech companies to join the CyberTech list of unicorns. The cyber insurance company hit the $1.75bn valuation in March 2021 after it closed a $175m funding round.
The company’s round was led by Index Ventures and additional support came from General Atlantic and unnamed existing backers.
Slightly different to other companies in this list, Coalition serves as a cyber insurance company, which also supplies policyholders with cybersecurity protection tools. Its insurance policies are supported by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Argo Group and are aimed at SMBs. Policyholders are safeguarded from the risk and loss of a cyber-attack.
Alongside the insurance, clients can implement Coalition’s cybersecurity tools. Its services include credential monitoring, security awareness training, endpoint detection and response, threat monitoring, DDoS mitigation, cyber risk assessments and more.
With the capital from its recent round, the InsurTech hopes to release new insurance policies that meet new risks. It also hopes to move into new markets.
The company acquired cybersecurity company BinaryEdge in 2020 to support its own services. The acquisition enabled Coalition to offer policyholders tools to map their internet attack surface, monitor risk exposures in real-time and proactively fix vulnerabilities.
Wiz – $1.7bn
Another new member to the exclusive club, Wiz reached a $1.7bn valuation in March 2021. The news came alongside its $130m Series B close, which was led by Advent Venture Partners and supported by existing backers, Cyberstarts, Index Ventures, Insight Partners and Sequoia Capital.
Impressively, Wiz has managed to reach this height in just over a year. The Israel-based cybersecurity company was founded in January 2020 by Assaf Rappaport, Yinon Costica, Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik. The founders were also behind another successful cybersecurity company, Adallom. The cloud security solution was eventually bought by Microsoft, in a deal believed to be around $320m.
Wiz was built to help companies secure their cloud infrastructure at scale with risk assessment and clear action plans. Its technology can analyse a business’ entire cloud setups, spanning network, identity, application and vulnerabilities. Information is then used to give quick insights on security.
The company secured its Series A in December 2020, closing on $1000m.
Venafi – $1.5bn
Venafi hit a $1.5bn valuation in January 2021 after it secured an investment from private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Existing Venafi investors, TCV and Foundation Capital, continue to hold their positions in the CyberTech company.
The company is using the funds to enhance its technology to better leverage machine identity management. Its platform protects machine identity types by orchestrating cryptographic keys and digital certificates for SSL/TLS, SSH, code signing, mobile and IoT. Clients can use the platform to secure machine-to-machine connections and communications, with identities verified to ensure protection from external threats.
Based in Utah, Venafi formed a strategic partnership with NBI. Through the deal, Venafi customers gained the ability to manage their digital certificates as well as identify weak and vulnerable ones.
BigID – $1.25bn
New York-based CyberTech company BigID originally surpassed a $1bn valuation in December 2020. However, within less than six months the company closed another $30m in funding and increased its valuation to $1.25bn.
The capital from the rounds will be used to expand its international presence and bolster its go-to-market efforts.
Founded in 2016, the company offers machine learning-powered data intelligence. The technology empowers companies to discover, manage and protect their data. Among its products are a number of protection apps, which can be implemented to safeguard sensitive data, manage data risk and handle breach data investigations.
The company recently released a new app, which can integrate with data cloud company Snowflake. The tool enables customers of Snowflake’s Data Cloud to enforce data access and masking directly from the BigID platform.
Orca Security – $1.2bn
Another new entrant to the coveted group, Orca Security reached a $1.2bn valuation in March 2021. It came on the back of a $210m Series C round, which was led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund and Redpoint Ventures. Other contributors included GGV Capital, ICONIQ Growth and angel syndicate Silicon Valley CISO Investments.
The funding round came less than six months after Orca Security raised a $55m Series B and brings its total equity raised to $292m. Based in Los Angeles, the CyberTech is looking to increase the capabilities of its platform and grow its partner programme in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan.
Its platform, which it claims is built in the cloud and for the cloud, treats each customer’s cloud estate as an interconnected web of assets and prioritises risk on underlying issues and environmental context. Its SideScanning technology reads cloud configurations to better detect vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations and lateral movement risk.
Orca Security had a strong 2020, witnessing 1,000% year-over-year growth.
Vectra AI – $1.2bn
Based in San Jose, Vectra earned its horn in April 2021, after it raised a $130m funding round.
The investment, which brought total equity raised by Vectra to $350m, was led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth. Additional contributions came from existing backers Accel, TCV Partners, Khosla Ventures, IA Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, DAG Ventures, Wipro Ventures, Atlantic Bridge and The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
2020 proved to be a strong year for Vectra, with it recording a 100% compound annual growth rate. This success has continued into 2021, with the CyberTech company claiming to have closed its strongest quarter in its history.
Founded in 2012, Vectra has an AI-powered cloud security system that handles threat detection and response. It can work with existing IT infrastructure to use AI, threat intelligence feeds and known attack profiles to uncover breaches as they happen. It also automates attack mitigation.
The company’s technology was made available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) marketplace in 2019. Through this, Vectra’s technology leverages Amazon’s virtual private cloud traffic mirroring to monitor connections in AWS deployments and reveal hidden threats.
Aqua Security – $1bn+
Aqua Security, which is based in Israel, is one of the CyberTech companies to join the unicorn status in 2021. The cybersecurity platform joined the club after it closed its Series E round at $135m, which put its valuation at more than $1bn – it is unclear what the exact value is.
The company is using these funds to expand its product portfolio and increase its international presence. Its extensive tool suite helps businesses protect themselves from ransomware, implement anti-malware, leverate data loss prevention services, assess vulnerability, manage protections and ensure continuous data protection.
ION Crossover Partners served as the lead investor, while commitments also came from M12, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Insight Partners, TLV Partners, Greenspring Associates and Acrew Capital.
Aqua Security offers a cloud-native security platform that helps enterprises safeguard their infrastructure. Its tools include prevention, detection and response automation, which protect applications across their entire lifecycle and wherever they are deployed.
Tongdun Technology – $1bn+
China-based cybersecurity platform Tongdun Technology is valued at more than $1bn, according to Equal Ocean. Its most recent funding round was in 2019, when it raised “millions of dollars” in a Series D extension.
Prior to that, the company had netted $100m just two months earlier. The capital was supplied by China Merchants Capital, GGV Capital, GoldTech Capital, Everbright and Xindahanshi Fund.
The CyberTech company has built online software solutions that help protect financial institutions, insurance firms, payment companies, e-commerce companies and social networking platforms from fraud and theft. Founded in 2013, its security tools include content, account, marketing campaign, channel promotion, interface, cross-border payment and transaction security.
Axonius – $1bn
Axonius is another CyberTech company to have joined the unicorn club in 2021. The company, which designs asset management protection solutions, earned its horn in March. It’s $1bn valuation came after the close of its $100m Series D, which was led by US-based growth investor Stripes. Other backers in the round include Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), OpenView, Lightspeed and Vertex.
New York-based Axonius is using the funds from the Series D to grow internationally and meet the rising customer demand.
The company managed to continue its growth during 2020, with it boasting a triple-digit annual recurring revenue and doubling the size of its team. Helping the company through the pandemic was likely the $58m Series C that it closed in April 2020, just at the start of worldwide lockdowns.
Axonius offers clients with services to protect asset inventory, uncover coverage gaps and automatically validate and enforce security policies.
Lacework – $1bn
Lacework, which builds security and compliance platforms for cloud services, joined the special status in January 2021, after a $525m funding round.
Sutter Hill Ventures and Altimeter Capital served as the lead investors. Other backers included 1 Capital Partners, Coatue, Dragoneer Investment Group, Liberty Global Ventures, Snowflake Ventures and Tiger Global Management.
The past year has been good for Lacework. It claims to have experienced over 300% revenue growth and rapid adoption for its services on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Kubernetes.
Its technology supplies users with visibility, context and telemetry to assess cloud security postures, prove compliance, secure cloud workloads and investigate anomalous activity.
The company is currently looking to bolster its go-to-market efforts and build its partner ecosystem. Its expansion plans also include hiring more R7d professionals and entering adjacent spaces.
Lookout – $1bn
Mobile security software developer Lookout is one of the longest members of the unicorn group. It reached the coveted position in 2014 when it raised a $150m Series F round. The round was led by T. Rowe Price Group, with other backers including Morgan Stanley, Wellington Management, Goldman Sachs Group. and Bezos Expeditions.
It is unclear where the company’s valuation currently sits at, with it not publicly raising any more funding rounds since 2014.
The Californian company is a cybersecurity platform designed for mobile devices. Its cloud-based technology uses a global sensor network of over 60 million users and tens of thousands of apps added daily. It claims it can identify connections that would typically go unnoticed, helping to prevent more successful incidents.
In September, FinTech Global will be hosting its annual Financial Services CyberTech Forum. this year’s even will be a hybrid event, with it hosted across both a sophisticated virtual platform and at a state-of the-art venue in central London.
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