Photo: Francis Specker Bloomberg/Getty Images
People in the enterprise tech world are closely watching security startup FireEye. With reason: The company just landed a $50 million round of financing, new CEO Dave DeWalt told Business Insider.The investment values FireEye at $1.25 billion, launching a company most consumers haven’t heard of into the realm of billion-dollar startups.
The new money brings FireEye’s total funding to $85.5 million. The company is on track for an IPO, maybe as soon as this year, DeWalt said.
Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Juniper Networks, Silicon Valley Bank, and others invested. This security company is so hot that even the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel, has a stake.
And the reason is because FireEye solves two really hard security problems. It stops the kind of cyber attacks that companies couldn’t stop before—so-called “zero day” attacks and “advanced persistent threats.”
Zero-day attacks take advantage of software holes that the software vendor hasn’t yet learned about—in other words, ones that they’ve had zero days to fix.
APTs are a series of attacks by organised hackers determined to get into a particular network.
FireEye’s security “appliance”—a combination of hardware and software—finds these attacks by running the suspicious code or opening suspicious emails in a protected area to see what they do. The process takes a fraction of a second.
DeWalt joined the company last November. He’d previously been the CEO of antivirus software maker McAfee, where he led the company through a turnaround to its acquisition by Intel.
He was rumoured to be in the running to succeed Paul Otellini as Intel’s CEO, and was approached with some 40 other CEO jobs since he left McAfee 18 months ago from “large public companies to smaller companies,” he said. (DeWalt was rumoured to be in the running to head Palo Alto Networks, which went public last summer.)
Although FireEye has annual revenues of about $100 million now, DeWalt argues that it’s worth the $1.25 billion valuation because it’s on track to double its revenues this year. It now employs 500 people and will use the new funds to expand internationally.
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