OpenDNS has landed a $US35 million investment from Cisco and other big names to help it stop some of the worst kinds of hack attacks on the internet. That brings its total raised to $51.3 million.
This investment is particularly sweet for 32-year-old CEO David Ulevitch, who founded the company nine years ago, in 2005.
Two years into the company’s life, when he was 25, his investor turned on him and took the CEO role away, demoting him to CTO. He wrote about the experience for the New York Times in 2011, shortly after he got his CEO job back, at age 29.
By 2007, we were profitable, but the investor sat me down and said that although I had done a great job, a seasoned executive could take the company even further. In December 2008, he demoted me to chief technology officer and hired a new C.E.O. It hurt, but I tried to be optimistic and put on a good face for employees. I’m an optimist, and I thought it might be a learning opportunity.
The new CEO didn’t work out. Ulevitch stuck out the humiliating experience and got his company back.
Then he brought in new investors. And OpenDNS hasn’t looked back since.
Now big names like Cisco are backing him.
OpenDNS operates in a unique spot on the internet. Humans read words. Computers on the internet read numbers. When you type a URL into your browser “DNS” is the tech that translates the words like www.businessinsider.com into the numbers 126.96.36.199.
OpenDNS provides that translation service for 50 million consumers and 10,000 enterprise, it says. And because it sits at that unique point between internet and your computer, it invented a novel way secures computers from hackers.
It has created two cloud services, one called Umbrella and other called Security Graph. Combined with the company’s secret sauce, “machine learning,” OpenDNS watches the whole internet, sees where the bad guys have infected the web, and can keep your browser from going there. It then predicts where the bad guys will strike next, processing more than one million new internet events every second.
“Think of how a satellite sees troops forming on a border before they fire the first shot. By the time threats show up, OpenDNS is already there, blocking the malicious traffic and protecting data, devices, and workers,” Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS, told Business Insider.
In addition to Cisco, new investors Glynn Capital, Evolution Equity, Lumia Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Northgate Capital chipped in as did Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures.
The company did not release valuation information.
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