Business Essentials for Professionals


$70 Million Raised by SentinelOne, a Cybersecurity Start-up Backed by Ashton Kutcher

$70 Million Raised by SentinelOne, a Cybersecurity Start-up Backed by Ashton Kutcher
$70 million has been raised from a number of high-profile investors including actor Ashton Kutcher's investment fund by SentinelOne, a cybersecurity company that detects suspicious behavior of devices in an organization.
The so-called "endpoint security" which refers to the many devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, that a company will have connected to its network, is the area that this Silicon Valley-headquartered start-up specializes in. hackers would be able to steal valuable information if these endpoints are hacked as attackers will be offered a way tpo get into an organization's network.
Along with investment from Ashton Kutcher's fund Sound Ventures, Redpoint Ventures led the round. The company said that the total investment in SentinelOne reached more than $110 million to date as existing investors Third Point Ventures, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners, Westly Group, and SineWave Ventures also participated in the round.
"The endpoint market is going through major disruption. There are loads of people looking to replace antivirus vendors with something new, better and more effective," Tomer Weingarten, CEO of SentinelOne, told CNBC by phone.
Market where companies like Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee have a strong hold is the latest target market for SentinelOne. By the creation of a blacklist of known viruses that it can block, older antivirus software protects computer networks. But by using behavioral analysis of an endpoint and with the ability to detect even unknown pieces of so-called "malware" – of malicious software, SentinelOne claims to be able to offer complete cyber security. Therefore in any single machine, if something untoward is happening, SentinelOne can block it.
According to KPMG, although funding fell off dramatically in the fourth quarter of 2016, over the last couple of years, cybersecurity investments by venture capitalists has been strong. Still, cybersecurity has become a very competitive area due to the capital invested. Challengers to SentinelOne are established security vendors and companies like Digital Shadows, Darktrace, Deep Instinct, CrowdStrike.
As the company looks to expand internationally, boosting of sales and marketing staff, especially in areas outside of the United States is the area that the funds would be used for, Weingarten said. While North America makes up about 75% to 80% of SentinelOne's total revenue, the Europe accounts for about 20 percent to 25 percent at present. Weingarten said he is expecting to "change rapidly" the share of Asia which is is roughly 5 percent.
"We are planning expanding into Singapore, Japan is being set up. We have identified go to market partners in these countries. We are trying to increase the work force on the ground," Weingarten said.
At the end of 2015, SentinelOne began selling their core product. Thanks to the projected sales it has already secured with companies, this year the company is targeting 400 percent revenue growth.
Weingarten is thinking ahead to profitability as well as where the company can go even while the company is still young, and investing. An initial public offering (IPO) could be on the cards and the company can be cash flow positive in two-and-a-half-to-three years, hopes the CEO.
"We are growing at an outstanding pace. For us we would like to take this public, we would like to see ourselves two years from today preparing for an IPO. We have healthy dynamics, we have not grown in a way that's non scalable, we have kept our operation lean, and that's' the way we scale," Weingarten said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc