Sequoia Capital, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm behind investments in LinkedIn and Symantec, has led a $34.5 million (£22 million) investment round in Bit9.
Online threat protection business Bit9 has completed its Series D funding round as it looks to increase its EMEA presence.
Existing investors Atlas Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and .406 Ventures are also participating in the round alongside lead firm Sequoia Capital.
London and Massachusetts-based Bit9 is set to use the new institutional funds to pay for new product development and grow sales and marketing capabilities.
The business positions itself by addressing what is called ‘advanced persistent threats’ (APTs). According to Bit9 it was the only security company to successfully stop the Flame Malware and RSA breach attacks before other antivirus companies identified them.
According to the Second Annual Cost of Cyber Crime Study by the Ponemon Institute in August 2011, the median cost of cyber crime in 2011 of the 50 companies it surveyed was $5.9 million, up 56 per cent from 2010. Businesses questioned included Sony, eHarmony and United Airlines.
Patrick Morley, president and CEO of Bit9, comments, ‘This latest round of funding is the largest in the company’s history and underscores the support Bit9 has received from investors who understand the changing nature of the security market.
‘It’s an exciting time as we are dramatically changing how organisations protect themselves from IP theft and advanced attacks by focusing on a trust-based approach.’
Despite calling the deal its Series D round, the business has had four previous fundraisings. The first came in September 2005 when it closed a $6 million round. The software company followed it up by completing a $9.8 million deal in June 2006 and secured a $10 million injection in October 2007. An additional round was announced in April 2011 when $12.5 million was garnered.
Mickey Arabelovic, partner at Sequoia Capital, adds, ‘The market has reached a clear inflection point where organisations of all sizes across all industries need a new approach to cyber security.
‘Bit9 has emerged as a market leader with its trust-based security for endpoints and servers, and we’re excited to partner with them as they build an enduring business.’