Cylance raises $100 million for AI cybersecurity


Even the most advanced security teams have a hard time staying ahead of cyberattacks. That’s why Cylance has developed artificial intelligence algorithms to seek out vulnerabilities in computer networks and address them. The Irvine, Calif., company is growing fast and has raised a nine-figure Series D to grow even faster.

CylanceProtect identifies and prevents zero days — that is, holes in software not yet known to the vendor — and other malware and advanced threats, thus protecting customers from downtime, distraction and brand tarnishing. The company says it is serving more than 1,000 customers, growing 785 percent in users and 1,089 percent in product billings since its introduction, “propelling the company to achieve its mission many years earlier than anticipated.”

Cylance has closed $100 million in financing to expand its sales, marketing and engineering programs for its endpoint protection go-to-market strategies. Funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and Insight Venture Partners led the round, with follow-on investments by the company’s existing investors, which include DFJ Growth, Fairhaven Capital Partners, and Khosla Ventures, as well as the Blackstone Group, Capital One Growth Ventures, Dell Ventures, Draper Nexus Ventures, KKR & Co. and Ten Eleven Ventures.

Including this latest round, Cylance has raised $177 million total.

“We founded Cylance almost four years ago with a singular mission: protect those who cannot protect themselves, and empower those who can,” CEO Stuart McClure said in a statement. “Our goal of reinventing endpoint security by using machine learning to think like a cyber hacker has been achieved, and we now must ensure that it is put in the hands of security leaders inside enterprises, organizations, governments and small businesses as quickly as possible.”

McClure previously sold his cybersecurity firm Foundstone in 2004 to McAfee, where he spent several years as an executive, including as CTO, before founding Cylance.

“Cylance’s strong track record, including at Blackstone portfolio companies, deepens our conviction in the value that this platform can offer across sectors,” said Viral Patel, a managing director in Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities.

“Cylance’s team and technology have delivered on exactly what they’ve promised: elegant and effective prevention at the endpoint, in addition to impressive customers and growth,” added Insight managing director Mike Triplett.