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The top 11 VC investors in cybersecurity

June 10, 2019
Cybersecurity will likely continue to remain an evergreen industry as long as the internet and its accompanying threats persist.

For VC investors focused on the sector, one of the latest exciting developments is Crowdstrike's upcoming IPO. The cybersecurity software developer announced last week that it had increased its price range from $19 to $23 per share to between $28 to $30 apiece. This follows network security specialist Tufin's April debut, which raised some $108 million by offering 7.7 million shares at $14 apiece; the company's shares surged 35% in their first day of trading and have gone on to gain around 65%, currently trading in the $22 to $23 range.

One of Crowdstrike's backers is Accel, which tops the list of cybersecurity investors, alongside Kleiner Perkins. Both firms boast at least 60 completed deals for cybersecurity companies since the beginning of 2010, according to the PitchBook Platform. Some of Kleiner Perkins' past investments include Ionic Security, Phantom Cyber and IronNet Cybersecurity, while Accel has conducted previous deals with Privitar, Netskope and Airwatch, among others.

Here's the full list of top cybersecurity investors throughout the world since the beginning of 2010, ranked by deal count:
 

Measuring the largest individual deals since 2010 reveals a recent increase in the size of checks being cut, with 80% of the 10 largest deals occurring within the last three years. AnchorFree, an end-user security software developer, claims the largest round amount with a $295 million fundraise in September. And the most recent deal on our list occurred earlier this year when Rubrik, a provider of cloud data storage and security, raised a $261 million Series E with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Lightspeed, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and IVP.

Here's the list of the largest deals for global VC-backed cybersecurity companies since 2010:
 

Israel's exceptional strength

Geographically speaking, the cybersecurity vertical has become a booming presence in Israel in particular, which has a population of around 8.7 million. There are 117 cybersecurity companies that have current or former VC backing and are headquartered in the 290-mile-long country, according to PitchBook data. For comparison, the entire European continent, with a population of more than 740 million across over 3.9 million square miles, is home to only 324 cybersecurity companies. And even the famed San Francisco Bay Area, with its reputation of being on the forefront of technological innovation, hosts only 382. Based on a per-capita metric, Israel's cybersecurity industry stands out against its global competitors.

A variety of reasons have likely contributed to Israel's strong cybersecurity growth, with a Forbes report from 2017 indicating that the Israeli government has served as an incredibly strong catalyst for the industry. In 2011, the National Cyber Bureau was established with a stated goal of placing Israel in the world's top five countries for cybersecurity innovation "within a relatively short number of years."

The country's military is another important factor. The Israeli Defense Forces' Unit 8200 (fka Unit 848), a cybersecurity divison of the military's intelligence services with roots dating back to 1973, heavily focuses on cyber threats by collecting signal intelligence and working on code decryption on a level frequently compared to the United States' National Security Agency. It's common for military recruits in Israel to return to civilian life armed with an unexpected array of highly-valuable, military-grade cybersecurity skills. Indegy and Cybereason are reportedly just two such examples of companies founded by Unit 8200 alumni.

Featured image via MF3d/iStock/Getty Images Plus
 

Related read: Former Israeli prime minister helps launch a16z-backed cyber defense startup

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