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Checkmarx Raises $84M To Drive Growth For Its Application Security Software

Sarah Kuranda
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As application companies become more aware of the importance of security best practices in development, application security software company Checkmarx is grabbing the attention of big-name investors, revealing on Thursday that it had landed $84 million in Series D funding.

Checkmarx offers a solution for software developers to check their code to make sure it is clean of vulnerabilities before launching to the PC or mobile device. The solution works using artificial intelligence replication of the code to scan the application for vulnerabilities and unknown back doors.

The latest round of funding was led by Insight Ventures, the same venture capital and private equity company that has helped catapult the growth of companies such as Twitter, Wix and BMC. Having that sort of buy-in from a "top notch" investment company is critical to help drive the next stage of growth for the company, CEO Emmanuel Benzaquen said in an interview with CRN.

[Related: BitSight Raises $23M In Series B Funding For Security Ratings Technology]

"[Insight's] statement of investment in Checkmarx means a lot to us and says a lot about where we're going to go next," Benzaquen said.

"Clearly we have the right team, the right product, the right company and the right financial backers now. It's a lot of good ingredients for a recipe, so to speak," he said.

The funding adds to the approximately $15 million the company has raised in previous rounds, he said.

Driving that rapid jump in funds between rounds is a growing recognition in the market, by companies such as and SAP, of the importance of security as a best practice in developing solutions, Benzaquen said.

"The awareness has grown tremendously over the past few years," Benzaquen said. "I think when we talk about hackers and application security, everyone understands today when even just three to five years ago ... people didn't know what security was at the application layer. Today it's starting to become best practice and widely understood."

Benzaquen said some of the funding will be used to provide liquidity to early investors, but the primary focus will be to "take the company to the next level" and sustain its "hyper growth" of more than 100 percent year over year for the past three years.

In the short term, that means expanding the company's operations globally. The company has been doubling its head count year over year to around 150 employees today, a trend Benzaquen said he expects will continue. Those hires will be a mix of sales and technical people, the latter of which will help drive R&D to add complementary solutions to increase the company's offerings.

In the long term, Benzaquen said Checkmarx will be looking for possible large acquisition targets that would make sense over the next couple of years.

As for the company's channel, Benzaquen said Checkmarx users partners more heavily in APAC markets, but primarily goes direct to major accounts in North America. However, he said the company will be looking to channel partners as it develops its business in the federal market, an area it plans to grow in the near future.

"We'll grow that area," Benzaquen said.


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