CrowdStrike has received an additional $200 million in private equity funding to further accelerate global demand for the company's endpoint protection platform as the cybersecurity firm contemplates an initial public offering.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it has notched a valuation in excess of $3 billion following the Series E financing round led by New York-based growth equity firm General Atlantic, Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm Accel, and Menlo Park, Calif.-based IVP. CrowdStrike said it has doubled both its revenue and headcount in the year leading up to the latest round of funding, according to the firm. The company declined to disclose current revenue figures.
"A lot of new investors look at us as the ones who could really be the breakout company in security from a platform perspective," George Kurtz, CrowdStrike's co-founder and CEO, told CRN. "There's a lot of excitement around what we are doing."
CrowdStrike plans to use some of the proceeds to redouble its investments around sales, marketing and enablement for the channel, focused on arming partners with the right information to clearly articulate the value of the company's offering, Kurtz said.
Specifically, Kurtz said CrowdStrike would like to enable partners to conduct business value assessments, which can be used to demonstrate the economies of scale and positive payback associated with migrating from legacy to cloud-based offerings. The assessments are typically done today by CrowdStrike's internal sales team.
The company also hopes to expand its joint marketing activities with partners both within and outside of the United States, Kurtz said. The joint marketing will be intended to help customers understand the differences and nuances between CrowdStrike's platform and what its competitors are offering.
"It's such a busy, noisy market. Everything sounds the same," Kurtz told CRN. "But not every endpoint is created equally."
CrowdStrike plans to add more employees around both go-to-market and engineering to ensure that the company's technology remains cutting-edge, according to Kurtz.
"We believe that the best technology wins, surrounded by the best services," Kurtz said.
CrowdStrike has now hauled in $481 million in six funding rounds since the company was founded just seven years ago. That's at least $180 million more than what next-generation endpoint security competitors Cybereason, Cylance, Endgame, or SentinelOne have been able to raise.
"It takes a lot of effort, engineering time and cost to build that [platform of ours] up," Kurtz said. "Our competitors don't have the architecture and personnel to build such an elaborate system, and there's a lot of expense that goes into building it."
Kurtz said CrowdStrike's cloud-native, API-driven architecture stands apart from the single-tenant offerings of next-generation endpoint security competitors who are, for instance, focused only on loading up instances of Amazon. The competing architectures aren't cloud-native, don't scale as well, and can become very costly to manage and maintain, according to Kurtz.
The company and its more than 1,000 employees have established a strong foothold with the large enterprise, serving 20 percent of the Fortune 500 and 16 percent of the Fortune 1000. CrowdStrike has also enjoyed triple-digit growth in its annual recurring revenue, new subscription bookings, number of subscription customers, and the number of annual transactions in excess of $1 million.
It's not uncommon for companies to do a big private funding round before a potential initial public offering, and Kurtz said CrowdStrike continues to have the opportunity to go public in the future.
"We're to the scale and scale where we could be a public company, and we're being courted pretty heavily in that arena," Kurtz said. "This just bolsters our balance sheet, and gives us a lot of flexibility and options in the future."
CrowdStrike's platform is powered by artificial intelligence and processes more than 100 billion security events daily to stop all attack types, including never-before-seen cyber threats. The company's AI engine can make more than 2.3 million decisions each second, boosting real-time threat protection with speed and accuracy.
The company said it's breach prevention capabilities have become increasingly important as the lines blur between nation-state and criminal adversaries and the threat landscape becomes more global and dangerous. And CrowdStrike's Series E round of funding should only accelerate the growth of the company's operations and the pace of its innovation and technology development.
Other firms contributing to the latest round include Sonica Monica, Calif.-based venture capital firm March Capital Partners and Alphabet-backed growth equity firm CapitalG. Other prominent investors in CrowdStrike over the course of its history include New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus, San Antonio, Texas-based IT services provider Rackspace, and Sydney, Australia-based Telstra Ventures.
CrowdStrike has excelled at creating a lot of visibility and awareness for machine learning-based insights, according to Michael Knight, president and CTO of Greenville, S.C.-based CrowdStrike partner Encore Technology Group.
Knight would like to see CrowdStrike leverage the influx of capital to bring continuity across all of their interfaces and creates a more bundled approach to their offering. In addition to consolidating and creating commonality among their management interfaces, Knight hopes that CrowdStrike puts more field resources in place for channel partners to take advantage of.
Knight would also like to see CrowdStrike make investments around management consoles, apps, APIs, and multi-tenancy capabilities to make it easier for customers to adopt the company's cloud offering. Alongside consolidating the company's hybrid and public cloud interfaces, Knight said that leveraging network architectures would enable CrowdStrike to provide better perimeter protection in the cloud.
"It's obviously very clear to the industry and analysts that they are going to be a player," Knight said. "CrowdStrike wouldn't have achieved that [funding] if they didn't have an industry-leading solution."