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Vectra Raises $130M To Fuel R&D Around Cloud Security

Vectra notched a $1.2 billion valuation, and wants to use the Blackstone-led funding to better safeguard microservices in the cloud including containers and serverless technology, says CEO Hitesh Sheth.

Vectra AI has closed a $130 million funding round on a $1.2 billion valuation to drive more investment around securing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technologies.

The San Jose, Calif.-based threat detection and response vendor wants to step up its ability to safeguard microservices in the cloud including containers and serverless technology, said President and CEO Hitesh Sheth. Vectra already has a footprint in Office 365 and Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and moving into PaaS is a big opportunity given the exponential growth in people building native apps using cloud resources.

“We see just an incredible opportunity to build our platform out in service of cloud security,” Sheth told CRN. The Series F round was led by Blackstone Growth, and brings Vectra’s total funding to more than $350 million in the 11 years since the company’s founding.

[Related: Cybersecurity Vendor Vectra Raises $100M To Aid R&D, Global Growth]

Vectra started in the network security space, pioneering the ability to find the signal within a network packet that an organization has been compromised, Sheth said. The company was subsequently able to extend this capability from the network packet to any data type, including microservices in the cloud, according to Sheth.

To drive these new capabilities, Sheth said Vectra plans to hire more data scientists, security researchers and platform engineers to ensure the company is providing true hybrid coverage across multiple cloud providers and different data center environments. Vectra likes to invest at least 30 percent of its revenue into R&D to stay ahead of competition who often spends more on direct sales and marketing.

From a geographic standpoint, Sheth said there’s an expansion opportunity in Canada for Vectra as well as ensuring the company has full coverage in Europe by growing its presence in countries like Spain. The company is fairly early in its Asia-Pacific buildout, and Sheth said Vectra is looking to establish a foothold in Singapore and Korea as well as grow its presence in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Vectra got outside the United States pretty early in its evolution, and already has 40 percent of its sales coming from international markets. The company is looking to maintain its current balance between North America and abroad as its continues to mature and grow, according to Sheth.

From a go-to-market perspective, Sheth said Vectra plans to use the $130 million to build out more training and services catalogs for partners. Vectra has put a partner training program in place over the past 18 months, and Sheth said that getting technical resources certified on Vectra’s platform increases their marketability. Vectra will add new training modules to increase its reach in the partner community.

Vectra’s services catalog, meanwhile, should enhance the channel community’s ability to make money alongside the vendor, according to Sheth. Large enterprises typically want implementation services, remediation services, and ongoing services to manage and monitor the platform, and Sheth said partners can participate in all of that.

The company sells exclusively through the channel, and currently has 365 partners around the globe. Vectra isn’t looking to expand the size of its solution provider community, and would only add partners to get more coverage in underserved geographies, according to Sheth.

“Partners are core to our strategy,” Sheth said. “And I know the market has never been better for what we do in cloud security. And we want to we want to make sure we embrace the partner community very very very aggressively.”

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