Security News

Venafi Lands $100M Of Funding To Boost Machine Identity Protection

Michael Novinson

Venafi has closed a $100 million funding round aimed at accelerating the integration of machine identity protection into a wide range of machines in the enterprise.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based cybersecurity vendor said $12.5 million of the proceeds will be made available to third-party developers as part of a new Machine Identity Protection Development Fund. Entities receiving funding will be expected to build integrations that deliver greater visibility, intelligence and automation for Venafi customers across technologies that create or consume machine identities.

Consultancies, systems integrators, startups, open source developers and cybersecurity vendors will all be eligible to apply for funding, according to Venafi. The funding round was led by Menlo Park, Calif.-based private equity firm TCV, and included participation from existing investors QuestMark Partners and NextEquity Partners.

[Related: Venafi: Microsoft's Recent Certificate Issue Common To Global 2000]

TCV's investment and expertise will help ensure the connectivity, safety and security of hardware and software from smart machines, virtual servers, applications, and containers, according to Venafi CEO Jeff Hudson. Company executives weren't immediately available for additional comment.

"Most organizations don't yet understand the risks associated with machine identities, and, as a result, spend almost nothing to protect them," Hudson said in a statement. "This leaves our global digital economy at risk."

Venafi was founded in 2004, and has raised $167.2 million in five rounds of outside funding, according to CrunchBase. The company employs 267 people, up 17 percent from 228 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.

The company's platform is focused on protecting machine identities whose underlying technology is cryptographic keys and digital certificates by providing visibility, intelligence and automation. Venafi said a lack of understanding and protection around machine identities makes them more subject to being exploited by cybercriminals.

DevOps and IoT are driving growth in the number of machines in the overall ecosystem as a result of cloud computing, virtualization, and the proliferation of connected devices, according to Jake Reynolds, general partner at TCV.

"Venafi is well-positioned to provide the machine identity protection for all enterprise machines, and we look forward to supporting the Venafi team as they continue to scale in this rapidly expanding market," Reynolds said in a statement.

Machine identities enable a trusted relationship between machines that control the flow of sensitive data, and are akin to the usernames and passwords used to identify and authenticate humans. Venafi said its product is used by the top five U.S. health insurers, the top five U.S. airlines, four of the top five U.S. retailers, and four of the top five U.S. banks.

Venafi's channel organization includes distribution partners Arrow and Carahsoft, delivery partners such as Optiv and Slalom Consulting, and resellers like Cadre Information Security, Kudelski Security, and Trace3.