Vectra AI raises US$130 million led by Blackstone Growth (BXG)

Vectra AI, the threat detection and response solutions provider, has announced a $130 million round of funding led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG, ‘Blackstone Growth’).

The investment will help fuel Vectra’s continued growth through platform innovation and expansion into new markets and geographies, solidifying its Cognito platform as a solution for artificial intelligence (AI)-driven cloud security for threat detection and response. Existing investors also participated in the funding round, increasing the company’s total funding to more than $350 million at a post-money $1.2 billion valuation.

As recent high-profile incidents impacting SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange (Hafnium) illustrate, breaches are becoming commonplace and hard to detect because state actors and cybercriminals use multi-stage attacks that exploit supply chain weaknesses, legitimate tools, and impersonate users to steal data. 

As the threat landscape continues to become more complex, security leaders must commit themselves to enhancing research and development, innovation, and strategic implementation of resource-relieving technology, such as AI. This product innovation is necessary to provide the contextual awareness security teams need to combat the expanding attack surface, created by the increased use of cloud resources and SaaS applications, mobile devices, work-from-home access and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

“Over the past year, we have witnessed a continuous series of the most impactful and widespread cyberattacks in history. To protect their employees and digital assets, our customers require security solutions that are smarter than today’s adversaries and provide coverage for cloud, data centers and SaaS applications” said Hitesh Sheth, president and chief executive officer at Vectra. “As we look to the future, Blackstone’s global presence, operational resources, and in-house technology expertise will help us achieve our mission to become one of the dominant cybersecurity companies in the world.”

Viral Patel, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “Vectra has a proven ability to stop in-progress attacks in the cloud, on corporate networks, and in private data centers for some of the top organizations in the world. The company has experienced extraordinary success through its commitment to combining innovative AI technology, first-class customer service, and top talent, and Blackstone is excited to become part of the Vectra team.”

Customer demand for threat detection and response in the private and public clouds, and the immediate value Vectra’s AI-driven Cognito platform delivers to customers, are major forces driving the company’s global growth. Cognito detects attacker behaviours and protects its users from being compromised, regardless of location. 

The platform works across the complex enterprise IT infrastructure to continuously learn, and deploys advanced AI, threat intelligence feeds and known attack profiles to identify breaches as they are being executed. This approach provides security teams with invaluable time to respond to threats and seamlessly integrates with existing security tools to automatically remediate threats. 

John Stecher, Chief Technology Officer at Blackstone, said: “Through our experience as a client of Vectra, we’ve been highly impressed by their world-class technology and exceptional team. They have exactly the types of tools that technology leaders need to separate the signal from the noise in defending their organisations from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. We’re excited to back Vectra and Hitesh as a strategic partner in the years ahead supporting their continued growth.”

“As organizations around the world increasingly focus on cybersecurity, we believe Vectra is providing a critical solution that levels the playing field against the sophisticated actors that generate the most damaging cyberthreats,” said James Socas, a Managing Director at Blackstone. “Vectra is exactly the kind of fast-growing leader we help back and build at Blackstone.”

In 2020, the company continued to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeding 100 percent, while sales of Cognito Detect for Microsoft Office 365 have grown at a rate of over 700 percent. Vectra also has a rich history in investing in research and development (R&D) projects, which has been key to the sustained growth of the organisation. Vectra continues to invest in R&D well over the industry average of leading security companies.

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