Keith Alexander's cybersecurity company scores huge $78M investment

Keith Alexander at an event in 2012. (Department of Defense / Flickr)


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A Maryland-based cybersecurity startup led by former NSA chief Keith Alexander has scored another big investment.

IronNet Cybersecurity announced a $78 million Series B raise Thursday, adding to the $32 million it already pulled in 2015. The funding primarily comes from a group of blue-chip venture capital firms. Return investors Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers (KPCB) and ForgePoint Capital, previously named Trident Capital, participated in the raise.

In prepared remarks, company executives said that the fresh funding would be used to hire talent, refine products and expand services. IronNet employs a cadre of former U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials, including a former NSA general counsel and the former director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command.

Thursday’s news was accompanied by the first public description of IronNet’s recently released threat intelligence sharing platform, dubbed “IronDome.” The program is designed to help shared, industry-specific customers exchange data about active cyberthreats in a closed, decentralized pool where the information is automatically scrubbed of personal identifiable information.

Nearly a half-dozen multi-state energy companies already pay for access to IronDome, according to IronNet. The plan is to expand the model to other industries in the future, including the health care sector.

“This investment represents a clear endorsement of our core technology and strategy for defending nations and industries around the world,” said Alexander, IronNet’s founder.

The former NSA Director served at the spy agency from 2005 to 2014. He remains the longest-serving director in history. Alexander left government roughly one year after the Edward Snowden disclosures first came to light, which sparked a public debate about digital privacy and computer espionage oversight.

Reuters was the first news outlet to report on the investment.

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business, IronNet Cybersecurity, Keith Alexander, National Security Agency (NSA)