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Google Bets Big On Cybersecurity with $100M Investment

Cybersecurity company CrowdStrike announced the completion of a $100 million Series C funding round yesterday (July 13), led by Google Capital. Rackspace also participated in the round, along with existing investors Accel and Warburg Pincus, bringing the company’s total funding raised to $156 million.

CrowdStrike specializes in offering a Software-as-a Service (SaaS) based endpoint protection platform, which allows organizations to detect, prevent and respond to attacks at any stage.

“It’s extremely gratifying to bring in a high-caliber investor like Google Capital which shares our passion for innovation and sees the opportunity to completely transform the security industry,” said George Kurtz, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and CEO, in a company release.

“As we continue to experience hyper-growth, this capital injection will help us firmly establish our SaaS-based endpoint protection platform as the leading solution to address today’s sophisticated attacks and will allow CrowdStrike to further accelerate our domestic and international expansion, ” Kurtz added.

With the diminishing success of traditional antivirus and malware security approaches, CrowdStrike sets itself apart by focusing on endpoint protection as the primary way to curb cyber attacks, the company statement explained.

According to CrowdStrike, global deployments of its Falcon platform have fueled the growth of its total billings and employees, which have tripled year-over-year, while also increasing its customer base.

“We were blown away by CrowdStrike’s incredible growth and impressive customer adoption,” said Gene Frantz, partner at Google Capital. “They have a truly unique SaaS-based endpoint security model, a highly scalable subscription revenue model, and a visionary technical approach that has huge potential to transform the industry, which is why we’re thrilled to make this investment.”

CrowdStrike’s platform services a wide array of businesses across numerous industries, including payment processors, banks, oil and gas companies and tech firms.

“Rackspace was an early adopter of the CrowdStrike Falcon platform and we have seen firsthand the decisive advantage that CrowdStrike offers to proactively detect and prevent sophisticated attacks,” Rackspace Chief Security Officer Brian Kelly added. “Unlike other endpoint security tools, CrowdStrike’s scalable cloud-based architecture provides unrivaled visibility and enables significantly faster response time to cyber threats. CrowdStrike also will be a key component of an upcoming line of security offerings being launched at Rackspace this year.”

The investment in CrowdStrike is just the latest SaaS service Google has shown financial interest in. Google Ventures recently led an $11.5 million funding round with SoftBank Capital to accelerate the growth of London-based Yieldify’s predictive marketing technology.

The SaaS company equips digital marketers with technology to predict the intentions of visitors across all devices, allowing brands to adapt accordingly by creating personalized campaigns quickly and effectively.

Such a large investment in cybersecurity comes at a time when even despite an increase in IT security spending, the drastic increase in cybersecurity attacks have left a lasting impact to industry confidence, according to recent research by CyberEdge Group. The survey of 800 security decision makers and practitioners, collected in 2014, showed a majority of IT departments expect to be breached in some capacity or another within the next year.

In the same survey, 62 percent of respondents said they planned to up their security budgets, which is a 14 percent increase from last year’s results.

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