Huntress Labs Raises $18M; Funding Boosts MDR Cybersecurity for MSPs
Huntress Labs, a provider of managed detection and response (MDR) services through MSPs and VARs, has raised $18 million in Series A funding from ForgePoint Capital — a powerhouse in the cybersecurity venture capital market.
Huntress currently has roughly 20 employees. Armed with the funding, the MDR provider expects to have roughly 60 employees by the close of 2020, the company tells MSSP Alert.
ForgePoint has funded several major cybersecurity firms that are friendly to MSP and MSSP partners — including:
- AlienVault, acquired by AT&T Cybersecurity in 2018;
- Anitian, a former VAR turned Top 200 MSSP and cloud security expert; and
- Qualys, which IPOed in 2012.
Huntress Labs: From NSA to MSP Security Experts
Admittedly, Huntress competes in a crowded market. Dozens of cybersecurity companies now promote MDR cybersecurity services to channel partners. But Huntress Labs has a particularly strong reputation and fast-growing footprint in the MSP partner ecosystem. Indeed, the startup now works with more than 1,000 MSPs and protects nearly 500,000 endpoints worldwide, the firm says.
Huntress — founded in 2015 by former NSA Cyber Operators Kyle Hanslovan, Chris Bisnett, and John Ferrell — also assists software companies and IT services providers with breach investigations and closer looks at alleged vulnerabilities worldwide.
One investigation empowered the FBI to arrest a former MSP employee who was attempting to sell access to his former employer’s systems. That particular Huntress effort involved close work with ConnectWise and Datto, two major MSP software and technology providers.
The funding, Huntress Labs points out, allows the cybersecurity firm to remain independent as it now scales beyond 1,000 MSP partners worldwide. Read between the lines, and multiple MSP software companies — including RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) providers — have attempted to acquire or invest in Huntress over the past year, sources tell MSSP Alert.
ForgePoint Capital Invests In Huntress Labs: Executive Perspectives
In a prepared statement about the venture capital funding, Ernie Bio, VP at ForgePoint Capital, said:
“Many of these cyberattacks have grown in sophistication and SMBs are demanding advanced capabilities from their IT and security providers to defend themselves. To meet this growing demand, the Huntress team built an accessible MDR as a service solution. We at ForgePoint are impressed by the Huntress team’s domain expertise, relentless drive, and passion to protect all customers from today’s advanced cyberthreats.”
Added Huntress CEO Kyle Hanslovan said:
“While working at NSA and cooperating with FBI, we saw firsthand how attackers establish persistence in systems, either waiting for the opportune moment to attack or selling access as part of a full-fledged business model. We wanted to make threat detection available to small businesses, who are under attack just as much as large enterprises. We call it cybersecurity for the 99%. We believe that the best way to effectively reach these businesses is by enabling and empowering the channel.”
Bio will be joining the Huntress board along with Alberto Yépez, co-founder and managing director of ForgePoint.
ForgePoint Capital: Additional Cybersecurity Investments
ForgePoint seems like a natural investor for Huntress Labs. Indeed, the venture capital firm has extensive experience in the cybersecurity market, investing in such firms as:
- AlienVault (acquired by AT&T)
- Anitian (a Top 200 MSSP)
- Appthority (acquired by Symantec);
- Bishop Fox
- Prelert (acquired by Elastic)
- Prevoty (acquired by Imperva)
- Qualys (IPOed in 2012)
- Reversing Labs
- Signio (acquired by VeriSign/Symantec)
- Solera Networks (acquired by BlueCoat/Symantec)
- Sygate (acquired by Symantec)
- Tricipher (acquired by VMware)
- TrustedKey (acquired by Workday)
- ZoneLabs (acquired by Check Point Software)
And just last week, ForgePoint invested in Cysiv, a security operations center as a service (SOCaaS) platform provider.
MDR Funding: Venture Capital and Private Equity Deals
Numerous MDR cybersecurity firms have received venture capital and/or private equity investments in recent months. Additional example deals include:
- June 2019: CriticalStart raised $40 million led by Sagemount;
- June 2019: Expel raised $40 million led by Index Ventures;
- May 2019: Red Canary raised $34 million led by Summit Partners;