In January, word surfaced that NTT Docomo Ventures, the Japanese telecom giant’s investment wing, planned to infuse up to $35 million in some 20 startups locally and elsewhere by March, 2018. The company intends to look closely at suitable candidates in artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly in Silicon Valley, Israel and Europe, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Alas, cyber security did not seem to be among the firm’s potential wellsprings. But all year long security providers have made strong cases as solid bets for capital investors. NTT Docomo Ventures apparently thinks so. The investor has just poured an undisclosed amount of funds into CounterTack, a Waltham, MA-based endpoint detection and response technology specialist to enterprise-level companies. CounterTack positions its Endpoint Threat Platform (ETP) as a resource for enterprise security teams -- the next, necessary step beyond conventional endpoint security such as firewalls and antivirus protections.
Neither NTT Docomo Ventures or CounterTack offered financial details of the transaction. Since its inception, CounterTack has corralled more than $92 million in four funding rounds. At this point, the vendor has about 250 customers globally.
The capital deal follows a partnership CounterTack struck a week earlier with NTT Security, the security-centric arm of the NTT Group, of which NTT Docomo Ventures is a subsidiary. Under terms of that arrangement, NTT Security will adopt and integrate CounterTack’s ETP technology to round out and grow its managed security services portfolio and expand its geographical research through other NTT operating companies. NTT Security, by the way, is a Top 100 MSSP for 2017.
The CounterTack deal is NTT Docomo Ventures’ second security funding this month. Earlier it contributed, along with Cisco, to ThreatQuotient’s $30 million Series C funding in an investment led by Adams Street Partners. Including this round, the Reston, VA-based ThreatQuotient has secured a total of $54 million in financing. ThreatQuotient, a threat intelligence platform provider, said it will use the money for growth, acquiring new customers, speed up product development and expand its marketing programs in the U.S. and elsewhere.
According to TechinAsia, the nine-year old NTT Docomo Ventures to date has invested in 28 startups (15 in Japan) at various funding rounds, with infusions ranging from $20,000 to $400,000. Should it find the 20 startups it seeks for investment, it will have nearly doubled its capital base. Crunchbase’s data shows the company has been the lead investor in four instances. In May, the venture firm made its first security investment of the year when it took a Series A position in UBiqube, an eight-year old, Dublin, Ireland-headquartered network and security orchestration software developer.
It’s been an eventful fall season for security startup funding. For example, in late September, Securonix, a nine-year old security analytics and SIEM specialist, secured $29 million in venture backing in a Series A round. Earlier that month, Cygilant, a 15-year old, Boston-based hybrid SECaaS specialist formerly known as EiQ Networks, landed $7 million in private equity funding to add to its previous $31 million haul.