Security

FireEye not going public yet, gets $50M to prepare instead

Dave DeWalt FireEye

Security firm FireEye hasn’t filed to go public just yet, despite reports to the contrary. Instead, CEO Dave DeWalt told us the company has raised $50 million to bring in some new executive talent and prepare for an IPO later in the year.

We asked FireEye chief executive Dave DeWalt if his company had taken advantage of the Jobs Act and secretly filed to go public, as was reported earlier in the week.

“Not true,” said DeWalt in an interview with VentureBeat, “We have not filed for public and we’re looking at this as an important time … to expand ourselves in a private company way that allows ourselves to do the things we need to do to sustain ourselves in a public company way.”

FireEye protects its customers against malware by setting up virtual machines that watch network behavior. Anything going in or out of a customer’s systems passes through these virtual machines, and if something looks malicious, it can be stopped before it ever enters the customer network.

The company’s new funding comes from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Juniper Networks, and “others.” That “others” may be a reference to In-Q-Tel, the investing arm of the CIA, which is said to have invested in the company in a previous round.

DeWalt told us he has seen plenty of companies go public before they are ready, only to have their values slashed when the markets realize their shortcomings. When DeWalt first came on as chief executive in November, he told me the company was not yet ready to IPO because the markets weren’t promising with the looming fiscal cliff. Now, he wants to use the funding to get ready.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to prepare ourselves for sustainability long term,” he said.

Now that the fiscal cliff talks have been, for the most part, resolved, DeWalt believes the markets are becoming more favorable again. He suggested that the second half of the year is “always a little bit better” than the first half of the year, which may indicate the company is looking at a third or fourth quarter IPO.

The funding is currently being used not only to expand the executive team — which includes veterans from EMC, Cisco, and McAfee, where DeWalt was once CEO — but also to build out teams globally. FireEye is bringing on more sales staff and building out infrastructure across the world, and it plans to release a number of new products in the coming year.

The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Milpitas, Calif. Its funding to date totals $101 million.

Dave DeWalt image via FireEye