Trust the math!
That’s the mantra of Stuart McClure, chief executive of Internet security provider Cylance, which just raked in a $20 million round lead by a bevy of heavy hitting investors including Kholsa Ventures, Blackstone, and Fairhaven Capital.
Private investors also kicked in.
Cylance, whose Infinity Platform encompasses a complex suite of mathematic and algorithm-based security protocols that probe networks looking for vulnerabilities, and when detected, shuts them down, raised $15 million last July in a round also led by Kholsa Ventures.
Cylance is based in Irvine, Calif., and has 50 employees and 60 paying customers, including government agencies. McClure declined to identify them directly but said the bulk represent entities in finance, healthcare, and IT firms.
This is McClure’s second startup. He launched Internet security provider Foundstone back in 1999 and then sold it to McAfee five years later for a cool $90 million. Not bad for a guy who cut his teeth doing IT network security for city and government agencies in the 1990s.
Indeed, the genesis for Cylance was honed by the numerous holes he observed in the networks he was overseeing when getting his start. McClure firmly believes in the mathematics so crucial to the security products he makes.
“No one does what we do. The proof is in the pudding. We are growing as quickly as we can,” he said.
McClure has a fascinating story to tell. While on a United Airlines flight in 1989, the cargo hatch on the 747 he was flying in imploded. The plane suffered a violent midair decompression and nine passengers were killed. The stricken aircraft made an emergency landing.
McClure learned much from the episode — especially about his approach to the issue of security.
A design flaw with the hatch caused the implosion. Had the problem been detected earlier, it could have been corrected before tragedy struck. McClure called it preventative intelligence, and that’s how he’s positioned his Internet security package.
For now he’s focusing on ramping up Cylance.
“We just want to build the best killer tech with the best possible team we can,” he says.
Khosla Ventures is a venture capital firm run by people who listen to, analyze, and advise entrepreneurs. We manage a main fund that supports early- and late-stage investments and a seed fund for developing very early-stage experiments... read more »
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