Chicago cybersecurity firm lands $15M Series B to expand tech team

by Andreas Rekdal
December 7, 2016

Chicago cybersecurity startup Kenna Security announced today that it has closed a $15 million Series B round of funding to expand its tech team, as well as its sales and marketing efforts.

Founded in 2011, Kenna is the maker of a Big Data platform that helps companies understand the cybersecurity threats they face and establish better priorities about the order those threats should be handled.

“In some cases [our customers have] tens of millions or hundreds of millions of security issues and vulnerabilities,” said co-founder and CTO Ed Bellis. “They have enough resources to fix maybe five or 10 percent of those issues at any given time, which means that 90 percent of it is not going to get fixed right away.”

Kenna combines a company’s internal data on threats and vulnerabilities with external data on available exploits and cybercrime events across the web. The platform uses the data to make a prioritized list of issues to address based on the likelihood that a vulnerability would be exploited and how severe the consequences of a breach would be.

Bellis said Kenna currently employs 18 people in its Chicago headquarters, all of whom work in engineering and research and development. The other half of the team works out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In Chicago, the company will spend the funding to expand its technology team as quickly as possible.

The Series B comes on the tail end of two consecutive years of more than 300 percent growth in bookings, which Bellis attributes to an increasingly sophisticated product as well as a decision to focus on larger clients. The company has landed more than a dozen Fortune 500 clients in that period, including Lenovo, PepsiCo and TransUnion.

PeakSpan Capital, a VC firm with offices on both coasts, led the round, with participation from OurCrowd, U.S. Venture Partners, Costanoa Venture Capital and Hyde Park Angels. The Series B brings the company’s funding total to $25 million.

Bellis, who was previously chief security officer at Orbitz, said Kenna chose PeakSpan as its lead investor because of PeakSpan Managing Partner Brian Mulvey’s expertise in the cybersecurity space.

“Brian gets it,” said Bellis. “He understood exactly what we were trying to do even a number of years ago when we were way too small for a firm like his. He got the fact that this was a big problem, and that it was only going to get bigger over time.”

Image via Kenna Security.

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