Wednesday 19 June 2019

Ireland's strategic fund increases its investment in California cybersecurity specialist Vectra

Vectra opened its Dublin office in early 2018 and employs 51 people. Stock image
Vectra opened its Dublin office in early 2018 and employs 51 people. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

THE State-owned Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif) is understood to have invested around $5m as part of a $100m (€88.4m) funding round by California artificial intelligence cybersecurity firm Vectra.

It's the second time that Isif has backed the San Jose-based company, having invested about €10m in the company last year to support the development of a research and development centre in Dublin.

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That R&D centre was the company's first outside the United States.

The latest fundraising round brings to $200m the amount raised to date by Vectra.

Its Cognito platform helps to plug security gaps on the cloud. Vectra's R&D team in Dublin leads development of the Cognito Recall system.

The $100m fundraiser was led by TCV, one of the largest growth equity firms backing private and public tech companies.

Its notable investments include Airbnb, Electronic Arts, Netflix, Facebook and Expedia.

Vectra opened its Dublin office in early 2018 and employs 51 people, 36 of them in R&D and the remainder in sales and support.

The company aims to double that number working in the capital by about 2023.

"The cloud has inherent security blind spots, making it imperative to eliminate cyber-risks as enterprises move their business to the cloud," said Vectra president and CEO Hitesh Sheth.

"The Cognito platform enables them to stop hidden cyberattacks in the cloud."

Isif has invested in a range of asset classes since it was founded in 2014.

Last year, it invested €50m in Dublin-based aircraft lessor Genesis Aircraft Services. Genesis Aircraft is owned by funds managed by US-headquartered Barings Alternative Investments, part of Barings - which in turn is owned by Boston-based MassMutual.

Last year, Isif invested €10m in Irish medtech firm Mainstay Medical, and established a €140m partnership with Irish solar company Power Capital to invest in Ireland's renewable energy market.

It also owns a stake in Ireland's biggest non-bank lender, Finance Ireland.

Irish Independent

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