Baltimore cybersecurity firm ZeroFOX raises $40 million

ZeroFOX, a Baltimore cybersecurity firm, has raised $40 million to hone its technology and expand its reach to global customers.

The Series C funding round was led by Redline Capital Management, a European venture firm, and Silver Lake Waterman, a fund that focuses on pre-IPO companies. Prior investors New Enterprise Associates, Highland Capital Partners and Core Capital also contributed.

The investment brings ZeroFOX’s total funding to $88 million and advances the company toward some of CEO James C. Foster’s longtime goals: a global reputation and an initial public offering.

“It’s not going to happen tomorrow,” Foster said last week of an initial public offering. “But we are holding ourselves accountable and running like a publicly traded company today, and when the time is right and we get a little bigger.”

ZeroFOX specializes in developing tools to help companies detect and protect against cyberattacks through social media, a growing threat to companies as social media becomes a part of everyday business.

“Social media is an important fabric that connects businesses with their customers. Like other forms of digital communication, it is being rapidly leveraged for targeted attacks,” Shawn O'Neill, a managing director of Silver Lake Waterman, said in a statement.

ZeroFOX’s investors said they were attracted to the company because it is a leader in the field.

"ZeroFOX has proven they are the market leader in social media cybersecurity and that they have invented a scalable technology that is actively addressing emerging threats for many different kinds of organizations around the world," Peter Barris, a managing general partner at New Enterprise Associates, said in a statement.

New Enterprise Associates was among ZeroFOX’s early investors, leading the company’s $10.7 million Series A round in 2014.

ZeroFOX was founded in 2013 and has 150 employees. The company has headquarters in a former Pabst bottling facility in South Baltimore.

In addition to the United States, the company already has presence in Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. With its latest funding, the company plans to continue expanding in those areas, where demand for social media cybersecurity has been strong, Foster said.

“I don’t have to drive awareness of social at all,” Foster said. “I point out a simple fact -- that we protect those social media accounts.”

ZeroFOX sought out an international investor as a way to send a message that the company is serious about establishing a global brand, he said.

“It was really important for us to find an international firm to continue to prove to the market and our customers we are a firm with big ambitions,” Foster said.

Redline Capital Management, which has offices in London and Luxembourg City, has been a great partner so far, he said.

Alastair Cookson, a partner at Redline, will join ZeroFOX’s board.

“We back market leaders, and we searched throughout the world to find the organization that was best suited to address these next generation security challenges,” Cookson said in a statement. “We are excited to support them down their path of rapid growth.”

sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

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