Cybersecurity startup NC raises $70M in funding, plans to expand

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Erkang Zheng, founder and CEO of cybersecurity startup JupiterOne.

JupiterOne

A Morrisville-based cybersecurity startup announced on Thursday that it has closed a $70 million funding round and reached an estimated total valuation of over $1 billion.

JupiterOne has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 2018. Its founder and CEO, Erkang Zheng, launched the company after working as an information security manager at LifeOmic, a healthcare data company with offices in Morrisville. In his role at LifeOmic, Zheng identified a frustrating problem: Tracking the many assets companies had on cloud platforms was a tedious and disjointed process.

“Organizations are becoming more and more complex,” Zheng said in an interview. “Organizations themselves are becoming more and more digital, due to digital transformation, remote working – every business is becoming a technology business to some degree. … There are so many things trying to be assemblies and security teams are so overwhelmed.

Its latest funding round has earned JupiterOne a coveted seat among an exclusive group of Triangle startups — those with valuations above the billion-dollar threshold. Other such companies include Pendo, Insightsoftware, and Cary’s Epic Games. The latter’s $29 billion valuation makes it one of the most valuable startups in the country.

JupiterOne’s platform, called the Cyber ​​Asset Attack Surface Management Platform, or CAASM, simplifies the security process for enterprise customers and aggregates data to help users identify weak spots in their systems. .

“Without a platform like JupiterOne that combines visibility in one place, you can’t see the big picture. You only see parts of it,” Zheng said. “Having, say, 50 subsets of the image is nearly impossible for the human brain to make sense of and connect the dots across this complex ecosystem. So JupiterOne provides this platform in one place to combine them That’s, in fact, what the One stands for in the name JupiterOne – just a place for you to have full visibility.

Leading companies around the world use JupiterOne’s product to improve their cybersecurity. Big names include Cisco, Indeed, Robinhood and Databricks.

To expand the company’s ability to welcome new customers, Zheng hopes to hire another 50 employees in 2022. JupiterOne added 100 employees last year after its Series B funding round, bringing its current number to 150. Some employees are working remotely, but most JupiterOne staff are based in the Triangle where the company’s headquarters will remain, Zheng said, because “we can’t let people in Silicon Valley have fun.”

“Being a Raleigh area, local business – we are extremely proud to be here and support the community,” said Zheng, who graduated from NC State about 20 years ago and has spent his entire career with Triangle businesses. . “We have partnerships with NC State and will hopefully add additional local community (colleges) and universities as well.”

Its Series C funds will help JupiterOne expand product development to address market needs in attack surface management, including unified asset inventory, vulnerability management and security posture automation. safety, the company said.

“It was a little under two years ago, actually, when we had our first fundraiser, and we were tiny — we were nothing and our valuation was nothing,” Zheng said. “I’m extremely proud of our entire team for accomplishing this in less than two years, and I’m excited for what’s to come.”

Lars Dolder is a business reporter at The News & Observer. It covers retail, technology and innovation.

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