The fast-growing Boston cybersecurity firm iboss has secured an additional $145 million in equity investments to keep its momentum going.
Iboss said the interest among investors has been driven in part by the work-from-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic. These “distributed and dispersed workforces,” as iboss puts it, have increased the demand for cybersecurity protection that works efficiently regardless of where employees are located and what devices they are using.
The investment firms NightDragon and Francisco Partners acquired minority stakes in iboss in the latest round, bringing the total venture capital that the company has raised over the years to $195 million. NightDragon cofounder Dave DeWalt, a prominent cybersecurity executive, also will become co-chairman of iboss, alongside chief executive Paul Martini. The company’s executives say they would like to take it public within 24 months.
Much of the new funding will be used to support employment growth at iboss, Martini said. The company, founded in 2003, has about 400 employees around the world today. He expects that to increase to at least 600 within the next year. The hope is to take advantage of a window of time when companies are looking for new cybersecurity options that are better-suited for supporting workforces that are partially or mostly remote.
COVID-19, Martini said, has accelerated a shift that was already underway. Iboss makes cloud-based cybersecurity software that can replace physical networking gear running on servers within offices that protects the flow of information. Providing these protections off-site and in the cloud expedites the flow of data and information for a decentralized workforce, he said.
“The network security equipment, the fortresses around the office, are becoming obsolete,” Martini said. “The only direction for us to go is north in revenue.”
Martini said the company doesn’t disclose its revenue figures, but said it has secured a number of seven-figure deals in recent months. He likes to say that his firm’s software works like TSA agents at an airport, opening the “bags” as data moves to check for malware and data loss.
Iboss relocated its headquarters from San Diego to 101 Federal St. in Boston nearly four years ago, in a search for more talent. Martini also considered the San Francisco Bay Area or New York. The move to the Financial District has apparently paid off: Boston provides an attractive talent base, given its universities and “rich history of technology,” Martini said. “We thought that would be a great fit for us.”