SentinelOne, an artificial intelligence endpoint security firm that went public last June, announced the launch of S Ventures, a $100 million fund to invest in the generation of cybersecurity startups.
The launch of S Ventures comes at an interesting time for the cybersecurity market. While startups in the sector have long weathered the current economic storm better than most, layoffs are now becoming commonplace for cyber startups, and new data shows recent numbers are down in funding and M&A.
Tomer Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of SentinelOne, believes this fluctuating market represents an opportunity for his company, which is eager to diversify its focus from M&A to venture capital. SentinelOne recently completed its $617 million acquisition of threat detection platform Attivo Networks, which followed its $155 million acquisition of Scalyr, a provider of server log monitoring tools.
“For us, M&A is a very capital-intensive tool,” Weingarten told TechCrunch. “The venture, on the other hand, allows us to maintain an ecosystem around SentinelOne and in some cases drive better outcomes for our customers. It’s an effective tool for us to achieve any kind of impact we want without using too much capital.”
S Ventures will invest in all stages of the startup lifecycle with a focus on security and data companies that bring new ideas to SentinelOne’s Singularity XDR Marketplace, a platform that integrates security applications and tools from various vendors into a single platform, without need to code or know how to script.
“We try to focus on ideas, technologies and people that can drive results in the enterprise, given that we have a very unique perspective on enterprise infrastructure,” Weingarten said. “But broadly speaking, we’re looking for companies that can make a positive impact, are mission-driven and can be positively disruptive.”
S Ventures has already invested in a number of startups, including email security API platform Armorblox and continuous cyber asset management and control platform Noetic Cyber. These startups join an already vast list of S Ventures portfolio companies, including Torq, a code-free security automation platform accelerating complex threat response workflows, and Laminar, a platform that provides full visibility into public data cloud to reduce the attack surface and detect real-time data leakage.
“When we work with these companies, we offer advice and we have some of the best operators in the business, so it’s about helping them scale,” Weingarten added. “It’s about helping them not make the same mistakes that we may have made over the years.”
SentinelOne’s head of corporate development Rob Salvagno will manage the fund, which is backed by David Kellenberger in the US and Irene Reznikov, the company’s director of corporate development and venture capital in Israel.
SentinelOne launches $100M fund to invest in enterprise cybersecurity startups