Ashton Kutcher Joins $70 Million Bet on Antivirus Replacer SentinelOne

Jan 25, 2017

Last year, Jeremiah Grossman, chief security strategist at cybersecurity startup SentinelOne, declared that his company would reimburse customers up to $1 million if its software failed to block attacks in which hackers hold computer files for ransom. Skeptics said the guarantee against so-called ransomware was a marketing gimmick.

Other cybersecurity companies claim they can block almost every attack, Grossman said in an interview with Fortune. But they fail to put their money where their mouths are.

"Let them warranty it," Grossman said. "I want to believe it."

Now SentinelOne is landing millions of its own. On Wednesday the firm said it raised $70 million in new venture capital funding. The company, which sells a product to supplant traditional antivirus software, has raised $110 million since its founding in 2013.

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Redpoint Ventures, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm that has also backed Stripe (stripe), Netflix (nflx), and cybersecurity company Fortinet (ftnt), led the latest round. Also joining the series C round were actor Ashton Kutcher and rock musician manager Guy Oseary's venture capital firm Sound Ventures, as well as existing investors Third Point Ventures, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners, Westly Group, and SineWave Ventures.

(Full disclosure: Time Inc. (time), Fortune's parent company, is a SentinelOne customer.)

Tomer Weingarten, CEO of SentinelOne, backed up Grossman's money-in-mouth philosophy at the recent meeting with Fortune in New York. "There's a lot of marketing out there," he said of his company's competitors, mentioning that the industry will benefit from more companies insuring their claims.

So far SentinelOne has not had to cough up funds to cover any breaches, Weingarten said. That is good news because the firm is continuing to place more corporate networks under its protection. Today, the 175-person team, with offices in offices in Palo Alto, Tel Aviv, and Paris, has about 400 customers worldwide.

SentinelOne competes with a number of companies in an area of cybersecurity that is often dubbed, with a healthy dose of marketing brio, "next generation antivirus." In addition to unseating incumbents like Symantec (symc) and Intel Security's (intc) spinout McAfee, the company goes head-to-head with rivals such as Cylance, Carbon Black, CrowdStrike, and Invincea.

Like its competitors, SentinelOne has been growing primarily at the expense of traditional antivirus vendors. As more companies migrate to the cloud, network defense has required rethinking, leaving an opening for upstart challengers.

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"This is a $10 billion global market opportunity that is ripe for disruption," said Tom Dyal, a Redpoint partner who joined SentinelOne's board as part of the deal, in a statement.

Weingarten said that he plans to use the latest round of funding to aggressively boost SentinelOne's sales and marketing in the coming months. Though he declined to reveal his company's revenue figures, Weingarten said that he is aiming to grow sales by 400% this year.

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