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Ashton Kutcher Backs SentinelOne in $70 Million Funding Round

Ashton Kutcher's Sound Ventures Invests in SentinelOne's $70 Million Series C Funding Round 

Endpoint security firm SentinelOne announced on Wednesday that it has raised $70 million in a Series C funding round led by VC firm Redpoint Ventures.

The total amount raised by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based cybersecurity company now tops a whopping $110 million.

The new funding will help the company expand its stake in the increasingly competitive next generation endpoint security space.

SentinelOne LogoAccording to the company, the new cash pile will be used to "aggressively expand" its sales and marketing efforts, with the goal of attaining more than 400 percent global sales growth this year. The funds will also be used to support research and development (R&D) for its flagship platform.

As traditional endpoint security firms upgrade their technology and so-called next generation products look to strip incumbents from enterprise systems around the world, SentinelOne has found itself in a fierce battle with several security startups aiming to disrupt the endpoint security market. Cylance and CrowdStrike, two other well-funded firms, are perhaps its biggest rivals.

Cylance has raised more than $177 million in funding, including a $100 million Series D round in June 2016, and $42 million in a Series C round in July 2015. CrowdStrike has raised roughly $156 million in funding, including a $100 million Series C financing round led by Google Capital in July 2015.

While SentinelOne took a jab at other endpoint security firms touting security buzzwords such as machine learning in their marketing, the company itself is using the same terms in its own product description.

“Even vendors that are now touting machine learning-based file-scanning, and artificial intelligence capabilities are in fact pursuing a very narrow approach, and only an incremental improvement – if any – to a much broader problem,” Tomer Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of SentinelOne, said in an announcement.

However, in the same announcement, SentinelOne describes its platform as something that “unifies endpoint threat prevention, detection and response in a single platform driven by sophisticated machine learning and intelligent automation.”

Putting marketing chatter aside, with some estimates pegging the global endpoint security market to be worth $17.38 Billion by 2020, there should be enough room for a few players to be quite successful.

In 2016, SentinelOne launched a cyber security guarantee, where the company promises to pay customers $1,000 per endpoint, or $1 million per company, in the event they experience a ransomware attack after installing SentinelOne’s product. 

Last summer the company hired industry veteran and WhiteHat Security founder Jeremiah Grossman as chief of security strategy, just three months after announcing that he would leave the firm he started 15 years prior.

New investor Sound Ventures, a firm founded by actor Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, participated in the funding. Existing investors Third Point Ventures, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners, Westly Group, and SineWave Ventures also participated in SentinelOne's Series C round.

Related: Endpoint Security Wars: Is Peace Breaking Out?

Related: Inside The Competitive Testing Battlefield of Endpoint Security 

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.