Security Experts:

Email Security Vendors Score Billion-Dollar Valuations

Material Security, a startup jostling for space in the crowded email security market, has banked $100 million in new venture capital funding as investors continue to attach billion-dollar valuations to early stage cybersecurity vendors.

The brainchild of ex-Dropbox engineers Ryan Noon, Abhishek Agrawal and Chris Park, Material said the Series C financing values the company at $1.1 billion just two years after rolling out its first product.

Material’s funding round comes just 24 hours after direct competitor Abnormal Security announced the closing of a $210 million funding round (valuation $4 billion) and signals a continued willingness of venture capital firms to make big bets on startups addressing the email security problem.

Material and Abnormal are among a slew of well-heeled startups looking to shave market share away from incumbents like Proofpoint, Mimecast and Forcepoint and find profits in adding an extra layer of protection to cloud email infrastructure.

[ News Analysis: Investors Race to Find Profits in Securing Email ]

Material offers security teams the ability to redact sensitive content in email -- even older archived mail -- and make them available only after a two-factor verification step. This lets the company market tools to help with email data leak prevention, ATO (account takeover), phishing herd immunity and other visibility and admin controls.

Based in Redwood City, Calif., Material has raised a total of $166 million from a roster of prominent tech investors including Andreessen Horowitz and the Founders Fund.

Other players in the email security space include include Agari ($85 million raised), Valimail ($84 million raised), Area 1 ($82 million raised), Armorblox ($46.5 million funding) Avanan ($41 million),  Inky ($32 million), and GreatHorn ($22 million). 

Industry watchers expect the email security market to reach $6 billion by 2024, driven mostly by the rapid COVID-related digital transformation. 

Related: Investors Race to Find Profits in Securing Email

Related: Abnormal Security Raises $210 Million at $4 Billion Valuation

Related: Material Security Raises $40 Million for Email Protection Tech  

Related: Pre-Emptive Anti-Phishing Firm Area 1 Security Raises $25 Million

Related: Avanan Raises $25 Million in Series B Funding

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.