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Stealth Security Startup Lands $6 Million in Funding

Shape Security Raises $6 Million in Round Led By Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and TomorrowVentures

Shape Security, a stealthy start-up founded by former Google, Department of Defense and major defense contractor employees, today announced today that it has closed a $6 million Series A round of financing led by prominent Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and TomorrowVentures, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s investment firm.

Shape Security, Inc. LogoThe company vaguely describes on its web site that its “military-grade technology makes the economics of web hacking work in your favor by shifting costs from defenders to attackers.” The company continues to say that it’s technology will “force hackers to spend more and more to achieve less and less. Because Shape’s technology doesn’t rely on past attack signatures it can uniquely protect against zero-day and other advanced threats.”

"Shape's technology will shift the burden of attack from defenders to attackers," said Derek Smith, Shape Security's Chief Executive Officer. "In doing so, Shape is aiming at the economics of web hacking and forcing attackers to spend more and more to achieve less and less."

While the tight-lipped company is not providing specifics on its offerings, the description on its web site and statement from Smith made me think of the offerings from Mykonos Software, a security startup that uses deception to detect and confuse attackers. Mykonos, which was recently acquired by Juniper Networks for $80 million in cash, uses tricks such as blocking the real .htaccess file, and returning a fake one that look like a valid file, along with user names and encrypted passwords in order to confuse hackers.

Sumit Agarwak, who is serving as VP of Product Management at Shape Security, on his LinkedIn profile describes the company as a “consumer & enterprise start-up focusing on giving users control, privacy, and security while browsing the web.” 

While the company may not be sharing details yet, whatever it has was enough to impress partners at KPCB, one of the most-respected and successful VC firms in history.

"Shape has the opportunity to be one of the most disruptive companies the security industry has seen since the early days of anti-virus technology," Ted Schlein, general partner at KPCB. "Led by a seasoned executive team with which I have partnered successfully before, Shape is developing innovations in cyber-security that will deeply impact how e-commerce and social network websites protect themselves and their users."

Additional participants in the round include former Accel partnerPeter Wagner, Baseline Ventures, as well as top executives from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Ted Schlein has joined the company's board of directors along with Gaurav Garg, a special limited partner at Sequoia Capital and personal investor in the round.

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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.