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Threat Hunting Sqrrl Raises $12.3 Million for Global Expansion

Cambridge, Mass-based Sqrrl -- one of the new breed of threat hunters -- has raised $12.3 million in Series C funding. This follows $7 million Series B funding in February 2015, and raises the total investment in the firm to $28.5 million.

Announced this week, the latest investment is led by Boston-based Spring Lake Equity Partners, which will now take a seat on Sqrrl's board. Existing investors Matrix Partners, Rally Ventures and Accomplice also took part. It follows Sqrrl's impressive growth rate of doubling revenue every year for the last four years. The new money will be used to expand Sqrrl's marketing reach, and this is expected to include expansion into Europe.

Sqrrl LogoThe company currently employs about 50 people, mostly in Cambridge. It hopes to expand to about 75 worldwide employees before the end of the year.

"Spring Lake invests in companies with technology platforms that have both a proven track record of customer success and high growth potential," said Jeff Williams, Spring Lake Partner. "Sqrrl's Threat Hunting Platform is enabling Fortune 2000 companies and government agencies to detect and investigate threats that have evaded detection. We are very impressed with their pioneering technology and their leading position in the rapidly growing threat hunting market space."

Threat hunting is considered de rigueur for today's SOCs. Traditional defenses are failing to stop advanced attackers -- who, by definition, are difficult to detect. Threat hunting systems don't wait for the inevitable breach but actively seek out the hidden and subtle indications of an attacker's presence. Threat hunting brings advanced analytics and queries to network data, and is part of the rapidly-evolving machine-learning security revolution.

"Threat hunting has become a top-level initiative in organizations with modern security operations, and those organizations have realized the significant advantages that threat hunting offers to reduce their overall security risk." explains Sqrrl CEO Mark Terenzoni. "Sqrrl makes it feasible for any organization to start threat hunting, and we are excited to use this funding to enable even more organizations to move their security operations from a reactive to proactive security posture."

Sqrrl was formed in 2012, evolving from an NSA database project known as Accumulo. Accumulo was open-sourced in 2011 and became Apache Accumulo. Six of the seven original members of the Sqrrl had worked for the NSA. Sqrrl's platform is built on top of Accumulo.

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Kevin Townsend is a Senior Contributor at SecurityWeek. He has been writing about high tech issues since before the birth of Microsoft. For the last 15 years he has specialized in information security; and has had many thousands of articles published in dozens of different magazines – from The Times and the Financial Times to current and long-gone computer magazines.