MOUNTAIN VIEW – Cyber security company Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is joining the venture capital game.
The company announced the formation of Symantec Ventures to help cyber security startups accelerate the delivery of core innovation to the security marketplace. In addition to providing capital, Symantec aims to help the startup community reduce expenses and accelerate time to market.
Symantec CEO Greg Clark said, “We are launching Symantec Ventures to catalyze innovation in the cyber security space. Too often entrepreneurs spend valuable time and resources building endpoint chassis, network appliances or cloud infrastructure instead of focusing their efforts on their true value-add innovation. We can help startups by allowing them to build on our extensible Integrated Cyber Defense Platform. For example, a new algorithmic approach to anomaly detection can be built on top of our endpoint platform or run on top of our network and cloud security drive train. This strives to enable Symantec’s more than 385,000 enterprise customers – which includes many of the largest enterprises in the world – to tap into the rich ecosystem of ideas in the marketplace and allow entrepreneurs to dramatically reduce their time to market.”
Symantec Ventures intends to provide entrepreneurs with access to next-generation technology assets, including the company’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform for enterprises and the Digital Safety Platform for consumers, as well as expertise in artificial intelligence, go-to-market resources and the use of the world’s largest civilian threat intelligence network. For example, Symantec’s rich real-world, threat intelligence data may be used to help train, validate and debug machine learning and AI methods. This kind of data can be expensive and sometimes impossible for a startup to access.
Clark added, “We’ve already created the framework for Symantec’s API-based ecosystem approach to security. This foundation has enabled the rapid integration of the network security technologies from Blue Coat that we acquired with Symantec’s core security technologies, bringing together an Integrated Cyber Defense Platform. Symantec Ventures intends to help entrepreneurs build on the infrastructure that sits at the heart of the security posture of our customers.”
Symantec Ventures will build upon a prior investment by Symantec in Appthority, a leader in enterprise mobile app security. “The competitive landscape is fierce in cyber security and winning not only requires funding, but also access to cyber defense resources,” said Appthority CEO Paul Stich. “Symantec is not just an investor but one of a handful of companies that has vast amounts of threat intelligence data, leading security expertise and deep understanding of enterprise security challenges.”
As part of its mission, Symantec Ventures will actively engage the startup and academic communities through sponsorship of activities such as innovation challenges and hackathons. These activities will be designed to ignite fresh thinking in areas involving IoT security, behavioral analytics and machine learning.