SentinelOne, an AI endpoint security firm that went public last June, has announced the launch of S Ventures, a $100 million fund to invest in the generation of enterprise cybersecurity startups.
The launch of S Ventures comes at an interesting time for the cybersecurity market. While startups in this sector have long weathered the current economic storm better than most, layoffs are now becoming commonplace at cyber startups and new data shows that latest numbers are down across financing and M&A.
Tomer Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of SentinelOne, believes this wavering market represents an opportunity for his company, which is keen to diversify its focus away from mergers and acquisitions and into venture funding. SentinelOne recently completed its $617 million acquisition of threat detection platform Attivo Networks, which followed its takeover of Scalyr, a server log monitoring tools provider, for $155 million.
“For us, M&A is a very capital-intensive tool,” Weingarten told TechCrunch. “Venture, on the other hand, allows us to nurture an ecosystem around SentinelOne and in some cases drive better outcomes for our customers. It’s an effective tool for us to drive any type of impact we want without too much use of capital.”
S Ventures will invest across all stages in the startup lifecycle with a focus on security and data companies that bring new ideas to its SentinelOne’s Singularity XDR Marketplace, a platform that integrates security applications and tools across vendors into a single platform without needing to code or knowing how to script.
“We’re trying to focus on ideas, technologies and people that can drive outcomes in the enterprise, given we have a very unique vantage point into enterprise infrastructure,” Weingarten said."But generally speaking, we’re looking for companies that can make a positive impact, are mission driven and can disrupt positively.”
S Ventures has already invested in a number of startups, including API email security platform Armorblox and continuous cyber asset management and controls platform Noetic Cyber. These startups join an already bumper list of S Ventures portfolio companies including Torq, a no-code security automation platform accelerating complex threat response workflows, and Laminar, a platform that provides full data observability across the public cloud to reduce the attack surface and detect real-time data leaks.
“When we work with these companies, we offer advice and we have some of the best operators in the business, so it’s about helping them scale,” Weingarten added. “It’s about helping them not make the same mistakes that we have maybe done over the years.”
SentinelOne's corporate development head Rob Salvagno will run the fund, backed by David Kellenberger in the U.S., and Iren Reznikov, the company’s director of corporate development and venture investments in Israel.