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Managed detection and response provider Expel raises $140.3M

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Cybersecurity company Expel today announced that it raised $140.3 million in series E funding, bringing its post-money valuation to over $1 billion. CapitalG, the independent growth fund of Google’s parent company Alphabet, led the round with participation from Cisco Investments, March Capital, Greycroft, Index Ventures, Paladin Capital Group, and Scale Venture Partners.

With the latest round of funding, CEO Dave Merkel said that Expel will invest in product research and development, bolster sales and go-to-market initiatives, expand partner relationships, and support international expansion. “These past two years have presented unique challenges that, I think it’s safe to say, most of us couldn’t have anticipated,” he said in a statement. “Yet, during this time we scaled our platform to handle an 82% increase in security events a day, doubled the number of technology partners, more than doubled the number of security investigations, while increasing automation.”

MDR

Expel is a managed detection and response (MDR) service, denoting software designed to protect a company’s assets even if a threat eludes the organization’s security controls. MDRs detect intrusions, malware, and malicious activity in a network and assist in response to mitigate those threats, leveraging a combination of analysis and technology.

Expel claims its product can adapt to each customer’s cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments to find gaps in coverage and close them with its detections. An “automation-forward” approach that connects to customer tech (e.g., endpoint detection and response and security information and event management) remotely through APIs expedites response times, the company says, while delivering metrics that show the current state of network security.

“We add details about IPs, hashes, and domains and tell [companies] how often each alert leads to an incident,” the company writes on its website. “[Expel shows] which cloud instances and security tech generate the highest-quality alerts and investigative data … [They can] see attack diagrams, maps, and timelines specific to threats like commodity malware.”

Growing market

Expel’s capital infusion comes as the MDR market barrels toward $2.2 billion in value by 2025, according to one source. The broader cybersecurity market will reach even higher heights, eclipsing $345.4 billion by 2026, according to Statista.

The accelerating pace of growth isn’t surprising, considering that the cost of recovering from a ransomware attack has more than doubled since 2020. With millions of people working from home, enterprises are now forced to protect a more diverse attack surface, while at the same time contending with a severe talent shortage in the cybersecurity industry.

Expel competes with other MDR startups and incumbents including Proficio, Blumira, Noetic Cyber, and SolCyber. Recent developments would suggest, however, that there’s plenty to go around in the way of venture capital. According to Pitchbook, with less than two months left in 2021, cybersecurity startups have raised more than $17.7 billion.

For its part, Expel has raised $257.9 million in total capital to date.

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