Written by Cat Zakrzewski

IronNet, Founded by Ex-Pentagon Brass, Raises $78 Million Series B

Former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander’s startup, IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., has raised a sizable round of venture financing as it seeks to leverage its founder’s government experience to defend customers against sophisticated hackers.

The $78 million Series B round was led by C5 Capital Ltd., with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and ForgePoint Capital, formerly known as Trident Capital Cybersecurity. IronNet’s funding is one of the latest signs that cybersecurity entrepreneurs with government ties are turning to Silicon Valley firms for capital.

C5 Capital has several global offices, and its investment comes as the company seeks to expand to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Mr. Alexander launched the company in 2014, along with veterans of the Pentagon, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The company touts its team’s government experience with an eye toward doing business with companies being targeted by foreign hackers.

Mr. Alexander served as NSA director in 2013, when former contractor Edward Snowden revealed details about the agency’s surveillance practices.

Fulton, Md.-based IronNet is one of several cybersecurity companies gathering large sets of data and using analytics to detect suspicious activities on its customers’ networks.

The company says it offers multiple cybersecurity products, including IronDome, which is used by several energy companies to share cybersecurity data. Other IronNet customers include Thomson Reuters and several companies in the financial services sector.