The CSIRO’s venture capital firm has made its first investment into cyber security, spending $6.5 million on one Australian company.
Main Sequence Ventures, which was established by the CSIRO with a focus on ‘deep tech’ in December 2016, and the Westpac-backed Reinventure Group will fund cyber security vendor Kasada with $6.5 million in capital.
Kasada’s work focuses on protection against malicious automation and handles some of the largest web properties in Australia.
“Most organisations don’t realise that the majority of their web traffic is non-human, controlled by sophisticated criminals impersonating humans to deceive, defraud and disable,” said founder and general partner of Main Sequence Ventures, Mike Zimmerman.
“Kasada’s Polyform platform is a world-leading solution to help humans fight back against bad bots.
“Main Sequence aims to partner with Australia’s most ambitious founders solving large, difficult problems, and the ever-increasing challenge of stopping sophisticated cyberattacks certain qualifies.”
Prior to Kasada, Main Sequence Portfolio has made investments into healthcare, space, transport and imaging companies, but never cyber.
The move marks its first investment into what it calls “a crowded space, but one where the need and the level of sophistication keeps growing.”
Reinventure Group, on the other hand, provided $2.5 million in seed funding for Kasada last year and lists the company as part of its portfolio.
Co-founder and managing director at Reinventure Group, Danny Gilligan – who also currently has an advisory role with Kasada – said the team at Reinventure “continue to be impressed” by Kasada.
“By 2020 spending on enterprise firewalls and cloud security is forecast to reach $17.2 billion annually,” he said.
“Kasada is part of the exciting new wave of cybersecurity, thwarting attackers with economic disincentives rather than technological barriers.”
Kasada founder and CEO Sam Crowther said the latest round of funding will help the company tackle global markets.
“Kasada provides protection against the dark web’s inventory of stolen user credentials and automated fraud tools,” Crowther said.
“We have taken an idea for better security and now demonstrated its capability in boardrooms in New York and Chicago.”