UPDATED 06:01 EDT / JANUARY 07 2013

Mysterious Startup Raises $20M for Next Gen Security Software

The only thing we know about the Mountain View, Calif-based Shape Security is that it’s developing on what it pegs as a “completely new type of web security product.”

Shape’s deliberately sparse homepage touts the its software as “military-grade technology” that aims to give  hackers a much harder time cracking cloud services. Specifically, the goal is to make it considerably more expensive – and thus less practical – to wage cyber warfare against well-defended targets.

Not much else has been publicly revealed beside this brief description, but the $20 million Series B that the company just announced this morning suggests that the concept merits your attention.

The round was led by Venrock, with participation from several other big name investors. The list includes Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Allegis Capital, former Symantec CEO Enrique Salem, Google Ventures and Eric Schmidt’s own VC, TomorrowVentures.

Venrock partner Ray Rothrock is joining the company’s board of directors.

“The rise of botnets and crimeware-as-a-service have led to an untenable situation where websites are now cheap to attack and expensive to defend,” said Rothrock. “Shape’s technology will alter this balance. It is unlike anything the industry has ever seen before.”

Existing members of the board including Kleiner Perkins managing partner Ted Schlein and  Gaurav Garg, who has made a personal investment in Shape and holds the status of special limited partner at Sequoia Capital. Both firms participated in the company’s $6 million Series A round in April last year.

With $26 million in the bank and one of world’s top security pros at the helm, Shape is setting out to make hacking pricier. But at the same time, some of its peers in the cybersecurity industry are taking a far more simplistic approach to protecting the corporate network: they’re flooding it with bogus data.

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