UPDATED 21:17 EDT / MAY 11 2022

SECURITY

Email security startup Material Security raises $100M on unicorn valuation of $1.1B

Email security startup Material Security Inc. announced today that it has raised $100 million in new funding to extend the product into new areas and expand internationally.

Founders Fund led the Series C round, with Andreessen Horowitz, Elad Gil and other high-profile individual tech investors also participating. The funding was raised on a valuation of $1.1 billion, giving Material Security unicorn status for the first time. Including the new funding, it has raised $166 million to date.

Founded in 2017, Material Security pitches itself as a pioneer in using zero-trust security techniques to protect email. The company’s platform secures critical messages without sacrificing productivity by automatically classifying and reacting to sensitive content in emails.

Material Security’s platform offers a range of features, including account takeover protection. The service stops lateral account takeover via email by preventing attackers from hijacking other services. The service adds a verification step before granting access to password resets and other critical messages.

Phishing “herd immunity” protects against messages that get through email blockers. Material’s service allows a single report from any employee to protect an entire organization instantly. The service also offers visibility and control over an entire email footprint. Material surfaces foundational risk factors paired with one-click remediation and tools that are claimed to “supercharge” investigations with answers in seconds.

The service offers support via Office 365 and Google Workspace application programing interfaces without affecting MX records and delivery.

Material Security says it has seen strong growth and counts among its customers Chubb Ltd., Compass Group plc, Roblox Corp., Brex Inc., Lyft Inc., Mars Inc., Databricks Inc. and DoorDash Inc.

“The fundamental idea behind zero trust is that it assumes a bad actor is going to find a way past the perimeter into your systems,” Ryan Noon, co-founder and chief executive officer of Material Security, said in a statement. “But historically, email security has just focused on blocking suspicious messages,”

Noon noted whether a large global organization or a local health care provider, an overwhelming number of email and data security breaches occur regularly. “At Material, we begin with the assumption that a hacker is already in your email and limit the damage they can do,” Noon added.

Image: Material Security

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