Symantec Establishes Startup Fund

The company is on the lookout for cybersecurity startups to invest in and help grow using the company’s own technical resources and threat intelligence. 

Symantec is getting serious about the venture capital scene.

Although the security software specialist is no stranger to funding fledgling technology companies – it partnered with Frost Data Capital in 2015 to create an incubator for Internet of Things (IoT) startups and invested in Appthority, for instance — today marks a milestone for the company. With its new Symantec Ventures fund, the company is taking a more hands-on approach.  

Apart from the monetary investments, Symantec Ventures will also contribute some of its own technology, said Symantec CEO Greg Clark.

“We are launching Symantec Ventures to catalyze innovation in the cyber security space. Too often entrepreneurs spend valuable time and resources building endpoint chassis, network appliances or cloud infrastructure instead of focusing their efforts on their true value-add innovation,” Clark said in a statement. “We can help startups by allowing them to build on our extensible Cyber Defense Platform.”

The company’s Cyber Defense Platform enables Symantec products to share threat intelligence. If selected by Symantec ventures, startups can use the technology and its data to come up with their own new and innovative security products.

“For example, a new algorithmic approach to anomaly detection can be built on top of our endpoint platform or run on top of our network and cloud security drive train,” Clark added. “This strives to enable Symantec’s more than 385,000 enterprise customers – which includes many of the largest enterprises in the world – to tap into the rich ecosystem of ideas in the marketplace and allow entrepreneurs to dramatically reduce their time to market.”

Symantec will also make available assets from its Digital Safety Platform, based on the company’s $2.3 billion acquisition of Lifelock in November 2016. Additionally, the firm is pledging its artificial intelligence expertise, potentially enabling new innovations in cybersecurity.

“For example, Symantec’s rich real-world, threat intelligence data may be used to help train, validate and debug machine learning and AI methods. This kind of data can be expensive and sometimes impossible for a startup to access,” offered the company in its March 2 announcement.

Expect Symantec Ventures to start making its presence felt as a sponsor at hackathons and other innovation challenges. Indicating at least some of the technologies the fund is interested in pursuing, the company said the challenges will involve behavioral analytics, machine learning and IoT security.


Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eSecurity Planet, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.

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