In the realm of cybersecurity, the year 2023 proved to be a challenging one on the ransomware front. Despite a brief lull in 2022, data from cryptocurrency tracing firm Chainalysis showed that ransomware groups collectively received over $400 million from victims by July 2023. And according to Statista, a staggering 72% of businesses had fallen prey to ransomware attacks as of 2023.
This trend has not gone unnoticed, especially in light of the recent dip in VC cybersecurity investments. Anti-ransomware platforms are still seen as a wise investment, with Mordor Intelligence predicting a 15% growth in the market for ransomware protection software over the next five years.
One such vendor, Halcyon, has experienced a surge in success, raising $44 million in a Series A round in April and a further $40 million in a Series B tranche, bringing its total raised to $84 million. In an email interview with TechCrunch, co-founder and CEO Jon Miller shared that the decision to raise again so soon was ultimately to form relationships with new VCs, most notably Bain Capital Ventures who led the Series B.
“This latest round will help acquire and retain crucial engineering talent to expand our product lines, enhance and build out our services offerings and bolster our sales and marketing efforts to help gain traction in a crowded industry,” Miller said.
Miller and co-founder Ryan Smith launched Halcyon several years ago after gaining experience at firms later acquired by Blackberry (Cylance) and Optiv (Accuvant). The company’s offerings include a range of tools designed specifically to combat ransomware attacks, including anti-tamper protections, anti-data exfiltration software, and what Miller refers to as “key material capture.” Leveraging trained AI models, Halcyon is able to disrupt ransomware attacks and even decrypt devices impacted by them.
“The Halcyon platform is built to keep businesses operational even in the event of a widespread ransomware incident,” Miller explained. “Typically, detection and prevention logic updates are manual and performed monthly – or even quarterly. This is too cumbersome and infrequent of a process to keep pace with attackers in a dynamic and ever-evolving threat landscape. Halcyon delivers an autonomous solution that continuously corrects itself against a false negative result in a matter of minutes.”
Despite Miller’s confident claims, Halcyon has proven its worth with a growing roster of clients, boasting over 100 “enterprise-level” brands and “state-level” school districts. But how does Halcyon stand out in a market flooded with anti-ransomware vendors? Miller’s answer is simple – they don’t. Their singular focus on prevention and remediation sets them apart from competitors who may simply be repurposing anti-malware solutions.
“Halcyon is the only company solely focused on battling ransomware with layers for both prevention and resilience,” Miller emphasized. “Unlike most industry incumbents that are simply repurposing anti-malware solutions, Halcyon was designed from day-one to defeat ransomware and the company’s singular focus on this problem makes them significantly more effective at combating it.”
If Halcyon’s good fortune continues, the company plans to double its workforce of 75 by the end of 2024. With a firm grip on the ever-evolving landscape of ransomware attacks, it seems Halcyon is poised for even greater success in the years to come.