WhiteHat Security gets $31 million funding

Tue Feb 5, 2013 1:00am EST

Feb 5 (Reuters) - WhiteHat Security has secured $31 million in a round of funding that will allow it to expand internationally and help it win more small and medium sized businesses as customers, the company said.

The investment was funded by existing financial backer Investor Growth Capital and new investor JMI Equity, bringing total funding to $49 million.

WhiteHat, which helps prevent website attacks, was founded in 2001 by former Yahoo information security officer Jeremiah Grossman -- now WhiteHat's Chief Technology Officer.

Its flagship product line is WhiteHat Sentinel, which currently manages more than 11,000 websites, including sites in the most regulated industries as well as e-commerce, finance and healthcare companies, the company said.

"WhiteHat's holistic approach to security throughout the software development lifecycle - from source code through completed production application - provides an advantage that few security providers can achieve," said Peter Arrowsmith, General Partner at JMI Equity in a statement.

While it does not divulge financial results, Chief Executive Stephanie Fohn said growth in new bookings last year was more than 75 percent.

"The fourth quarter was our strongest quarter ever," Fohn told Reuters.

Asked if the company was considering an initial public listing, she said: "We're putting the process in place but we're still a few years away."

Fohn said the company had been approached by potential buyers in the past, but for now, WhiteHat was focused on staying independent.

WhiteHat competes with application security software company Watchfire -- acquired by IBM in 2007 -- as well as SPI Dynamics, which offers web application security assessment software and was bought by HP in the same year.

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