Cybersecurity rivals CrowdStrike, Cylance close major funding rounds

NEW YORK (Reuters) - CrowdStrike Inc and Cylance Inc, rival cybersecurity startups vying for a chunk of the surging security industry, both announced major rounds of funding on Tuesday.

CrowdStrike, a California-based firm founded in 2011, said it has raised $200 million in its series E round of financing, putting the company’s valuation at more than $3 billion.

Its rival Cylance, founded in 2012, said it has raised $120 million also in its series E, or fifth round of funding, but declined to disclose the company’s valuation.

Both firms, which provide software against cyberattacks, were founded by ex-McAfee employees who are now fierce competitors. George Kurtz, chief executive of CrowdStrike, and Stuart McClure, CEO of Cylance, sold a cybersecurity company they had co-founded to McAfee in 2004 for $86 million.

CrowdStrike's series E round of financing was led by General Atlantic, Accel and IVP, with participation from existing investors CapitalG, an investment arm of Google parent company Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O, and March Capital Partners, CrowdStrike said.

Cylance's funding round was led by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, with participation from other unnamed investors, Cylance said. Previous investors include Khosla Ventures, KKR & Co LP KKR.N, and Insight Venture Partners.

Kurtz said in an interview with Reuters that an initial public offering is “certainly an option we continue to evaluate,” adding that he has seen growing interest from public and institutional investors.

In May, Kurtz told CNBC there is a possibility that a company such as Inc AMZN.O or Google could be interested in CrowdStrike's cloud-delivered security capability.

McClure was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker