Steve Cohen's venture firm invests in U.S. cybersecurity company

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures has invested in a U.S. cybersecurity firm that will provide a way to detect, alert, and protect against data- and identity-related attacks, according to one of the venture capital company’s top officials.

Hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, listens to a question during a one-on-one interview session at the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Armorblox is the first investment of Point72 Ventures’ enterprise technology group, said Noah Carr, a partner at the venture capital firm in an interview with Reuters. Point72 declined to disclose the amount invested in the company.

Armorblox said in a statement on Wednesday it raised $16.5 million in a Series A funding led by another U.S. venture capital company General Catalyst.

Point72 Ventures, which invests in early-stage companies, is funded exclusively by Cohen and eligible employees of hedge fund Point72 Asset Management, according to its website.

The venture capital company has three funds focused on financial services, artificial intelligence, and enterprise technologies.

Cybersecurity, meanwhile, is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The market is expected to expand from $152.71 billion in 2018 to $248.26 billion by 2023, according to a report from research firm MarketsandMarkets.

With employees communicating through emails and documents, people-hacking has become the top attack method for stealing data, Armorblox said. Even when organizations heavily invest in security solutions and employee training, email remains vulnerable, responsible for 94 percent of all attacks, it added.

“Armorblox focuses on two things -- find someone who may have stolen someone’s credentials, maybe using your email to communicate internally and stop it before he’s able to do something,” Point72’s Carr said.

“It can analyze documents as well. So if there is sensitive information in a document sent in a PDF (portable document format) outside your organization, it can flag a bunch of that information, or stop it from happening. It actually stops that exfiltration of data,” he added.

Chuck Drobny, president and chief executive officer of GlobaLogix said he has tapped the Armorblox software and it found an email pretending to come from him and asking its chief financial officer to make a payment.

“Other solutions missed it, and this could have resulted in us cutting a check to someone that wasn’t authorized,” said Drobny in a statement.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gregorio