Israeli security startup Pentera raises $150 mln in funding round, eyes IPO

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REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

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Jan 11 (Reuters) - Israeli cybersecurity firm Pentera has raised $150 million in its latest funding round, taking the company's value to $1 billion, the company told Reuters, adding it was eyeing an initial public offering in the United States.

The funding round led by K1 Investment Management could be the last capital raise before an initial public offering, which will "probably" take place in 2024, Pentera Chief Executive Amitai Ratzon told Reuters in an interview.

Pentera, formerly known as Pcysys, plans to use the capital to double its engineer team and expand into new markets including the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America, Ratzon said. One third of its customers are currently based in the United States.

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It comes as the firm has seen growing demand across industries amid a surge in ransomware attacks as more companies digitalize operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We want to transform from a company that has a few great products to a platform with many modules, and cover any element of the future attack surface of companies," said Ratzon.

It also marks a jump in valuation after its last funding round. Led by Insight Partners, Pentera raised $25 million from investors in September 2020, valuing the company at about $175 million, according to data platform PitchBook.

Founded by Arik Liberzon, Arik Faingold, and a group of former cybersecurity researchers at the Israel Defense Forces, Pentera allows security workers to test its network vulnerability from the hacker's perspective.

By imitating hackers' attack in a safe environment, Pentera offers security teams an assessment of their resiliency against real attacks.

Its automated penetration testing technology has been used by over 400 enterprise customers globally, including Blackstone Inc (BX.N), according to the company.

Global ransomware attacks increased by 151% year-on-year in the first half of 2021 and hackers are set to become more aggressive, according to a report issued by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security last month.

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Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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