Netskope's valuation more than doubles to $7.5 billion in latest funding round

(Reuters) -Netskope said on Friday its valuation more than doubled to $7.5 billion after a $300 million funding round led by ICONIQ Growth, highlighting massive demand for cloud security services as cyber attacks increase in number and severity.

Other major existing investors of Netskope, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Accel, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Base Partners, Sapphire Ventures and Geodesic Capital, also participated in the funding round, Netskope said.

ICONIQ Growth had previously invested in tech giants including Alibaba, Airbnb Inc and Uber Technologies Inc.

Netskope’s platform provides protection for sensitive data stored in Inc’s Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp’s Azure and Alphabet Inc owned Google’s Cloud Platform.

According to a Netskope threat report, around 53% of web traffic is related to cloud activity as more businesses move online. Also, about 61% of malware is delivered from the cloud.

Businesses globally are battling to protect their data-rich computers from cyber crime and there are no signs such costly attacks will stop anytime soon. The COVID-19 pandemic also forced companies to shift to a remote working model, driving demand for cloud security measures.

“Cybercrime is increasing at an alarming rate. As enterprises transform their legacy IT infrastructure and move applications and data to the cloud, security needs to transform as well,” Netskope said in a statement.

Netskope was founded by engineers who had previously worked at security and networking companies such as Palo Alto Networks, Juniper Networks, Cisco and VMware, its website showed. It has more than 40 patents and over 1,000 employees.

The company had raised $340 million in a late-stage funding round led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities in February last year, which valued the company at $3 billion.

Some of its high-profile customers include Nvidia Corp, Gilead Sciences Inc, Cleveland Clinic and Levi Strauss & Co.

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