Tampa-based cybersecurity firm ReliaQuest is now valued at over $ 1 billion, reaching unicorn status after strong growth this year.
ReliaQuest announced today that it has received another round of funding led by investor KKR, a global investment firm. The Ten Eleven Ventures, FTV Capital and founder Brian Murphy also participated in the investment. The new round’s monetary figure was not disclosed, but it values ââthe company at over $ 1 billion.
âMany companies determine their success by their assessmentâ¦ we measure our success by the ability to make cybersecurity possible for customers and believe that cybersecurity is the greatest technological challenge of our generation,â said Murphy to St. Pete Catalyst.
While Murphy and his team are focused on developing cybersecurity programs for clients, he recognizes how unicorn status will attract even more recognition for the team.
“My greatest pilot for this [the unicorn status] Do I want our teams, partners, community partners to be proud and recognize what they should be proud of and know that it is possible, âhe said.
Murphy said the fundraising round ended on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.
The new round follows a $ 300 million growth round in 2020, also led by KKR. The new investment will be used to accelerate the expansion of ReliaQuest’s business operations and the continued development of its GreyMatter product, which consists of 52 patents offering threat detection and investigation, and has a SaaS platform of reply.
Murphy said that the growth engine of ReliaQuest is “the combination of the problem and how we solve it, as well as our ability to combine the GrayMatter platform with our security operations team to enable businesses to detect threats and respond to a broader scope.
âWe spend a lot of time figuring out who this client is hiring us to solve their problem, that’s our sole focus and people want to be a part of it,â he added. âWe have invested a lot in the culture of the company to meet the greatest challenge of our generation. Whenever we come up with a new SaaS platform, or a new approach to cloud computing or automation, we have to think about security as we innovate.
ReliaQuest works with hundreds of Fortune 1000 organizations that use ReliaQuest’s GreyMatter platform to operationalize security investments. Murphy said the GreyMatter platform has become more flexible this year and has shifted towards mid-market customers.
ReliaQuest took other milestones this year, such as surpassing $ 100 million in annual recurring revenue, more than doubling the number of new customers year over year, adding key executives.
Murphy, who is originally from Florida, says he’s always been committed to growing the business locally.
âI always saw companies leave here and I never understood why. I think people think it will be easier to go elsewhere. The reality I learned in entrepreneurship is tough no matter where you are. The change, however, has taken place in places like Embarc Collective, investments like Water Street, Midtown, and our universities that are so keen to work with us – you’re starting to get closer over the years, âMurphy said. âAs a state and city, we started to reap these victories and started to believe in ourselves, which is attractive. By developing a business here, we went from the question âwhy hereâ to âyou are really ahead of the curve, it was smartâ.
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ReliaQuest plans to move approximately 400 local employees to its new 120,000 square foot headquarters in the Water Street development early next year.
ReliaQuest is currently based at 777 S Harbor Island Blvd. On Water Street, he will occupy the top six floors of the Thousand & One building and become the main tenant.
“We are very happy to go back to a building and to be near the Amalie Arena and to be in front of the restaurants,” he said.
Murphy said ReliaQuest hires 50 to 70 new employees per month. Murphy predicts an increase in the total number of employees from 700 to 1,400 to 1,500 over the next 12 to 15 months, with about 30 to 40 percent based in Tampa.
Murphy explained that the company needed to claim the six floors of the Water Street building with the increase in staff; However, he said, he expects the company to quickly overtake space, but still plans to stay at Water Street.
ReliaQuest is also expanding operations in Salt Lake City, which serves as the HQ for the western United States.
It will also expand geographically in the European Union.
Murphy said ReliaQuest will continue to focus on its goals, including innovating through intellectual property and becoming a truly global organization.