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SoftBank invests $100M in security startup Cybereason

(Bloomberg) -- Cybereason Inc. raised $100 million from SoftBank Group Corp., bringing another cybersecurity business closer to the $1 billion valuation that has become the hallmark of a heavyweight technology startup.

The funding round gives Cybereason, founded by former operatives in Israel’s elite Unit 8200 military intelligence group, a valuation north of $850 million, after factoring in the latest cash infusion, according to a person familiar with the situation.

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Green light illuminates the keyboard of laptop computer as a man enters the data using the computer keyboard in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. The U.K.s biggest banks fear cyber attacks more than regulation, faltering economic growth and other potential risks, and are concerned that a hack could be so catastrophic that it could lead to a state rescue, according to a survey. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

SoftBank financed the entire round, after leading Cybereason’s previous funding round of $59 million in 2015, the person added. They asked not to be identified speaking about a private investment.

The cash came from SoftBank’s own coffers rather than its new Vision Fund, a $93 billion vehicle with outside investors including Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Cybereason, like other cybersecurity startups such as Cylance Inc., uses artificial intelligence to detect breaches of computer networks. AI helps it work faster to identify problems as hackers switch tactics with increasing dexterity and aggression, said Chief Executive Officer Lior Div, in an interview.

“The cadence was switched from years, to months, and then to weeks,” he said. “The way different government agencies are thinking about terrorists, we’re thinking about cyber.”

Cybersecurity startups valued at more than $1 billion include Cloudflare Inc., Cylance, Crowdstrike Inc. and Zscaler Inc. Including the new funding round, Cybereason has raised $188.6 million from investors including Charles River Ventures, Lockheed Martin Corp., and Spark Capital.

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