Andreessen Horowitz Helps Bolster the Internet's Defenses: Invests $90 million in Tanium

Written by Aurora Blase | Thursday, Jun 26, 2014

Nas and Ben Horowitz at 2014 SXSW Interactive

According to McAfee™, cybercrime and internet hacking steals roughly $100 billion per year in the U.S. alone. Hackers and cyber-criminals from all over the world are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate businesses, homes, and educational institutions to steal private information, databases, and personal correspondences; but for those criminals, there's a new sheriff in town, and the days of lucrative hacking are gone.

And that new sheriff is Tanium. Tanium is a cyber-security firm that was founded by father and son duo, David and Orion Hindawi, in 2007. Tanium develops software that protects the private information stored by both small and large corporations, and the venture capitalist giant, Andreessen Horowitz, has just announced that they are investing $90 million in this new company. Tanium gives companies the peace of mind that their information is secure by providing them with real-time feedback as to which of their systems are in danger of a hack, and allows remote-access control of these systems to better protect them from unwanted, outside attacks. In large corporations, such as Target, who recently lost about $450 million to hackers, it is difficult to maintain the defenses of all the computers and servers within the company; Tanium centralizes and streamlines control of all a company's devices to a single sever.

This is not a new move for Andreessen Horowitz, a firm known for investing in innovative tech companies. In fact, Andreessen Horowitz, which was founded by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen in 2009, is invested in 156 companies, 66 of which are start-ups. They're invested in all aspects of the interactive tech world, with stock in four of the top social media companies (Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, and Groupon), as well as investments in Airbnb, Jawbone, Oculus Rift, and Clinkle. Their investments span from mobile apps, education, communication, gaming, and IT companies.

This is the second-biggest investment Andreessen Horowitz has made, after its 2012 $100 million investment in GitHub, an open-source project for sharing coding and files. While Tanium presents some risk, as its method of securing networks is unprecedented, Andreessen Horowitz is no stranger to risk. In 2009 they took a gamble with a $50 million investment to purchase 2% of stock in Skype, which was facing legal battles at the time. This risk paid off big time when Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion.

As part of the 2014 SXSW Interactive festival, Ben Horowitz and rapper Nas discussed the value of determination, self-confidence, and being able to make the tough decisions when starting a business. Horowitz stressed the importance of pursuing your goals even when all others will tell you that you will fail. Watch their session The Hard Thing about Hard Things, and learn why "no one is born a CEO, it's an acquired skill."

This post was written by Henry Heuck

Photo taken by Alana Weaver