Lookout, a seven-year-old mobile security company in San Francisco, is riding a wave of concern over cyberthreats, with 50 million people using its security app.
Now, the company has raised a fresh haul of venture capital from some major financial firms.
Lookout announced on Wednesday that it had attracted $150 million from investors led by T. Rowe Price Associates. Other investors include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, the Wellington Management Company and Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment fund of Jeffrey P. Bezos of Amazon.
A number of previous investors in the company – including the venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures and Mithril Capital Management, which was founded by Peter Thiel – also participated.
The presence of T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley Investment Management, two firms that serve wealthy individuals, could indicate that Lookout is at a mature stage. Young technology companies, when they are gearing up for an initial public offering, like to accept investments from such firms because they are seen as long-term investors that will not immediately sell shares in an I.P.O.
“These are very long-term, patient investors who are here to help us in building a multidecade franchise,” said John Hering, the co-founder and executive chairman of Lookout, who until recently was the chief executive.
Lookout hired its current chief executive, Jim Dolce, in March. Mr. Dolce, a Silicon Valley veteran, previously founded four technology companies, including one that was acquired by Juniper Networks and another that was bought by Akamai Technologies.
Mr. Dolce said that while Lookout had made inroads with individuals and some small businesses, he now hoped to convince large companies to sign up and put their employees on the service, especially given that more companies allow employees to use their own mobile devices for business.
The new capital will help the company develop new products and expand its sales team, as it tries to crack the large business market, Mr. Dolce said.
“This financing, especially given its size, is a testament to what we’re doing here,” he said.
For venture capitalists, Lookout has several promising sectors of growth. Its software is delivered over the cloud on a subscription basis, providing a predictable stream of revenue. It is also focused on mobile devices, which many technology experts see as the future of computing.
Most important, it appeals to consumers and companies worried about malware, viruses and other threats. The app says it can block malicious websites as well as check which other apps are using a consumer’s private information. And it includes a service to help consumers recover a lost or stolen phone.
In the United States, Lookout has partnered with AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, which offer the service to their customers. It also works with major mobile companies in Germany, France and Britain.
With the latest financing, Lookout has raised a combined $280 million. Allen & Company was the adviser on the latest financing round.
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Via Marc Kneepkens