Security startup Malwarebytes raises $30 million to fight shape-shifting viruses

Security startup Malwarebytes has raised $30 million in a series A financing round to help bulk up on staffing and expansion as the formerly bootstrapped company plans for possible acquisitions.

Unlike other security startups that have raised cash in the past couple of months, Malwarebytes does not focus on the cloud but instead offers an on-premise endpoint protection service, which Malwarebytes’s CEO and founder Marcin Kleczynski said is important because “ultimately everything touches the endpoint.” While the company has historically targeted the consumer market with a free virus scanning service, Malwarebytes has been invading the enterprise space and has a premium support service that starts at 25 dollars a year to protect three computers.

Malwarebytes’s software targets vulnerabilities like zero-day exploits and polymorphic infections, which Kleczynski said major antivirus and anti-spyware products tend to overlook. Polymorphic infections are especially nasty, said Kleczynski, in that users who visit an afflicted website can essentially receive different viruses because of the way these worms constantly mutate.

CEO Marcin Kleczynski, on the right, working with an employee.
CEO Marcin Kleczynski, on the right, working with an employee.

To deal with these shape shifters, Malwarebytes researchers perform behavior analysis on the viruses and look for patterns so they can pinpoint how they are they are going to change before they morph into something different. With this information, Malwarebytes’s software can better recognize when these types of viruses infect a computer, thus meaning they can be eliminated even though the virus’s shape may be completely new.

When asked about particular areas for acquisition the company is targeting, Kleczynski declined to offer a lot of detail, but he did say that mobile is an interesting space and that “a lot of companies are doing fun stuff that we can adapt to our portfolio.”

Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Shutterstock user Pavel Ignatov.