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IMVU’s virtual rooms are ready for social VR

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May 20, 2015 9:30 AM
Dean Takahashi, VB Gamesbeat

IMVU was founded in 2004, back when virtual worlds like Second Life were the hottest thing. They’re not as hot any more, but IMVU has figured out how to survive and adapt. And now it’s getting ready for the renewed excitement about virtual reality. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has had more than 111 million people register over time, and it still has 3 million monthly active users. Those users create their own 3D characters, or avatars, and build static 3D rooms where they can entertain friends in a kind of virtual metaverse.

It isn’t full of interactivity or movement of 3D animated figures like you would find in a game. But all of IMVU is already formatted in a way that it can be viewed in virtual reality via goggles such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift. I visited the company recently and saw demonstrations of the VR environments.

“Creativity is really at the heart of the world for us,” said Brett Durrett, chief executive of IMVU, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We see that virtual reality can be the future of social. We call it social VR.”

VR is going to be one of the bets that Durrett is making for the social world of IMVU, and it’s one of his interesting moves since taking over as permanent chief executive last year. He joined the company in 2005, and he replaced previous CEO Cary Rosenzweig.

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A new breed of startups is helping hackers make millions — legally. The bug bounty business is booming.

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From theverge.com

By Ben Popper  on March 4, 2015 09:12 am


Shashank Kumar was in seventh grade when he was introduced to computer hacking. At first he had fun breaking in and defacing web sites, something he says he now regrets, but then he learned that he can get paid for reporting the weaknesses he was exploiting. Under the handle @cyberboyIndia, he says he has earned around $30,000 in so called bug bounties, enough to pay for a good portion of his college education.

These days the 19-year-old is supposed to be cramming for his final exams as he prepares for a degree in engineering. But many nights he finds himself awake too late, laptop humming away, hunting for software vulnerabilities on services run by firms like Yahoo, Paypal, and AT&T. On Twitter, Shashank catalogs the rewards he receives for reporting weaknesses, a highlight reel that ranges from a free hat, to a new smartphone, to a $1,500 check. The money is good, although it’s murder on his grades.


E8 Security Emerges From Stealth, Raises $9.8M in Series A Funding

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March Capital Partners, Allegis Capital and The Hive invest in innovative security intelligence and analytics company.


 REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–E8 Security, provider of cyber security analytics solutions to help enterprises detect and manage malicious insider threats and targeted cyber attacks, today announced it closed $9.8 million in series A funding led by March Capital Partners, with participation from Allegis Capital and The Hive. The funding will be allocated to furthering product development, currently in private beta with several large domestic and international organizations, while also expanding the organization’s engineering and development teams.

“E8 Security presents a new approach to addressing cyber security threats”

Recent years have seen an increased number and sophistication of cyber attacks with the average enterprise generating more than 10,000 security events daily. Preventive controls alone cannot defend against all security threats, particularly targeted attacks and insider threats. Priorities for security teams are shifting to more sophisticated detection and response capabilities for visibility into threats that have bypassed perimeter security and preventive controls. Traditional security solutions that rely on previously known threat indicators, pre-configured rules, and malware signatures are no longer effective in detecting malicious activities of sophisticated attackers. Demand for enhanced cybersecurity solutions that go beyond rules and signatures based threat detection increases daily.


Synack Closes $25 Million in Series B Funding Co-Led by GGV Capital and Icon Ventures, Joining KPCB and Google Ventures

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New Financing Fuels Recruitment of Top Researchers, Drives Technology Development to Crowdsource Enterprise Security

From Synack

February 19, 2015 17:16 ET

REDWOOD CITY, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 19, 2015) – Synack, a security startup that has created a unique enterprise-caliber system to safely crowdsource and manage security testing, today announced it has raised $25 million in Series B funding co-led by GGV Capital and Icon Ventures (formerly Jafco Ventures). This brings Synack’s total funding amount to more than $34 million raised in less than two years. Glenn Solomon, managing partner at GGV Capital, and Tom Mawhinney, general partner at Icon Ventures, will be joining Synack’s board of directors.

Existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Google Ventures, Greylock Partners and Allegis Capital, as well as Derek Smith, CEO of Shape Security; Ray Rothrock, CEO of Redseal Networks and Timothy Eades, CEO of vArmour, also participated in the round.

CEO Jay Kaplan and CTO Mark Kuhr, former National Security Agency analysts, formed Synack in May 2013 with a unique crowdsourced intelligence model that leverages Synack’s top security talent to uncover attack vectors in organizations that can’t be detected by technology alone. The company has experienced remarkable success since securing Series A funding nine months ago — growing revenue by 90 percent, increasing customers by 60 percent and expanding its expert researcher community by 40 percent. Synack continued its focus on recruiting the highest-quality security talent by hiring a new VP of strategy and operations, Gus Anagnos, who previously led information security at PayPal, where he successfully developed and led the first Bug Bounty Program for a financial institution.