It’s a Tough Time for Small Start-Ups, But Those with Momentum are Cashing In

August 2, 2016

Three local start-ups announced big funding rounds last week, the latest examples of how fast-growing technology companies are getting their capital from private investors rather than going public.

Down the road in Northern Virginia, Arlington-based Distil Networks, which specializes in thwarting the electronic robots employed by hackers, upped its funding total to $65 million. Meanwhile, PhishMe, a cybersecurity start-up that trains corporate workforces to click away from phishing emails, raised a whopping $42.5 million.

Both companies received money from California venture fund Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as private investment funds, and they are well-capitalized enough that they have bought out other start-ups.

Where Distil tries to thwart automated hacks, PhishMe focuses on stopping human attacks by helping people recognize when they are being tricked. PhishMe simulates “spear-phishing” attacks — a type of cyberattack that tries to get employees to click on malware-infected links — by sending fake emails cleverly disguised as the real thing.

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