IoT search engine Censys brings in $35 million – and a new CEO – TechCrunch


Censys, a search engine for Internet of Things devices and Internet assets, has landed $35 million in Series B funding and a new CEO.

The internet security startup, based in Michigan’s Ann Arbor tech hub that started seven years ago as an open source research project at the University of Michigan, claims to provide a “complete database” of all devices connected to the internet in an attempt to help organizations locate poorly protected assets. Censys’ attack surface management platform continuously detects and monitors corporate internet assets, identifies vulnerabilities and prevents oversights from becoming vulnerable by ensuring assets are protected by integrating with existing security solutions.

The company’s Series B investment, which comes after the startup raised $15.5 million in Series A funding in August 2020, was led by Intel Capital. Censys tells TechCrunch that the money will be used to accelerate the company’s R&D, engineering, product and sales activities, particularly in Western Europe.

In addition, Censys has named Brad Brooks, former CEO of OneLogin, as its new CEO. Brooks, a technology industry veteran who has worked with companies such as DocuSign, Juniper Networks and Microsoft for the past 25 years, replaces Lorne Groe, interim director, who will return to his role as CFO and COO.

Brooks tells TechCrunch that he has been brought on board to lead the company into its next growth phase, which he says will likely include another round of funding within the next nine to 12 months. “With this round, we are moving from the start-up phase to the growth phase,” he says.

The startup is quickly growing; Brooks tells TechCrunch it’s seeing triple-digit revenue growth year over year and continues to add major customers, including FireEye, Google and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“The company is currently in the classic hyper-growth situation. The biggest problem the company has right now is how fast it is growing,” he says, adding that this is driven by organizations’ shift towards remote and hybrid work models and their accelerated adoption of cloud services.

“The thing about the cloud is that it’s not getting easier, it’s getting more complex. As you bring more users and more stuff to market, there’s a chance of misconfiguration,” he said. “Having something that constantly looks at your environment is becoming increasingly important, and that’s what’s driving this growth right now.”

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