Defendify, a Portland-based cybersecurity startup, has received $2 million in new private investment, allowing it to add employees and customers for its small business-focused software.

The seed funding from Maine and New England financiers gives the fast-growing company additional resources to expand its sales and marketing efforts and hire new employees, co-founder Rob Simopoulos said in an interview.

“It’s exciting to have these Maine groups come behind us – the startup ecosystem is booming,” Simopoulos said. “And we have outside investment in the state of Maine.”

The company was founded in 2017 as a cybersecurity consulting firm, but pivoted to develop affordable, accessible software specifically for small businesses. Many information security products are designed for big corporations, but small companies need coverage, too, Simopoulos said.

“A lot of people don’t realize you can’t just have antivirus and a firewall for your cybersecurity,” he said, adding that Defendify provides additional layers of protection in a simple package.

An emphasis on security is more important now, as big companies are assessing smaller vendors’ ability to protect important data and information. Defendify has moved in to help those companies respond to such questions, Simopoulos said.

In the past two years Defendify has grown from a two-man consultancy to a 23-employee company with a growth target of up to 40 employees by the end of 2020. It recently moved into a 7,000-square-foot office in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood.

The $2 million funding round was led by 3dot6 Ventures, a boutique cybersecurity investment firm that, along with the Maine Technology Institute, supported the company’s $1.6 million early stage funding in 2019.

The partners were joined by York IE, a new venture capital firm based in Manchester, New Hampshire; Maine Venture Fund; Fresh Tracks Capital of Vermont; and Wasabi Ventures, an investment firm based in Palo Alto, California, with offices in Manchester.

Cybersecurity can be confusing and expensive, but it’s also necessary, York IE CEO and Managing Partner Kyle York said.

“Considering more than half of small businesses suffered a data breach in the last year, cybersecurity is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have for the millions of small businesses in the U.S.,” York said in a statement.

In the past 18 months, Defendify has raised $3.6 million, doubled its office space in Portland and added about 20 new employees.


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