Cybersecurity Firm Censys in Ann Arbor Draws $15.5M Investment, Will Double Workforce

Censys Inc. in Ann Arbor, a leading cybersecurity firm that offers products which continuously scan all of a company’s equipment and devices that connect to the internet or are part of the internet of things for real-time risk assessment and evolving cyberattacks and vulnerabilities, announced Wednesday it raised a $15.5 million Series A round of financing from returning investors.
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Ann Arbor cybersecurity firm Censys Inc. has raised a $15.5 million Series A round of financing from returning investors. / Stock photo

Censys Inc. in Ann Arbor, a leading cybersecurity firm that offers products which continuously scan all of a company’s equipment and devices that connect to the internet or are part of the internet of things for real-time risk assessment and evolving cyberattacks and vulnerabilities, announced Wednesday it raised a $15.5 million Series A round of financing from returning investors.

The round was co-led by GV and Decibel and includes participation from Greylock Partners. Censys also announced that it has developed a new scan engine that it said sees 44 percent more of the internet than any other cybersecurity company.

The launch culminates two years of development by a team that originally built and maintains the open-source ZMap scanner. The new architecture provides Censys Attack Surface Management customers with rapidly actionable findings, enumerating risks and recommendations for remediation in order to protect against attackers and breaches.

The new data will also be available to the public in the Censys Search Engine and Enterprise datasets later this year.

“When we released ZMap seven years ago, it fundamentally changed researchers’ visibility into the hosts on the Internet, but it was never designed for continually tracking changing hosts or finding new services as soon as they came online,” says Zakir Durumeric, co-founder and chief scientist at Censys. “Our new architecture is a significant improvement over Censys’ original scan engine and enables our Attack Surface Management product to find vulnerable services as soon as they come online.”

“This raise enables us to invest aggressively in top security talent and global infrastructure as we move into the next stage of our company,” said Censys CEO and co-founder David Corcoran. “We’re thrilled to have the support of world-class investors as we keep the momentum building and continue to revolutionize how businesses manage their security posture in an ever-changing environment.”

Censys plans to double its headcount within the next year by hiring key leadership roles and significantly expanding its sales and engineering teams.

“The Censys team has made substantial progress laying the groundwork for wide-scale internet scanning, and continues to deliver on its promise of providing better security with data,” says Karim Faris, general partner at GV. “Led by the creators of ZMap, the Censys team provides … breadth, depth, and scale of risk assessment and visibility to information security practitioners at major enterprises.”

The company, which had its roots in 2013 and was spun off from the University of Michigan in October 2017, was formally launched in January 2018. Early investors include Dug Song, co-founder of Duo Security, which was sold to Cisco Systems Inc. in October 2018 for $2.4 billion.

“Censys continuously scans the widest range of ports and protocols across the web to offer the world’s most complete view of the Internet – a necessity for any organization wanting to have a true system of record of all their Internet facing assets and total visibility into the risks they pose,” says Jon Sakoda, founding partner at Decibel.

Customers include FireEye, Google, NATO, Swiss Armed Forces, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and more than 25 percent of the Fortune 500 rely on the company’s internet-wide continuous visibility platform to discover and prevent cybersecurity threats.

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