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Veriflow raised $8.2 million to help IT pros avoid network outages and breaches

TechCrunch TechCrunch 6/07/2016 Lora Kolodny

Remember when Target lost millions of customer credit card numbers to hackers who got in to their networks, of all things, through the company’s connected HVAC systems?

A startup called Veriflow Systems Inc. just raised $8.2 million in a Series A round of venture funding to prevent that kind of thing with technology it’s calling “mathematical network verification.”

The company’s systems basically give security and operations professionals a map of their networks, and a way to model any configuration or device changes before implementing them.

The models reveal where security holes may open up, or other problems may arise causing network outages and suboptimal performance as unintended consequences.

Menlo Ventures led the series A round in Veriflow joined by the company’s earlier backers New Enterprise Associates.

Earlier, Veriflow raised $2.9 million from NEA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The company already has a product in the market, and clients including different government offices that it did not have permission to discuss.

Menlo Ventures’ Managing Director Matt Murphy said, “Networks are fairly opaque today and haven’t kept up with the kind of monitoring and visibility one gets into the compute, storage, and application layers of infrastructure.”

He expects the Oakland, Calif.-based startup to use the new funding to raise awareness of its technology, especially among IT operations and network security professionals, as well as for hiring and continued research and product development.

Murphy noted that one reason Menlo backed Veriflow is the track record of the founding team in computer science.

The company’s cofounders are award-winning computer scientists with PhD’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of California at Berkeley: Principal Engineer Ahmed Kurshid, Chief Science Officer Matthew Caesar, and Chief Technology Officer Brighten Godfrey.

Veriflow’s CEO and president James Brear was formerly the CEO of Procera Networks, which he took public in 2011 and saw through a $240 million buyout in 2015.

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