Battery Ventures makes majority investment in Seattle enterprise security startup DomainTools

DomainTools CEO Tim Chen at the Mekhato Awards 2017.

Longtime investment firm Battery Ventures announced a majority investment in DomainTools, a Seattle startup that helps companies mitigate security threats. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DomainTools sells a bevy of products including a domain and DNS threat intelligence platform; a domain risk assessment tool; a phishing domain discovery tool; and an API service. The company says it has the most popular Whois research service. It has more than 500 customers including nearly half of the Fortune 500 and eight of the top 10 banks.

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise amid the pandemic and people shifting to remote work. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC last month that cybersecurity risks for both companies and consumers are more pressing than ever.

The threat intelligence market is expected to grow from $5.5 billion last year to $20.2 billion in 2027.

DomainTools is led by Tim Chen, a longtime tech exec who joined in 2009. It employs more than 100 people.

The company did not raise outside capital until the Battery Ventures deal. It won the Bootstrapper of the Year award at the Mekhato Awards in 2017.

“The company has been quite successful using a bootstrapped model but we see an opportunity now to partner with a financial and operational partner with proven experience scaling companies to the next level,” Chen said.

DomainTools originally launched in 2000 as Name Intelligence. The founders sold the company in 2009 to a group of now-former shareholders. It pivoted in 2013 from a retail to an enterprise business model, focusing on network security.

Jordan Welu and Dave Tabors of Battery Ventures will join DomainTools’ board as a result of the deal. Battery Ventures, which has both a venture and private equity arm, raised $2 billion for two new funds earlier this year. The firm’s portfolio includes companies such as Sumo Logic, BlueJeans, Groupon, Niantic, and others. It backed Seattle-area companies including Chef and Avalara.

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