So, when the former McAfee chief technology officer was looking for a place to recruit top engineers for his new company, CrowdStrike, he immediately turned to Seattle. The security company, which today announced $26 million in funding from Warburg Pincus, just set up an engineering center a few blocks away from Google’s Kirkland campus.
“CrowdStrike is a ‘big data’ play, and we think there is a lot of talent in Seattle given the companies there,” said Kurtz, who is based in Orange County but plans to commute regularly to Seattle, San Francisco and Washington D.C. (where CTO and co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is based).
CrowdStrike joins a number of other technology companies which have chosen to set up shop in Seattle to mine the region’s expertise in analyzing massive data sets. Others include Splunk and The Climate Corp.
Right now, CrowdStrike employs 20 staffers, about half of which are in the new 4,000 square foot Kirkland office.
Kurtz sees a lot more room for growth in the Seattle region, a market he calls “stable.” (Assume that’s a reference to a lack of job hopping, not the mental state of the rain-soaked techies).
“I love Seattle,” said Kurtz, who formed CrowdStrike earlier this year. “The talent is exceptional.”
CrowdStrike plans to release its first product later this year, and at this time it isn’t sharing too many details about the product direction. But Kurtz did tell GeekWire that technology security companies for the past 20 years have been focusing on Malware, which he said is cheap for the “bad guys” to create and comes at a near endless stream.
CrowdStrike, he said, would focus more on the “tactics, techniques, and procedures” — or TTPs — of the bad guys in an effort to root out the larger threats.
“Attackers are creatures of habit and while they are fast to change their weapons, they are slow to change their methods,” wrote Kurtz in a blog post. “By identifying the adversary and revealing their unique TTPs (i.e. modus operandi), we can hit them where it counts – at the human-dependent and not easily scalable parts of their operations.”
Kurtz said that Warburg Pincus — the giant private equity firm — is the sole investor in the company. After leaving McAfee last year, Kurtz had served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Warburg Pincus where he came up with the idea for CrowdStrike.