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Versive thinks its AI platform can help solve security problems. (Versive Photo)

If you’re working on a security startup in 2017, you’re more than likely applying artificial intelligence or machine learning techniques to automate threat detection and other time-consuming security tasks. After a few years as a financial services company, five-year-old Versive has joined that parade, and has raised $12.7 million in new funding to tackle corporate security.

Seattle-based Versive started life as Context Relevant, and has now raised $54.7 million in total funding, which is a lot for a company reorganizing itself around a new mission. Versive adopted its new name and new identity as a security-focused company in May, and its existing investors are giving it some more runway to make its AI-driven security approach work at scale.

The company enlisted legendary white-hat hacker and security expert Mudge Zatko, who is currently working for Stripe, to help it architect its approach toward using AI to solve security problems, said Justin Baker, senior director of marketing for Versive, based in downtown Seattle. “What we’ve looking for are patterns of malicious behavior” that can be used to help security professionals understand the true nature of threats on their networks, he said.

Chief information security officers (CISOs) are drowning in security alerts, and a lot of those alerts are bogus yet still take time to evaluate and dismiss, Baker said. Versive’s technology learns how potential customers are handling current and future threats and helps them figure out which alerts are worthy of a response, which saves time, money, and aggravation if working correctly.

The internet might be a dangerous neighborhood, but those CISOs are having trouble putting more cops on the beat: there is a staggering number of unfilled security jobs because companies are finding it very hard to recruit properly trained talent and retain stars once they figure it all out. Security technologies that make it easier to do the job with fewer people are extremely hot right now, and dozens of startups are working on products and services for this market.

Versive has around 60 employees at the moment, and plans to expand sales and marketing as it ramps up product development, Baker said. Investors include Goldman Sachs, Madrona Venture Group, Formation 8, Vulcan Capital, and Mark Leslie.

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