Sonraí Security marks official launch with $18.5m funding

New York-based cybersecurity firm co-founded by Dublin tech veteran in 2017

Brendan Hannigan, co-founder of Sonraí Security,  has worked for a number of well-known corporates including Q1 Labs and IBM

Brendan Hannigan, co-founder of Sonraí Security, has worked for a number of well-known corporates including Q1 Labs and IBM

 

An Irish co-founded cybersecurity company has raised $18.5 million in funding to coincide with its official launch.

New York-headquartered Sonraí Security was founded by Dubliner Brendan Hannigan and his business partner Sandy Bird in 2017, but has operated in stealth mode until going public this week.

The Series A funding round was led by Polaris Partners, a well-known tech-focused venture capital firm, of which Mr Hannigan was until recently a partner, and TenEleven Ventures.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Hannigan said the company, which is focused on data security, risk and compliance, would use the funding to invest in its platform, expand into new markets and increase headcount.

Sonraí, which means “data” in Irish, helps large corporations track, organise and protect data that is stored in the cloud . Named customers include the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.

Emigrating

Mr Hannigan is a tech veteran who has lived in the US since the early 1990s. A graduate of UCD’s School of Computer Science, he initially worked for Digital Equipment Corporation in Clonmel before emigrating.

He has worked for a number of well-known corporates in the intervening years, including as president and chief executive of Q1 Labs, a company acquired by IBM in 2011 in a multimillion-dollar deal.

Following the acquisition he joined IBM, where he led its cybersecurity division, whose revenues grew from $900 million to almost $2 billion in four years, and which became one of the world’s largest security providers. He left the company in 2015 and has since been a board member on a number of cybersecurity-related companies and a partner at Polaris.

Sonraí employs 20 people but expects to double staff numbers by the end of 2019. Mr Hannigan previously established an Irish operation of Q1 Labs and said he would like to do something similar if the opportunity arises with the company he now leads.

“At the end of the day, you go where the talent is and, if there is the chance to expand into another geography, then Dublin is obviously a no-brainer,” he said.