Cloud-based startup Hunters announced a $68 million Series C funding on Tuesday. Pictured: A visitor tries out a tablet computer next to a cloud computing and technology symbol at a technology trade fair in Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Israeli cloud-based startup Hunters on Tuesday took a major step forward by announcing $68 million in Series C funding that includes backing from some leading venture capital firms such as YL Ventures and Blumberg Capital and support from numerous security industry heavyweights, including, Cisco, Databricks, Okta, and Snowflake.

While the new funding brings the investment in Hunters to $118 million, the company did not disclose its current valuation.

Hunters’ Security Operations Center Platform promises to let security teams automatically identify and respond to relevant incidents. Many leading global companies have already replaced their SIEMs with Hunters because of the company’s ability to integrate all security data sources at a reasonable cost, as well as offer built-in detection engineering, data correlation and automated investigation features that let security teams overcome a barrage of security alerts, complexity and false positives.

Uri May, co-founder and CEO of Hunters, said the company will use the funding to further innovate its platform and services, strengthen its sales and partnerships across North America, Europe and the Middle East, and invest in cybersecurity talent. 

“The SIEM market is worth $4.3 billion and ripe for disruption since it drives limited security outcomes for its customers,” said May. “Players in this category focus on data ingestion and leave customers to build their own detection engineering and investigation capabilities, or have significant gaps in scale and pricing models. Hunters was purpose-built to help overly stressed security teams mitigate real security incidents faster and more effectively.” 

Industry analysts were cautiously optimistic about the deal, saying that the brewing battle for supremacy in the evolving SIEM and XDR markets was in the early stages.

Allie Mellen, an analyst at Forrester, said the unique relationship Hunters has with Snowflake offers a different approach to the legacy SIEM vendors of the past — namely, it lets Hunters focus on detection and response, instead of ingestion and storage.

“The challenge for Hunters is that the SIEM industry has been undergoing monumental shifts over the past five years to give rise to security analytics platforms, which recognize challenges with legacy SIEMs and aims to address them,’ Mellen said. “This round of funding is a good opportunity for Hunters to infuse more security expertise into its offering and try to address every aspect of the incident response lifecycle.”

Frank Dickson, program vice president for security and trust at IDC, added that increased multi-cloud adoption creates complexity. He said the industry has seen a direct correlation between complexity and breaches. However, Dickson said when looking at the problem the industry faces, it clearly has a tools shortage.

“If we ask whether we should take a log-centric approach or a telemetry-centric approach, we are asking the wrong question as we need to use both . . . and as much as possible,” Dickson said. “The goal is to maximize context, analyze that context and take action. Tools that make it easy for security professionals to do that will win market share. While it’s true that the SIEM market is ripe for disruption, it’s also true that the SIEM vendors are also looking to create disruption. We are in the first inning of this looming XDR battle — the winners are a long ways from being decided.”

Jon Oltsik senior principal analyst and ESG fellow, explained that the SIEM market is actually a subset of what’s happening with SOC modernization, which has become all about consolidating the SOC workspace, advanced intelligence, comprehensive visibility, and process automation. 

“The market opportunity is far bigger than SIEM alone — and it’s where Hunters is focused,” Oltsik said. “SIEM, XDR, and other technologies will compete here, but Hunters is trying to create a modern scalable platform as a basis. This is exactly where the market is going and should serve the company well.”