Network security company Finjan raises $8.5m

Benchmark Capital Israel led the round, joined by Bessemer Venture Partners and Israel Seed Partners.

Network security company Finjan Software raised $8.5 million in a financing round led by Benchmark Capital Israel. Also investing in the round were Bessemer Venture Partners and Israel Seed Partners. Since being founded in 1996, Finjan has raised $31.5 million, including the current round. The company, which operates in the anti-virus field, has developed software that blocks active applications of the Melissa and I Love You-type, viruses at the gateway level, and those at the desktop level. The company has OEM agreements with anti-virus manufacturer McAfee.com Corporation (Nasdaq: MCAF), whose products are integrated into Finjan's software.

Finjan has 850 customers, including the US Federal Reserve Bank and the central banks in Britain, France, Australia, and Israel. The company has 50 employees, of whom 20 are in marketing and sales.

Finjan founder, chairman, and CEO Shlomo Touboul says the company posted a profit in 2001, and expects to break even in 2002. Touboul also said the money raised is not designated for current operations; large customers are currently inclined to look at their suppliers' financial statements, looking for companies with increasing cash reserves.

Finjan raised $915,000 in 1996 from Star Ventures Enterprises at a $2.4 million company value, before money. Touboul later contacted Verisign founder and Bessemer general partner David Cowan and convinced him to lead the company's second round in 1996, in which Star Ventures also participated. Finjan netted $3.2 million from this round. The company raised $10 million in October 1997 from Bessemer, Star, CSK of Japan, and US fund RRE. In 2000 and 2001, after CEO Bill Lyons left the company, Finjan raised $6 million from its previous investors at a much lower company value. The current round, which began this year with an investment from Israel Seed Partners, has now ended.

With the end of the round, the company board of directors now includes Israel Seed Partners general partner Michael Eisenberg, David Cowan, and Benchmark Capital Israel partner Arad Naveh, with Touboul himself as chairman.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on September 10, 2002

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