Raising funds with the right fit: The eSentire and Edison Ventures story Kayleigh Platz August 2, 2013 Communitech, Featured Earlier this month, local tech company eSentire announced a $7.0 – million financing lead by New Jersey-based Edison Ventures. Based in Cambridge, the company offers advanced threat prevention services through its round-the-clock Security Operations Center to asset-management and financial firms. It will use the funds to triple its markets. “We’ve already proved our technology and scaling capabilities,” says J.P. Haynes, chief executive officer of eSentire “This round of venture funds both ensures we continue to dominate in our current space, while simultaneously expanding in new markets.” eSentire will increase its business in three key markets: The tech industry, the legal industry and the mining, oil and gas industry. The company’s service that detects and prevents targeted attacks faced daily by these sectors is a must-have, says Haynes. In today’s business world, where core intellectual property, major mergers and acquisitions are conducted online, and where money and private information moves digitally, 24-hour detection and blocking is a necessity rather than an option. “We assume your network has been hacked by the threat actor and we then constantly search for the trail of breadcrumbs they leave,” Haynes says. “If you don’t watch for it, you don’t know what you don’t know. eSentire chose a strategic approach to investors. We weren’t interested in just raising capital. We needed the right fit—a VC focused in security who also understood the financial services industry. Edison Ventures specializes in financial services and security technologies, and their interests were peaked by the eSentire story.” Haynes hopes his relationship with Edison Ventures will continue to encourage other American venture capital companies to come to Waterloo Region. He realizes it’s a big decision for American firms to invest in Canada, as our former tax rules have spooked investors in the past, he says. Haynes says that eSentire has helped lay the groundwork to encourage Edison Ventures and others to see the ease in working with local companies. And the close proximity to New York City should make it very comfortable for East Coast investors to engage with the region. While eSentire is in the process of opening a sales and marketing office in New York City, Haynes stresses that the headquarters will remain in Cambridge. “The access to talent is why we stay,” says Haynes, “We actively recruit from the local academic institutions and make extensive use of the co-op programs. Being in the (Waterloo Region) tech community is symbiotic.” eSentire is actively hiring analysts, developers, subject-matter experts in security and security consultants in the Cambridge office. For a company that travels frequently to the U.S. East Coast and beyond, and has a staff that lives throughout Waterloo Region and the Greater Toronto Area, the Cambridge location is ideal, Haynes says.