Horizon3.ai Raises $30M Series B Funding to Disrupt the Pentesting Market

International cybersecurity startup Horizon3.ai, a firm specializing in autonomous penetration testing, has received $30 million in investment. Co-founded by Snehal Antani, former CTO of Splunk, and Anthony Pillitiere, former Deputy CTO of the US Special Operations Command, Horizon3.ai provides continuous, autonomous penetration testing, allowing enterprises to see their networks through the eyes of an attacker.

The pentesting solution offered by Horizon3.ai assists organizations in proactively identifying and repairing attack vectors before they are exploited by criminals. The investments, led by SignalFire, would allow the firm to accelerate its product roadmap and go-to-market strategy.

“Our product, NodeZero, was able to obtain Domain Administrator access in the network of a banking customer in 7 minutes and 19 seconds using the same techniques utilized in ransomware attacks,” said Snehal Antani, CEO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai. “This customer had all the latest security tools installed, yet no security alerts were triggered, because these tools require significant tuning and were not designed to work together. Our customers were frustrated because they had to wait for a breach to test their security operations center; by then it’s too late. They now use NodeZero as a ‘sparring partner’ to help verify their security effectiveness.”

Self-Service Pentests in a Few Clicks

Photo Anthony Pillitiere, CTO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai
“NodeZero doesn’t require any agents to be installed or any scripts to be developed. IT Admins with no security experience are running self-service pentests in 3 clicks,” said Anthony Pillitiere, CTO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai.

The significant enterprises focus on properly managing vulnerabilities and their associated risks is reflected in the tremendous expansion of the worldwide security testing market, which is expected to cross $27 billion by 2027 with a 20.7 percent CAGR. When firms conduct pentests, vulnerability scanners, and other traditional assessment services, hundreds of ‘important’ discoveries are generated, leaving security teams overwhelmed and unable to prioritize due to a lack of time and resources. This would especially be unpleasant for businesses that use both on-premise and cloud services.

“Our customers shift from running one pentest per year to as many as 16 pentests per month,” said Anthony Pillitiere, CTO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai. “They are empowered to find exploitable security weaknesses, fix the issues that truly matter, and then quickly verify that the weakness is no longer exploitable. This ‘Find, Fix, Verify’ loop is our ‘AHA moment!’ Once our customers hit this cycle, they never look back. NodeZero doesn’t require any agents to be installed or any scripts to be developed. IT Admins with no security experience are running self-service pentests in 3 clicks.”

Founded in 2019 by industry, US Special Operations, and US National Security veterans, Horizon.ai is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

“Vulnerability scanning, pentesting, breach and attack simulation, and attack surface management are security categories ripe for disruption,” said Ilya Kirnos, Founding Partner at SignalFire. “These siloed, legacy solutions generate a lot of false positives and require significant expertise because they weren’t designed to work together. We are proud to lead the investment with Horizon3.ai, We know their approach – creating a proactive security posture – will drastically help companies catch up, keep up and even stay ahead of today’s threat landscape.”

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