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Source: Nasdaq

Cybersecurity company Carbon Black went public on Friday, raising $152 million in its IPO and closing its first day of trading up 26%.

Big picture: This was one of the first companies created on the thesis that traditional anti-virus software didn't work, but for a while it looked as if it had actually launched too early.

Mall rats
  • Carbon Black (then known as Bit9) was founded in a small office in East Cambridge, Mass., further incubated in the suburban Boston offices of venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners, and later would move into space inside an old shopping mall.
  • Among the "mall employees" was Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston, who eventually left to pursue his storage startup idea full-time.
  • Highland's Paul Maeder says that CEO Patrick Morley reached in early 2014 for additional funding, but Highland no longer had enough money in the fund that had originally invested 10 years earlier. Morley told Maeder the company's entire future was at stake, and asked him to consider investing out of a newer fund — a complicated cross-fund investment plan that VCs usually try to avoid. But Maeder decided to negotiate with investors to make it work.
  • Soon after, Bit9 acquired Carbon Black, a smaller Pennsylvania startup whose CEO had experience at both the NSA and CIA. The combined company was initially called Bit9 + Carbon Black, but eventually went simpler. "Carbon Black is just a much better name," Maeder says.
Going public
  • The company first began prepping for an IPO nearly two years ago, going so far as to hire bankers, but then held off so that it could purchase and integrate an antivirus company called Confer.
  • It's still unprofitable, but revenue climbed from $116 million in 2016 to $162 million in 2017.
  • Carbon Black had a fully-diluted market value of $1.6 billion at its IPO price, and it now stands at over $2 billion.
  • Maeder: "The two worst things to be as a startup is too early or too late. Too late you can't recover from, but you can survive too early if you have a great CEO and loyal investors."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.