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Apr. 1, 2014 11:15 am

Cybersecurity startup ZeroFox opens offices in San Francisco and New York City

"Local presence helps when you're going after enterprise organizations," said CEO and cofounder James Foster. "If we were selling something for $19.99, we could do that over the phone."

James Foster, CEO and cofounder of ZeroFox.

First cybersecurity startup ZeroFox expanded its office from Betamore to an 8,000-square-foot space located one floor beneath the Federal Hill incubator. Now ZeroFox is expanding across the U.S. with two new offices in San Francisco and New York City, respectively.

“Local presence helps when you’re going after enterprise organizations,” said CEO and cofounder James Foster. “If we were selling something for $19.99, we could do that over the phone.”

That, really, is the need for satellite offices north of Baltimore and on the west coast. When ZeroFox was first founded as Riskive in January 2013, it sold a piece of software for tracking cyber threats against social media accounts to enterprise companies and government agencies, but made the same software free for individuals to use.

That software, FriendGuard, is now gone, a casualty of a rebranding effort by the startup as it shifted its business operations to selling cloud-based, social media cyber threat management software solely to enterprise organizations, Fortune 500 companies and the federal government.

Foster said ZeroFox plans to keep its headquarters in Baltimore city, where it employs around 36 people full-time. He anticipates ZeroFox doubling in size this year, as well as opening another office, possibly in Dallas, this summer.

While he declined to provide an exact revenue amount, Foster did say ZeroFox will do “millions of dollars in sales” this year. The startup, right now, isn’t profitable, and is operating on $2.2 million of venture funding raised in summer 2013. ZeroFox has also made some high-profile hires, bringing on Jennifer Leroux, formerly of Ameritox, as the startup’s full-time CFO, as well as adding Todd Headley to its board of directors. Headley is the CFO of another cybersecurity company in the region, Sourcefire, which was acquired by Cisco Systems last summer for $2.7 billion.

It might seem, then, that Foster would like to position ZeroFox for a big-money exit, especially given that he has previously been part of three cybersecurity companies that were all acquired.

But Foster said, as of now, he’s taking the long view with ZeroFox.

“We’re setting ourselves up to be a billion-dollar, publicly traded company,” he said. “We want to be the next billion-dollar cyber company in the region.”

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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