The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced that its early-stage fund, CIT GAP Funds, made an investment in Arlington, Virginia-based Fend, developer of cybersecurity solutions for critical infrastructure.
Founded in 2017, Fend uses a hardware and cloud-based monitoring and analytics system to help businesses keep hackers and cyberattacks out. The combined hardware and software solution provides real-time performance data and allows one-way data transfers, per a press release.
The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed, but the company said it will use the investment to grow its sales and delivery teams.
“Our number one goal is to protect critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks,” said Fend CEO Colin Dunn in a statement. “That’s a big task, considering all the segments that comprise the category such as water systems, information technology, transportation systems, government facilities and more.”
Fend has been catching multiple partnerships and funding deals this year.
The Department of Energy awarded the startup $1.2 million across a two-phase Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award that began last year to protect solar energy installations from cyberattacks. SBIR is a program administered by the Small Business Administration that promotes small businesses to explore tech potential within their companies, and how it can be commercialized; CIT often hosts funding briefings across the Commonwealth and manages a federal funding assistance program to help interested businesses secure a spot in programs like this.
Dunn said that because of CIT’s program proposal assistance and securing this investment from GAP Funds, the center has helped Fend create a five-person, full-time staff, with plans to add three more employees by the end of the year. In early June, the Fend team expanded to a larger office space in Arlington to accommodate its employment growth. The company relocated from Ballston.
Fend also won a $1.6 million Department of Defense contract earlier this year to install its tech at an Army Corps of Engineers facility to evaluate its hardware performance. This partnership has been in motion since June.
“In a time where criminals have access to rentable botnets, unlimited cloud computing and artificial intelligence, it’s risky for an organization to only rely on firewalls and software-based security for protection,” said Thomas Weithman, managing director of CIT GAP Funds, in a statement. “Fend’s straightforward solution built around their one-way security hardware-software approach keeps attackers out while providing the intelligence organizations need to optimize their business.”-30-