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Katzenberg-Backed Digital Security Firm Raises $200 Million

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(Bloomberg) -- A digital security company backed by Hollywood heavyweight Jeffrey Katzenberg has raised $200 million in a funding round led by Madrone Capital Partners LLC.

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Burlington, Massachusetts-based Aura is hoping to find a substantial space in a booming but crowded market for cybersecurity products. It introduced its flagship product in June which offers consumers “an easy-to-use, all-in-one, proactive digital security solution,” according to a company statement. Aura officials say they believe the relatively low subscription price will help differentiate them from competitors.

In the four years since it started, Aura has raised $650 million.

“We are seeing cybercrime rise at an unprecedented rate, but the technologies designed to protect consumers from cybercriminals haven’t evolved much in more than a decade,” said Jamie McJunkin, founder and general partner at Madrone Capital Partners. “Aura identified that gap in the market and delivered a simple solution to protect users online.”

The funding round comes as many cybersecurity companies have flourished amid growing awareness of the threats posed by hackers, particularly as more employees work from home and more consumers use internet-connected devices.

Aura will use a chunk of its new capital for hiring -- expanding its team by more than 200 employees, bringing the total to more than 1,000. The new hires will include engineers, as well as additions to product and marketing teams. Former YouTube executive Kelly Merryman just joined Aura as president and chief operating officer to lead those two teams.

Chief Executive Officer Hari Ravichandran said Aura is trying to offer consumers one product that protect against viruses, unsafe networks and identity theft, as well as monitor credit and financial transactions. He said offering one product, as opposed to multiple services, creates a price advantage too.

Aura’s product costs most people $15 per month, he said.

The company currently has more than 1 million subscribers, bringing in $220 million per year. Ravichandran said he is hoping to expand Aura substantially, with plans to public in the second half of 2023.

Katzenberg couldn’t be located for comment.

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