Monarx Closes $3.4 Million Seed Round from Pelion Ventures and Kickstart Seed Fund

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A New Cybersecurity Startup Protects Opensource Web Systems. A Homegrown Approach Allows Web Applications to Protect Themselves.

Monarx announced today the close of a $3.4 M seed funding round, led by Pelion Ventures, with heavy participation by Kickstart Seed Fund. Pelion Partner Carl Ledbetter joined the Monarx Board. The company raised the money in May of 2017 and has been quietly working on a new Cyber Security solution that was released in mid Q2 2018.

Monarx prevents the execution of malicious scripts that are inserted into vulnerable websites. These files, often referred to as web shells or backdoors, create a command and control platform inside a server. Hackers can use backdoors to gain full control of a server, steal valuable data, host phishing pages, attack other sites, send SPAM, participate in botnets, and even mine cryptocurrency by stealing the resources of infected hosts.

The company is using a new approach to stop these web-born intrusions. “We are using the application stack to protect itself,” said Matt Hoffman, CEO at Monarx. “It’s our opinion that traditional network security strategies have not been effective, especially when it comes to web-based attacks. Malicious code is still inserted into systems every day. We assume that hackers will eventually break in. Instead of trying to prevent all attacks, we stop them from doing anything useful once inside by using the application stack itself.”

Unlike most of the Cybersecurity industry, this means Monarx is not focused on preventing the exploit itself, but on disabling the hacker once inside a target system. “That’s the really interesting part,” said Jon Gay, the inventor of the technology. “It is a true prevention solution. We can see the intruder deposit the malicious code, we can see the hacker try and activate it, and we can tell the System Administrator exactly how the file entered the system, without ever allowing the hacker to damage anything.”

The company intends to target the Open Source market with its first products. Co-Founder Brian Karney adds, “Open Source has traditionally been underserved by the security market. WordPress, Magento and other content management applications have an especially difficult time with these intrusions because of their diverse community of plugins and other third-party add-ons. It’s where we have seen a lot of early interest and it’s a huge global community.”

Gavin Christensen, managing partner at Kickstart Seed Fund, sees the same opportunity. “This is an important security gap that effects the majority of servers providing the internet. We are very excited to partner with Matt, whom I have known and worked with for 13 years, and his technical cofounders, Jon and Tom Gay. We are especially interested in this new approach to Application Security.”

About Monarx, Inc.

Monarx is a seed-stage cyber security company based in Salt Lake City, UT. Monarx’s mission is to protect web environments against attacks. For more information, visit http://www.monarx.com

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Brian Karney
Monarx
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