Published: March 3rd, 2017

Ask any channel partner today about access to capital and financing and they’ll tell you it’s a concern.

Symantec Corp. is trying to do something about it. The security vendor has formed Symantec Ventures to essentially become the venture capital arm of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.

The aim of Symantec Ventures is to help cyber security startups bring more innovative solutions to market. But it will also act differently than traditional venture capital firms. Symantec Ventures is positioning itself as partner with deep pockets. For example, it plans to work with companies by providing access to Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform. These partners can begin to integrate with its own expertise and IP right on the platform.

CEO Greg Clark said a new algorithmic approach to anomaly detection can be built on top of the endpoint platform or run on top of our network and cloud security drive train. This strives to enable Symantec’s more than 385,000 enterprise customers – which includes many of the largest enterprises in the world – to tap into this ecosystem of ideas in the marketplace and allow entrepreneurs to dramatically reduce their time to market.

“We are launching Symantec Ventures to catalyze innovation in the cyber security space. Too often entrepreneurs spend valuable time and resources building endpoint chassis, network appliances or cloud infrastructure instead of focusing their efforts on their true value-add innovation,” Clark said in a statement.

Symantec Ventures also intends to provide these entrepreneurs with access to artificial intelligence and go-to-market resources. Plus, they will gain entry to Symantec’s civilian threat intelligence network.

The company cited this example, Symantec’s threat intelligence data may be used to help train, validate and debug machine learning and AI methods. This kind of data can be expensive and sometimes impossible for a startup to access.

Clark added that the company has already created the framework for Symantec’s API-based ecosystem approach to security. This foundation has enabled the rapid integration of the network security technologies from Blue Coat that was acquired with Symantec’s core security technologies, bringing together an Integrated Cyber Defense Platform.

Symantec Ventures will build upon a prior investment by Symantec in Appthority, an enterprise mobile app security vendor.

As part of its mission, Symantec Ventures will actively engage the startup and academic communities through sponsorship of activities such as innovation challenges and hackathons. These activities will be designed to ignite fresh thinking in areas involving IoT security, behavioral analytics and machine learning.