Marc Andreessen just announced Andreessen Horowitz’s latest investment on Twitter. The firm is investing $90 million in Tanium, an enterprise security and system management startup which lets IT control an entire network using natural language in a search engine-like interface.
Here’s how Andreessen Horowitz board partner Steven Sinofsky describes the software in a blog post on the venture capital firm’s blog:
Orion popped open his laptop and navigated to Tanium’s web-based “console”. At the top of the screen, we saw a single edit control like you’d see for a search engine. He started typing in natural language questions such as “show computers where CPU > 75%” and “show computers with a process named WINWORD.EXE”. Within seconds — just like using search — a list of computers scrolled by as though it were an existing spreadsheet or report.
Sinofsky goes on to explain what that enables you to do:
You can literally ask almost anything of an endpoint — such as configuration, patch status, software inventory compliance, performance, reliability measures, telemetry, network activity, files, and more (basically anything you can ask of a running system) — and get answers back in seconds. Not only can you ask questions, but you can take actions as well: distribute and install updates, shut down processes or executables, remove or quarantine files, and so on. All of this happens in seconds, across your entire network of endpoints, across LAN segments and the WAN, from branch offices to headquarters to the data center.
You can watch Tanium CTO Orion Hindi give a demo of Tanium’s software in the video below:
In the tweet announcing the investment, Andreessen noted that it was the first venture capital investment in Tanium since the company was founded in 2007.
Sinofsky’s blog post notes that the startup was already profitable (explaining how the company managed to not raise any venture capital for seven years) and operating at full scale, with “dozens of customers in massive, mission-critical, and global deployments.”
An Andreessen Horowitz spokesperson sent TechCrunch the following statement:
Tanium wanted to make sure that the product was rock solid before announcing it publicly. They operated without a sales or marketing staff for five years, and instead focused their time, energy and resources on building an incredible tool for enterprise systems management. That said, Tanium has hundreds of customers right now, all of which you can find on the Forbes 1000 or the Global 2000. The company works with large, established enterprises across a range of verticals, including banking and finance, telecommunications and retail.