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Mazu Secures $12M in Series C

Keeping intruders at bay used to require no greater investment than a mean dog that could be found at a dog pound for free. Technology, however, has produced crafty intruders, who can harm businesses without every coming within earshot of a barking dog.

Companies wanting to protect their enterprise networks can turn to Mazu Networks. The company, which expects to announce this week that it closed on $12 million in a Series C round, provides network-wide intrusion prevention services from computer worms and denial of service attacks.

Strategic investor Symantec Corp. invested in the Series C. The round was led by the company’s previous investors: Greylock, Matrix Partners, Pilot House Ventures and StarVest Partners, which invested on a pro-rata basis. The latest funding brings the company’s total venture capital raised to $35 million.

The company will use the funding to advance its sales and marketing efforts, expand its product development and forge more partnerships. Mazu Networks, which employs less than 50, is planning an aggressive expansion, including the doubling of its sales force and increasing in its engineering staff.

“Mazu is still a small company trying to sell into markets where you have large competitors as well as small competitors,” says David Aronoff, a general partner with Greylock. “There is resistance one must overcome as a small company to prove you have the wherewithal to support the large customers.”

Aronoff says that he and other backers of Mazu Networks are hoping to continue the acceptance of the intrusion prevention niche. Corporate budgets are already open to companies like Mazu Networks and the worst possible market development would be if more large competitors flooded and “confused” the market. Aronoff expects Mazu Networks to break even in 2005.

Investors are not adding any board members, but Symantec has observer rights on the company’s board. Mazu Networks did not disclose any information about the round’s post-money valuation, though a spokesperson said they were “really pleased” with it.

Email Matthew.Sheahan@thomson.com