Waterloo Region cybersecurity firm eSentire will move its headquarters from Cambridge to Waterloo this year, doubling its floor space and ramping up growth with another US$47 million in investment announced today.

The company, which employs 300 in Waterloo Region, expects to move its headquarters to Waterloo’s Factory Square development this summer, where it will occupy 65,000 square feet, nearly double the 33,000 square feet in its Cambridge facility.

The move will place eSentire in the heart of Waterloo’s “Idea Quarter,” where a large and growing number of scale-up tech companies have located in recent years, filling new buildings and existing ones that once belonged to smartphone pioneer BlackBerry. As such, the new headquarters will situate eSentire much closer to the University of Waterloo, a key source of workers for a tech sub-sector that’s experiencing an acute global talent shortage.

The US$47-million raise announced today will, among other things, help eSentire ramp up research and development of new tools, including artificial intelligence, to help build on its leadership position in a cybersecurity segment it pioneered, known as managed detection and response, or MDR. It’s an approach centred on actively hunting for threats and shutting down cyber attacks in real time, rather than relying on passive security measures such as firewalls.

The company is working on “a proprietary AI methodology” to hunt for threats and automate certain activities to enable its security experts “to operate at machine scale,” it said.

“Protecting the scale of information that is widely distributed across an organization’s infrastructure, endpoint, customers and supply chain partners requires the continued innovation of MDR by applying AI technology with expert analysts,” eSentire CEO Kerry Bailey said. “Today’s business leaders recognize the fiduciary responsibility of securing mission-critical information and eSentire has been committed to this responsibility since creating MDR.”

The latest funding round was led by majority eSentire investor Warburg Pincus and minority investors Georgian Partners and Edison Partners. In 2017, Warburg Pincus, a New York-based private equity firm, made a nine-figure investment in eSentire, though the precise amount was not disclosed.

eSentire, founded by University of Waterloo graduate Eldon Sprickerhoff in 2001, now serves more than 650 clients in 30 countries, mainly in the finance, legal and healthcare sectors.