The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund has announced a €10 million investment in US-based AI-powered cybersecurity software firm, Vectra.

The investment will support the establishment of a research and development centre in Dublin, Vectra’s first outside the US, and will see the firm expand EMEA sales and support here, creating up to 100 jobs over the next five years.

The establishment of the new research and development centre will enable Vectra to deliver additional Artificial Intelligence innovations in cyber security and grow its customer base across Europe. The company is actively recruiting in the Irish marketplace. 

The partnership between Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Vectra will contribute to the already vibrant AI industry in Ireland, which recently became the first country in the world to develop an industry-driven nationwide third-level qualification.

Fergal McAleavey, Head of Private Equity of ISIF, said, "This is an exciting investment for ISIF that promises significant economic impact. It is encouraging to see Ireland leverage its emerging expertise in artificial intelligence by attracting businesses such as Vectra that are on the leading edge of technology. 

"With cybersecurity becoming critical for all organisations, we are confident Vectra will deliver a strong economic return on our investment while creating high-value R&D employment," he said.

Hitesh Sheth, CEO of Vectra Networks, said the investment will accelerate our mission to transform cybersecurity with AI, including delivering additional innovations through the new Dublin R&D centre.

The fund is investing alongside a number of major investors, including Dublin-based Atlantic Bridge, Nissho Electronics Corp., as well as Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, AI Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Wipro Ventures, as part of a wider funding round that totals €30 million.

Kevin Dillon, managing partner at Atlantic Bridge and former Head of Microsoft Ireland, will join the Vectra board of directors.

"We have been impressed by the remarkable growth of Vectra in this fast-moving cybersecurity market,"  Mr Dillon said. "The increasing volume, creativity and effectiveness of cyber attacks means that enterprises must adopt AI to automate cyber security operations. We look forward to helping the company expand its global entreprise footprint."