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Guardent Grows With VC, Acquisition

Guardent, a Waltham, Mass., security firm, made two significant announcements today: the closing of $20 million in third-round financing and the acquisition of DefendNet Solutions.

Citigroup's e-Citi unit led the investment. Mercury Interactive and previous backers Charles River Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Sequoia Capital also participated.

"This is a tremendous endorsement of Guardent's integrated consulting and managed security services business model, during a time of great volatility in the public and private equity markets," CEO Maria Cirino said.

Guardent will use the new capital to expand its offerings, especially its managed security services. Launched earlier this year, this aspect of the company's business is the fastest-growing. Guardent now provides around-the-clock security for more than 100 organizations.

Also fueling expansion is the purchase of DefendNet, a Providence, R.I., provider of managed security services. Both firms are privately held and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition to its technology and customers, Guardent gains a new hosting facility. The "bunker-style" building has generator backup, fire suppression and environmental controls. Additionally, it has multiple network links with service providers, ensuring reliable uptime and availability services.

DefendNet also has sales offices in Columbus, Ohio, Miami and New York.

For Guardent, it's the second acquisition in less than a year. In July, it bought out a security research and development unit of Secure Computing, of San Jose, Calif.