Cylance’s McClure lands $13 million for new AI venture


Orange County Cybersecurity Pioneer Stuart McClure launched a new business incubator and accelerator designed to put artificial intelligence and machine learning at the service of the future.Ora

Its based in Newport Beach AI NumberOne said this month that it had raised $13 million to support various new ventures, using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Backers include a number of investors with local ties, as well as former McClure investment partners (see article, this page).

“Artificial intelligence and computational prediction is going to be a big part of our future. And I want to apply it to solve big problems in big markets,” McClure told The Business Journal on Oct. 12.

He added, “I want to do this by leveraging Orange County as much as possible.”

Cylance Sale

McClure co-founded Cylancethe Irvine-based internet security company ten years ago and sold it in 2019 to the Canadian company Blackberry for $1.4 billion.

About two months ago, he was appointed CEO of a cybersecurity company ShiftLeft Inc.which is based in Santa Clara and raised an additional $29 million earlier this year.

McClure will remain in OC and work with both ShiftLeft and NumberOne, which debuted last year and came out of stealth mode this month.

He calls his latest venture, NumberOne AI, “an incubator/accelerator/foundry.”

“It depends on how you define each of these elements,” McClure said. “We have elements of each.”

“From an incubator perspective, we take an idea, a founding member, or a team and help turn that idea into technology and a platform.”

“AI Angle”

Regarding the accelerator role: “We’ll take an existing business with actual revenue and then help infuse an AI angle or value proposition on top of their current go-to-market value to help to accelerate sales.”

Businesses and entrepreneurs will continue to turn to NumberOne AI for help.

“I probably get thrown around 10 to 20 times a week,” even before the $13 million in funding was announced, said McClure, who is a member of the CEO Leadership Alliance Orange Countywhich, among other initiatives, seeks to strengthen the region’s next-generation business base and create an inclusive AI-focused tech talent hub.

“In exchange for adoption in the incubator or accelerator, we get a percentage of the business,” he says. “We are investing the money in people, process and technology to help build this business and this idea.”

He said NumberOne AI will receive a portion of the profits once the “incubated” or “accelerated” business starts generating revenue.

MedTech, supply chain

NumberOne AI already has “areas of focus” that it plans to support.

This includes medical technology, human resources technology, supply chain, marketing technology and cybersecurity.

McClure uses the example of an MRI image looking for specific indications of a problem or abnormality.

“Feed that into a computer and a machine learning algorithm and they can find it even sooner, with some of the smallest hints,” he said.

In short, AI can predict an outcome faster than humans.

McClure won’t disclose any names of companies or contractors his company works with, but said “the first-ever company is expected within the next three to four months.”

“I see us making some exciting announcements, probably in the first half of 2023,” he added.

Future prediction

“Data science learns from the past to predict the future, and that’s what we aim to do with every business we build at NumberOne AI,” McClure said.

“If a human being can look at a script and say, ‘I know what’s going to happen here, then a computer can do it a thousand times better.

So how far can AI and ML look in the future? For example, can they predict the stock market, wars, pandemics, and who will win the Nobel Prizes?

“AI has the potential to do all of this,” McClure says, though making it all a reality is far from the case.

NumberOne AI already has more than 10 employees and contractors, according to McClure. The company will grow organically.

“We’re not going to be a high-volume store. We are going to be a low but quality store,” he says.

Experts predict that AI will bring $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Local and national funders

AI NumberOne says it’s the first of its kind in Orange County to apply a large, automated AI/ML platform to the challenge of starting and launching new businesses.

The $13 million funding for NumberOne AI was led by “CEOs, founders, and serial investors,” the company says.

Funders include:

Art Covielloformer CEO of RSA Security and unique Cylance crew member. His Syn Ventures invested in ShiftLeft earlier this year.

Aidan Kehoefounder and CEO of Skout Cybersecurity. “Stuart [McClure] is a visionary and I’m thrilled to see him using AI to build a better future for all of us,” he said.

Alex Weissmanaging partner of Clear sky and a longtime investor in cybersecurity.

Ray ZadjmoolIrvine Cybersecurity Company CEO Tevora.

Drumwright Investmentsa company started by Hayes Drumwrightfounder of the Irvine Computer Society Trace3and his wife, Susanna.

Capital B5a Silicon Valley investor linked to Clothier Fisher Jurvetson;

Michael Capellasformer CEO of Compaq; and

• Based in Newport Beach Miramar Digital Businesses.

“Many founders and operators struggle to find the right balance between innovation, growth and execution. Stuart has a proven recipe for success that will see countless entrepreneurs succeed with predictive AI/ML at their heart,” Bruce Hallettepartner of Miramar Digital Ventures, said in a statement.

—Mark Muller

Stuart McClure’s Last Voyage

Pioneer in OC cybersecurity and AI Stuart McClure said the pandemic downturn had given him time to come up with his latest business idea.

“It’s COVID actually – sitting there like we all were. In three or four months I was biting my lip trying to figure out what I’m doing now. I really want to take AI and move it into places outside of cybersecurity.

“I just kept incubating the idea of ​​an incubator,” McClure told the Business Journal on Oct. 12.

“The more I thought about it, the more I talked to people and was encouraged, the more I realized it was a very viable option.”

He said he decided to build the company “in Orange County and create a flywheel of investors, entrepreneurs, and founders.”

The result: an incubator/accelerator/foundry to support AI and ML businesses.

His company, AI NumberOnerecently announced that it has raised $13 million to fund its efforts.

McClure is the managing director of the new company, while also serving as CEO of the cybersecurity company ShiftLeft in Silicon Valley.

McClure co-founded Cylance, the Irvine-based internet security company, a decade ago and sold it in 2019 to the Canadian company Blackberry for $1.4 billion.

He then served as president of BlackBerry Cylance, now called BlackBerry Cybersecurity, for about eight months after the sale.

He then worked as a freelancer at a company called Silent Shadow before moving on to his later ventures.

—Kevin Costelloe


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