New security startup Expel secures $7.5 million series A financing

Led by Dave Merkel, former global CTO of FireEye and Mandiant, Expel will use funding to address long-standing problems in information security.

Press releases · Cole Finch

McLean, Va. – September 26, 2016 — Expel, Inc., a new cyber security company founded by prominent industry veterans, announced it closed $7.5 million in Series A funding from experienced security investors. The financing was led by Paladin Capital Group, with participation from New Enterprise Associates, Battery Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Lightbank, and other strategic and individual investors. Expel is founded by senior executives previously at FireEye and Mandiant.

“Enterprise leaders and C-suite executives want answers – cyber security remains a struggle despite the record number of security tools available today. We see an opportunity to take a new approach to the problem,” said Dave Merkel, co-founder and CEO of Expel. “We’ll be talking more about our unique technology platform and model for serving our customers in the coming months. For now, we are delighted to have the support of a strong group of investors who share our vision and have deep expertise in building and scaling great companies.”

Expel, which aims to decrease the burden of maintaining security systems on companies, is based in suburban Washington, DC. The company is still in stealth mode. CEO Merkel was previously the chief technology officer and vice president of products and threat-management solutions at Mandiant, the security firm perhaps best known for exposing a Chinese military unit the company believes was responsible for a major cyber-espionage and hacking campaign aimed at U.S. companies and other targets over several years.

Mandiant was acquired by cyber security company FireEye for $1.05 billion in early 2014.

“We are excited to partner with Expel’s proven team to bring compelling solutions and technology enabled expertise to a large but underserved market,” said Mourad Yesayan, principal at Paladin Capital Group and Expel board member. “We look forward to talking more with the market in the future as Expel rolls out to its customers.”

With spending on cyber security technology growing at a faster rate than overall IT spending, it’s clear companies are open to trying new solutions. “And we think the team at Expel is very well positioned to capitalize on this trend,” said Dharmesh Thakker, a general partner at Battery Ventures.

About Paladin Capital Group
Paladin Capital Group was founded in 2001 and has offices in Washington DC, New York, London, and Silicon Valley. As a multi-stage investor, Paladin focuses on best-of-breed companies with technologies, products, and services that meet the challenging global cyber security and digital infrastructure resilience needs for commercial and government customers. Paladin has over $1 billion in committed capital across multiple funds. Follow the firm on Twitter @Paladincap, visit our website at

About New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With nearly $17 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm’s founding in 1977, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 200 portfolio company IPOs and more than 320 acquisitions. Learn more about NEA at

About Battery Ventures
Battery strives to invest in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, web infrastructure, consumer Internet, mobile and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to private equity and invests globally from offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and Israel. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at and find a full list of Battery’s portfolio companies here.

Resources home