Cybersecurity investing
isn’t part of what we do.

It’s everything we do.

Option3 is a specialist cybersecurity private equity firm with a cyber heritage from the classified world of national security, broad investment expertise that runs from venture to buyout, and deep operational experience spanning the entire C-suite. We seek to both make superior returns for our investors, and invest in those companies that America will need most in the next five years.

We identify the true investment whitespaces, the underserved and underinvested frontiers that are critical for the security and resiliency of the country.

With the relentless rise in online attacks, cybersecurity offers investors double digit growth, largely immune to the economy. But it is crowded, complicated, and constantly changing, leading to the rise of cyber specialist investors , and with it, sector-focused funds.

Option3’s success lies in combining its national security heritage and access with broad investment experience from seed to buyout. It seeks companies on the cyber frontier that address challenges most essential for the security and resiliency of the country: disruptive technologies, automation, cyber-physical threats, and risk transfer.

Investment and Operating Team

Option3 has built a multi-functional team of dedicated cybersecurity investment, operations and technology experts that bring together the experience and expertise required for meeting the unique challenges of investing in the cyber sector. Each member has an average of 25 years of work experience. Working together, the team has closed five investments, and are launching their first dedicated fund.

Manish Thakur

Managing Partner

Merrick Andlinger

Chief Investment Partner

Michael Schoenbach


Lisa Donnan

Operating Partner

Dr. Peter Fonash

Chief Technology Officer

Jeanette Kirazian

VP, Finance

Vishal Gaglani


Headshot of Jennifer
Jenn Sherman

Marketing Director

Chris Woods


Technology Board

At the heart of Option3’s decision making is its Technology Board, which assesses each potential investment that we make. The Technology Board consists of former Chief Information Officers from such organizations as the CIA, DoD, U.S. CyberCommand, Merrill Lynch, AOL Time Warner, among others.

John Stenbit

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense and Current Advisory Board member of NSA

Alan Wade

Former Chief Information Officer of CIA

Greg Akers

Former SVP Advanced Security initiatives, CISCO

Strategic Advisory Council

Option3 benefits from a wide array of Strategic Advisors, who bring specialist expertise covering target market verticals, industries, technologies and investment classes. The Council is Chaired by Option3’s Senior Strategic Advisor, Dick Fuld, former CEO of Lehman Brothers.

Richard S. Fuld, Jr.

Senior Strategic Advisor, Former CEO of Lehman Brothers.

Sean Plankey

Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, Department of Energy.

Armeane Choksi
Former Vice President, World Bank, Managing Partner of boutique investment bank, and emerging market hedge fund. Co-founder of Option3.
Jamil Sopher
Family Office Investor, early entrant into cyber sector. First outside investor in Option3. Former Senior Project Manager, World Bank.
Jennifer Fearon
Managing Partner of VentureLink Advisers, a corporate finance, business and financial consulting firm. Advising Option3 since 2016.
Christopher Carolan
Partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP. Advisor to Option3 since its founding.

Over the past six years, Option3 has invested in 8 companies from as far afield as Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, and Western Europe, with roughly half being in the Washington DC area. Two of our earlier investments have been realized through company acquisition by recognized leaders in their product areas, while others have seen large unrealize value creation.

Our investments have ranged from threat intelligence to data loss prevention – areas that have been prioritized at different times by our sector-selection methodology that is informed by four underlying themes driving cybersecurity: automation, disruptive technologies, cyber-physical and risk transfer, governance & analytics.

One of our biggest focus areas today is physical infrastructure, which can include:

  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Industrial Controls
  • Operational Technology
  • Automotive Security
  • Internet of Things

In 2022, we launch “C2”, our Option3 Cyber II, LP buyout fund, as well as “Trident”, a direct investment opportunity seeking to consolidate the Active Cyber Defense space.

Option 3 Cyber Investments II, LP (O3C2)


Dellfer protected connected devices and apps act as threat sensors. With Dellfer’s comprehensive and continuous protection your connected devices and apps remain safe. The key to cyberattack detection and prevention is awareness.


Onclave brings the same level of protection to IoT that our military and Intelligence communities employ to protect our nation’s most critical assets.

Dark Cubed

Dark Cubed is a powerful and easy-to-use cyber security software as a service (SaaS) platform that deploys instantly and delivers enterprise-grade threat identification and protection at a fraction of the cost.


Veracity’s resilient software-defined industrial network provides an on premises, centralized configuration, control and monitoring solution that tracks all connected devices and their communications.


Centripetal Networks

Provides automated cybersecurity threat remediation by aggregating and applying threat intelligence at a speed and scale unmatched today (providing real-time defense against known bad actors on the Internet).

Certes Networks

Provides a highly proprietary approach to software defined security that will accelerate the $1 trillion communications sector’s transfer from hardware to software, providing enterprises with network security at a scale well beyond the competition.

Successful Exits

Watchful Software

Watchful Software provides user-friendly, data-centric classification and keystroke dynamics that don’t impact your users. RightsWATCH and TypeWATCH are tailored to provide persistent security solutions that prevent accidental and malicious disclosure. As a result, your security protocols are enhanced and compliance becomes the rule.

Logo of OmniEarth

Pioneered the application of artificial intelligence/ machine learning analytics to satellite/ drone imagery/ sensory data and big data to extract actionable, predictive business intelligence that was previously unobtainable.


Option3 launched its successful Option3 Cyber Investments LLC (C1) portfolio in 2015, soon after the firm’s launch. This concentrated venture portfolio was Option3’s market entry vehicle and funded largely my partners. It is currently tracking to outsized returns, and is no longer open to investors.

Option3 has begun “advance investing” out of Option3 Cyber II, LP (C2) through its CS portfolio, which the fund will purchase in 2022. C2 seeks to make buyout or control; investments in mid-market cybersecurity companies that address the nation’s most pressing priorities

Option3 Cyber Investments II, LP (C2)

Option3 Cyber II LP (“C2” or the “Fund”) seeks to make buyout or control investments in mid-market cybersecurity companies that address our nation’s most pressing priorities. It is managed by Option3, a specialist cybersecurity investment firm with a national security heritage, broad investment expertise and deep operational experience. Option3 began deploying capital on behalf of C2 in 2020. Those investments, now estimated at $15M, will join C2 in 2022, and serve as a pipeline of potential future control transactions for the Fund.


Series A Round

Joint Lead

Automotive Security


Series B Round


IoT/OT Security

Dark Cubed

Series A Round

Lead Investor

SMB Threat Intelligence
Cyber Insurance


Series A Round

Joint Lead

Industrial Controls

Option3 Cyber Investments LLC (O3C1) and Prior Investment

Option3 Cyber Investments LLC (C1) was conceived and launched soon after the company’s founding in 2015 as its market debut investment fund, and funded by the Firm’s partners and closely related investors. Its concentrated portfolio, comprising three venture investments, is tracking for returns far outpacing all benchmarks. As of early 2021, this vehicle’s estimated value is approximately $80M, following one exit and a large unrealized gain.

Centripetal Networks
Awarded largest patent award in history

Series A-2 Round

Threat Intelligence

Certes Networks
Series A Round co-investor

Image Risk Analytics

Logo of OmniEarth
Sold to Eagleview Technologies

Software Defined Networking

Watchful Software
Sold to Symantec

Series A. Convertible Debt

Data Loss Prevention

200 Park Avenue, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10166
(212) 897-2370

1818 Library Street Suite 500 
Reston, VA 20190