Cloud security startup Wiz has raised more than $120 million in a funding round led by customer relationship management (CRM) giant Salesforce, according to Bloomberg.
The funding would be the Tel Aviv, Israel-based Wiz’s third financing round in the past six months, coming just two months after the firm notched a $1.7 billion valuation following a $130 million Series B round led by private equity investor Advent International. Neither Wiz nor Salesforce immediately responded to CRN requests for comment on the Bloomberg report.
Wiz was founded in January 2020, and emerged from stealth in December 2020 with an astronomical $100 million in Series A funding from Index Ventures, Sequoia, Insight Partners and Cyberstarts. Wiz today employs 82 people, up from just 19 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn. The Salesforce haul would bring Wiz’s total funding to $350 million just 16 months after the company was launched.
Wiz was established by CEO Assaf Rappaport and the other founders of cloud access security broker Adallom, who sold their company to Microsoft for $320 million in September 2015, less than three years after Adallom’s founding. Rappaport and his team then spent nearly four and a half years leading Microsoft’s Cloud Security Group before leaving at the beginning of 2020 to start Wiz.
Wiz said its architecture facilitates scanning of the entire cloud environment across all compute types and cloud services for vulnerabilities, configuration, network, and security issues. The company offers a weighted view of risk that allows customers to assess vulnerabilities and misconfigurations based on severity, exposure, exploitability, blast radius and business impact, according to Wiz.
Rappaport said in March that more than 10 percent of the Fortune 500 are already using Wiz. The company’s customers include electronic signature vendor DocuSign, materials science and manufacturing firm Avery Dennison, and life insurance provider MassMutual, according to Wiz’s website. Wiz doesn’t mention channel partners anywhere on the company’s website.
Wiz is the fifth cloud or container security startup to achieve a valuation of more than $1 billion this year. Lacework raised $525 million in a January round led by Sutter Hill and Altimeter Capital; Aqua Security raised $135 in March from ION Crossover Partners; Orca Security raised $210 million in March from CapitalG; and Sysdig raised $188 million in April from Third Point Ventures and Premji Invest.
All the outside money flowing into cloud security startups has put pressure on incumbent vendors in the space like San Jose, Calif.-based Palo Alto Networks with their Prisma Cloud platform.
“On the Prisma Cloud side, I‘d say we were doing fine, and we are doing fine,” Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks chairman and CEO, told investors Thursday. “But suddenly, the equity – the venture markets have gone and provided phenomenal valuations and dumped a lot of cash in some very early stage companies, who are now dangling large paychecks to our salespeople because we’ve got the most qualified large security sales team.”