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Cybersecurity is full of conundrums, but here’s a particularly big one right now: The growing complexity of security has contributed to a huge amount of innovation and risk investment, leading to a large number of new security startups.
All of this leads to a different kind of complexity that businesses face: a plethora of suppliers to choose from.
“You don’t need more than 1,000 cybersecurity startups. That’s not what the industry needs,” said John Brennan, partner at YL Ventures, a security-focused venture capital firm.
And yet, within security, “there are huge issues that remain to be solved,” Brennan told VentureBeat.
With this in mind, YL Ventures, which launched in 2007, has chosen to take a highly focused and selective approach in choosing which startups to fund. In addition to supporting security companies, YL invests exclusively in startups founded in Israel – making only a few new seed investments each year. The company is also fully focused on funding startups it had initially supported at the seed level.
Admittedly, this approach means “ignoring a lot of other great things that are happening,” Brennan said.
‘Really big problems’
However, maintaining this focus will allow YL to devote all its energies to exposing the Israeli security startups “that are pursuing really big problems — and that can essentially justify building big companies,” he said.
To date, those companies have included Axonius, a cybersecurity asset company, whose $4 million starting round in 2017 was led by YL. The venture capital firm stopped investing in 2021 — selling its stake for $270 million — when Axonius raised new funding at a valuation of $1.2 billion (the seller has since moved up to a valuation of $2.6 billion).
More recent startup investments led by YL Ventures include Orca Security, which offers a cloud protection platform and was valued at $1.8 billion in October — despite only being launched in 2019. Orca now has more than 300 employees, more than tripling its workforce and growing its customer base 400% in the past year, the company says.
But what has this highly selective VC firm been investing in lately? YL has disclosed investments in six cyber startup companies since 2020, one of which has already departed (build.security, acquired by Elastic). The other five startups are Enso Security, Grip Security, Piiano, Valence and Eureka.
What follows are details on the five latest security startups backed by YL Ventures.
Seed Round: 2020, $6 Million
Product: Application Security Posture Management solution that provides application discovery, classification, and management.
A “new category” [for] the cybersecurity world,” Application Security Posture Management provides a “systematic process to manage and run AppSec holistically,” Enso says.
The Enso solution provides “comprehensive application visibility, inventory, and discovery of the entire organization’s environment; Workflow management and automation in AppSec and developer teams; Coverage from day one with out-of-the-box application security testing; A contextualized and prioritized list of vulnerabilities and security gaps targeting the assets most important to the business; and executive reporting and monitoring,” the company said.
Differentiators: While many security programs “focus solely on defect management,” Enso says it offers an “asset-first approach,” where defect management is just one part. “It is the first platform capable of building true AppSec maturity by focusing on holistically operating and comprehensive measurement of AppSec programs from start to finish,” the company said. “Enso makes this possible by accommodating all AppSec workflows and tools to break the silos that currently plague business systems, enabling improvements to have a greater impact across entire application portfolios.”
Seed round: 2021, $6 million
Product: Platform to enable visibility, governance, and data security to secure the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Grip aims to “revolutionize SaaS security” while replacing legacy cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions and “help enterprises implement much-needed automated and granular security for SaaS,” the company says.
“Grip’s unique architecture provides security teams with comprehensive visibility and control over any SaaS used by the organization, including shadow applications, without sacrificing performance or interference,” said Grip.
Differentiators: Unlike currently available solutions, Grip says it has “eliminated performance degradation” — eliminating friction or interference, while still ensuring access control and data management work
With the solution, “CISOs don’t need anyone,” Grip says. Meanwhile, unlike existing SaaS solutions, Grip’s platform covers all applications — and connections from anywhere — while providing a simplified “zero touch” implementation, the company says.
Seed round: 2021, $9 million
Product: Platform for protecting and managing personally identifiable information (PII) in cloud-native applications.
Piiano is a “pioneer in data privacy engineering for the cloud, providing the industry’s first personal data protection and management platform to transform the way enterprises build privacy-forward architecture and operationalize privacy practices.” says the company.
The company provides “prebuilt, developer-friendly infrastructure to dramatically facilitate enterprise privacy engineering,” the company says, including the “Piiano vault” for centralizing and protecting sensitive data.
Differentiators: Unlike current data protection solutions, “Piano goes straight to the root of privacy — the developer,” the company says. Using the Piano platform, “developers can bridge security and privacy with architecture-level C-level data protection and privacy requirements,” the company said.
Seed round: 2021, $7 million
Product: Platform that helps businesses manage the risks of third-party integrations and secure connectivity between apps.
Valence says it requires a zero-trust approach to securing the “Business Application Mesh” — the numerous applications and connections between them that businesses depend on.
The Valence platform “provides comprehensive access to the risk surface and identifies and mitigates the internal and external access risks associated with it,” the company says. “The Valence platform provides fast, continuous, and non-intrusive management of risk surfaces for Business Application Mesh and streamlines collaboration between business application teams and enterprise IT security teams.”
Differentiators: Unlike current identity and access management solutions that “focus on the interaction between humans and applications, Valence is the first company to focus on the non-human element that drives interconnectivity between business applications,” the company says. “Unlike human identities, where you can enforce MFA and managed devices, non-human identities operate on a machine-to-machine basis, requiring a different set of security controls and governance.”
Seed round: 2022, $8 million
Product: Cloud Data Security Posture Management platform that aims to help security teams address the growth of cloud data.
Eureka is a pioneer in Cloud Data Security Posture Management, a holistic approach to keep all data residing in enterprise cloud data stores safe, regardless of where it is or how it got there, and without requiring in-depth expertise. is required on how each data store works. company says. “Eureka empowers security teams to reduce the risk of data loss and theft in multi-cloud environments by taking control of their organization’s entire cloud data security and compliance.”
Differentiators: Eureka says it “provides a higher layer of security compared to point solutions and native tools by providing comprehensive and real-time views of data stores and their associated risks, in addition to the data-centric policy translation engine.”
This engine “automatically translates data protection policies around privacy, risk, compliance and security into platform-specific controls that can be implemented in any cloud data store,” the company said.
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This post A Look at the 5 Latest Security Startups Powered by YL Ventures
was original published at “https://venturebeat.com/2022/04/06/a-look-at-the-5-latest-security-startups-backed-by-yl-ventures/”