Earlier today, Netskope announced that we have closed a $168.7 million Series F funding round led by existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. Current investors Accel, Geodesic Capital, Iconiq Capital, Sapphire Ventures, and Social Capital also participated, in addition to new investor Base Partners.
I’m very excited about this investment and what it means for our future (I’ll get to that in a minute), but I’m also humbled by how much we have achieved since starting the company six years ago. Whether bringing Netskope for Web to market, the innovation and enhancements we have made in securing cloud infrastructure like AWS and Azure and GCP, the constant pushing of the envelope in DLP and threat protection for all cloud and web environments, or welcoming the Sift Security team to Netskope earlier this year, I am proud of and thankful for our amazing team, partners, and customers.
None of those accomplishments would have been possible without these amazing team members and without the culture of openness, collaboration, no politics and focus on innovation that is the Netskope way. I also want to share why this funding is so important for Netskope.
The concept of “digital transformation” has gained a lot of currency in the last several years, as the shift to the cloud and the rise of a new work-from-anywhere mentality has rippled across the enterprise. While digital transformation may be a buzzword, there is no denying it is a real business imperative, with the cloud as its foundation.
The majority of organizations (as many as 89 percent, according to research firm International Data Group (IDG)), have adopted digital-first strategies. They are doing this to accelerate their businesses to operate in a more cost-effective manner, deliver on-demand customer service, and accommodate a globalized workforce.
To achieve this digital-first approach, many of those organizations are turning to the tens of thousands of cloud services available such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Box, Dropbox, Google G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook. All of these are built using the new language of the Internet, and they shift much of the administrative control away from IT, increasing digital risk and creating new challenges for security teams.
Legacy cyber security vendors have reacted to this shift by acquiring companies and cobbling together disparate architectures and products in an attempt to present customers with a “unified” solution, but in reality these products are unified in name only and they were designed for an environment where data and applications were placed in centralized data centers and IT teams were primarily the ones responsible for selecting and deploying applications.
In short, digital transformation will fail without security transformation.
This investment will further cement our position as the leader in accelerating this security transformation throughout the enterprise, as well as enable even more cutting edge research and development, and drive large scale global data center expansion of our market-leading security cloud.
No company is better positioned to do this than Netskope, because unlike the legacy vendors I mentioned earlier, Netskope was born in the cloud. We empower our customers to achieve the security transformation they need in order to make the shift to a digital-first model.
The Netskope Security Cloud is the only solution on the market that delivers full visibility and control, best-of-breed data loss prevention (DLP), and award-winning threat protection for software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and the web from one cloud architecture. This provides organizations with the knowledge that they are able to manage risk, protect their data, and stop threats, regardless of where, when, or how employees are doing their work.
Our company has spent the last six years bringing the leading security cloud to enterprises to address the growing challenges, as more and more companies embrace digital transformation. With this latest round of funding, we are a step closer to helping all organizations match their security strategy with the pace of today’s digital-first business environment.
The announcement of the new funding comes at a time when Netskope is seeing significant growth and momentum. Netskope was recently named a leader for the second straight year in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Access Security Brokers. In addition to the recognition from Gartner, we were also named to the Forbes 2018 Cloud 100 list of most valuable private cloud computing companies in the world for the second time, and honored as a Coolest Cloud Vendor of 2018 by CRN for the third year in a row.
In the past year, we have increased employee headcount by 50% and opened a new headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., to accommodate our rapidly growing team. To support growing global demand, we also recently hired two new key executives: vice president of corporate development Dave Daetz and general counsel Jim Bushnell.
The digital transformation that’s underway will continue, as organizations look for new and innovative ways to grow and increase productivity. We must, however, avoid the undue risk that legacy security vendors have left us with by making security a top priority and a critical cornerstone of that digital transformation. No company is better positioned than Netskope to make this a reality, and I couldn’t be more excited for what the future of the company entails.