You will be excused if you haven’t heard of Wiz, an 18-month-old Israeli security startup from Microsoft Azure vets, but it has already been turning heads by raising $550 million on a $6 billion valuation. (No, that is not a typo.)
Wiz started out by creating an agentless tool to scan across the range of cloud tooling from virtual machines to containers to serverless, says Raaz Herzberg, Wiz’s head of product. “When we think about the tools organizations started from deploying in the cloud, most were not cloud native. We basically took the cloud API’s and worked our way to doing a full scan, and that has never been done before,” she said.
Today, the company introduced a new product called Wiz Guardrails designed to create a single security policy to protect code, from creation to production, essentially extending the coverage of the original product from the cloud infrastructure to the development pipeline.
“We are releasing something today…I honestly believe will transform the way organizations do cloud security by basically enabling them to extend that type of solidified scan across any architecture type and any cloud, and also extending that across the full development pipeline,” Herzberg told me.
The way it works is that admins can define the security policy they want to apply to the code in the pipeline. As the code moves through the production cycle, it continually checks it for anything that falls outside of compliance and flags it for fixing before it becomes a problem. Once in production, it can continue to monitor the code for compliance with the policies.
CEO and co-founder Assaf Rappaport went to Microsoft when it bought his previous startup Adallom, which helped secure SaaS products. He claims to have helped build this to a $2 billion business before heading off on his own again in March 2020, a particularly inopportune time to launch a new company.
But it didn’t seem to hurt him as the company has managed to raise gobs of money at a gaudy $6 billion valuation just nine months after releasing its first product. He says that the market has accelerated due to COVID pushing companies to the cloud faster, something we have heard from many companies since 2020.
What’s more, the founder’s track record also helped instill confidence in investors, who often look for people who have built startups to successful exits, and Rappaport says that they have managed to attract Fortune 500 and 100 companies quickly.
“I think that market opportunity combined with the pace of what we created, I would say [explains] the hype and the excitement from investors about Wiz,” he said.