Island, a Dallas-based startup that has built a Chromium-based browser for the enterprise, has emerged from stealth with almost $100 million in funding.
Island claims its aptly-named Enterprise Browser, which has been in development for almost two years, aims to eliminate the gaps between current consumer-focused browsers and the increasingly complex IT and security requirements of the enterprise.
“The most widely deployed app in the enterprise is the browser, but it’s a consumer-based design,” Island CEO Mike Fey, who previously served as president and COO at Symantec and GM and CTO of McAfee, told TechCrunch. “A consumer wants to have infinite freedom; they want to be able to install anything they want, go anywhere they want, and do who knows what with their browser without any issues. The enterprise, however, wants to make sure that their customer data is safe, that their critical information is protected, and that they’re getting a good experience.”
Island’s browser is based on Chromium, the open-source project that underpins most major browsers, from Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge to Brave and Vivaldi. The startup says this gives its browser a familiar feel, while allowing it to build in critical security control and governance for corporate applications and data.
The browser can secure critical SaaS and internal web applications from data leakage, provide safe access for contractors and BYOD workers and enable security teams to control last-mile actions such as copy, paste, download, upload, screenshots and other activities that might expose critical data. It also comes with built-in security features such as safe browsing, web filtering, web isolation, exploit prevention, smart network routing and zero-trust access.
“Think of it as a browser with infinite last-mile control for enterprises,” said Fey. “We’ve done things to harden the environment, to encrypt items and to provide more control. We’re not necessarily removing the hacker, we’re removing the victory. The reality is that the data they want to access isn’t sitting on your endpoint for them to steal it.”
Island, which has over 100 employees, secured the close-to-$100 million financing from leading early-stage investors, including Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital, Cyberstarts and Stripes. The startup told TechCrunch it will use the investment to staff up and expand its go-to-market strategy.
“I want to have 200 engineers as fast as possible with the one caveat, we will not sacrifice on talent,” said Fey. “So as fast as we can get 200 amazing engineers, we’ll take them.”
The company said it’s already eyeing its next raise. “Series A and Series B are obviously out there, and to accomplish our hopes of dreams, we’ll have to raise soon,” said Fey.