Blink looks to simplify cloud operations management with $26M investment

Blink’s co-founders have been working in security and automation for a number of years, and they observed that there was a strong overlap between developer operations (DevOps) and security operations (SecOps) when it came to managing cloud infrastructure.

Initially, the founders believed this was strictly a DevOps problem, but as they did research with potential customers for their burgeoning startup, security management kept coming up, and they realized this was two parts of the same problem.

“We realized that most of the DevOps teams, the infrastructure teams and developers were telling us that they were spending 30 to 50% of their time doing security-related stuff,” Blink co-founder and CEO Gil Barak told me.

He said that in the old on-prem world, IT and security worked in silos and often clashed when requirements weren’t being met, but as companies have moved increasingly to the cloud, the teams have grown more cooperative.

“When you look at the new world of CloudOps, talking to CISOs (chief information security officers) and DevOps, they work together. They help each other. It’s a completely different dynamic,” Barak said.

Blink’s solution provides a way to build playbooks without using code to automate different activities, whether it’s an incident response, a security breach or deploying an Amazon S3 bucket.

“At the end of the day, we provide a workflow platform that lets you automate workflows, as well as build internal tools for operating in the cloud,” he said. “It is not just making sure it’s up and running. It’s also making sure it’s secure and making sure the costs are right, and so we realized that it’s essentially the same solution, having the same teams addressing multiple use cases.”

The company launched last year and took a good part of the year building and refining the product with design partners to get it right. In fact, they completely changed it from the original vision. After getting feedback from potential customers, they shifted to a no-code approach to solving the problem. The product is not in GA yet, but he expects that to happen sometime in the second half of the year.

The company has about 30 employees, with some in the U.S. in the Bay Area, some in Israel and others spread out across the world, including a few from Ukraine, who he reports are safe in Poland at the moment. The startup hopes to double the number of employees by the end of the year, and he says he wants to build a diverse group by not always looking for a certain skill set, but a willingness to learn.

“I believe, personally, that when somebody is really good at something they can be good at many other things. And so that’s basically how we select our people,” he said. To do that, he may look for potential employees who have a set of skills, even when they don’t match perfectly with the job description.

The company announced $26 million in funding today. That breaks down to $20 million Series A and the remainder in seed and pre-seed funding received previously. The funding was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Entrée Capital, Hetz Ventures and a slew of individual tech industry investors.