- On Thursday, cybersecurity startup Illumio announced it closed $US65 million in Series E funding.
- It also hired Anup Singh, who previously worked at Anaplan, as CFO.
- Illumio says that having Singh on board as CFO will help build a durable company for the long run, but won’t commit to holding an IPO.
- Illumio, a competitor of Cisco and VMware, helps its customers tackle cybersecurity by isolating individual apps on a network, securing them separately from each other.
Cybersecurity startup Illumio just raised a major round of funding that will help it take on Cisco and VMware. And on top of that, it just hired a CFO, ahead of its grand vision of going public some day.
On Thursday, Illumio announced the closing of $US65 million in Series E funding, in a round led by clients advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. In total, it has raised $US332.5 million in funding.
Although he did not disclose its valuation, CEO and co-founder Andrew Rubin says it’s was “a significant uptick from our series D” in 2017. At that time, Illumio had a valuation of $US1.18 billion, according to Pitchbook.
Illumio also announced it hired Anup Singh, who had previously worked as CFO of Anaplan. Illumio declined to comment on the possibility of one day going public, but having a CFO will help it build a sustainable and durable company that will make it possible to, perhaps, have an IPO, says Rubin.
“Whether we have an IPO along or not remains to be seen, but the reason why I joined is to continue to scale the company to the next level,” Singh told Business Insider. “The company has a lot of opportunities to grow to a very large company. We have built a world class team. I’m super excited to work alongside the team in continuing to build the company.”
Rubin recalls that when he first co-founded the company, the service Illumio provides – a specific type of cybersecurity tech, called segmentation – wasn’t very well known. Illumio’s brand of segmentation creates virtual “zones” in data centres and the cloud, so that that each applications can be individually isolated and secured.
“In all early markets, it feels like you have to evangelize why something is important,” Rubin told Business Insider. “We do not feel that way anymore. The market and customers have come around to the realisation that segmentation is no longer something that seems interesting and new.”
Rubin says Illumio’s platform is similar to an MRI machine, except instead of scanning the inside of your body for problems, it maps out applications, building a picture of how different components “talk” to each other and identifying vulnerabilities.
This feature makes Illumio stand out from its larger competitors, Rubin says. What’s more, Illumio’s technology works for both cloud and on-premises workloads.
“It allows you to find and discover things that shouldn’t be there,” Rubin said. “Our competitors have come around to that realisation. Our map and visibility is a big differentiator.”
Rubin says that one of the biggest misconceptions about Illumio is that it’s best for financial services; a reputation it gained when Morgan Stanley signed on as one of its early major customers. However, Illumio has been used in government, retail, education, energy and more, says Rubin, with relevance in even more industries.
“It solves a problem that’s a relatively new but very big problem,” Rubin said. “I think that challenge of being willing to think outside of the box of building something that had never been built before, figuring out how to sell and market it – I also think it’s the reason why the opportunity is as large as it is.”
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