With $175M in new funding, Island is putting the browser at the center of enterprise security | TechCrunch

With $175M in new funding, Island is putting the browser at the center of enterprise security | TechCrunch

Island, the enterprise browser company, is probably the most valuable startup you've never heard of. The company, which puts the browser at the heart of security, announced Tuesday a $175 million Series D investment at a $3 billion valuation. Island A total of $487 million has now been raised.

That's a ton of money, and it makes us wonder: What is the company doing to warrant that kind of investment at that level of value? Doug Levin, a partner at Sequoia, who invested in Island back in the A round, says he was drawn to the company's founding team and unique value proposition.

“The two founders, one of whom was a technical founder out of Israel – Dan Amiga – and one who was a very senior security executive out of the US – Mike Fay – had a vision that if you could develop a Chromium-based browser a “Looks like a standard browser for a user employee in a corporation, but was secure, it would prevent bad guys from doing a lot of things,” Levin told TechCrunch.

The end result, he says, is that you can reduce the overall cost of security by replacing things like VPN, data loss prevention and mobile device management, all in the browser instead of buying separate tools. can go. This can result in lower overall cost of securing the network.

Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says Island is defining a category with an enterprise browser, while allowing employees to work in a familiar environment and keeping them more secure.

“They're using the security angle to change human computing interactions,” he said. “Think of the browser as your screen in a 'choose your own adventure' game, and based on all the data it receives, it can deliver contextually relevant content, actions and insights.” , but it does so while providing enterprise-class security for data, processes and identities.

Fey admits that if he showed up at a company with a proprietary browser, and they had 20,000 apps — which would be possible at a Fortune 100 company — they would have to test all those apps against that browser. But the fact that Island is based on the Chromium standard means IT can trust the browser without putting everything through a lengthy testing process. “Browser's World Standard on Chromium. The idea couldn't have come to fruition earlier,” Fay said.

Despite the value proposition and standardized approach, Fey says executives still need some convincing to understand that by paying for a security-based browser, they can actually save money in the long run. “You have to explain where the ROI (return on investment) comes from. What am I getting? Where is it coming from? And the ROI has to be very tangible and very reliable and big,” he said. .

how big Consider that he says one company saved $300 million a year by closing racks in a data center because they didn't need nearly the same level of resources to run the same applications.

It's not about replacing those tools, Fay says, so much as the fact that leveraging a standard browser makes it so much easier to implement things like web filtering or even virtual desktops. It sounds simple, but the company has 280 employees, 100 of whom are engineers. A lot of engineering went into making this happen, he says.

While he wouldn't discuss specific revenue figures, the company has about 200 customers and has been growing steadily for the past two years. Levin called this exponential growth.

Fey believes Island could eventually become a fairly public company. “We're going to good ARR right now, meaningful ARR, and our margins are good,” he said. “So you know what we think we'll make a strong IPO candidate someday, but not next year. Someday.”

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