It used to be that Unicorn companies were something of a rarity, as their name hints. Now, though, it has become something of a common beast in the Israeli high-tech ecosystem. This time it’s Aqua Security that gets tagged with the Unicorn label, closing an impressive $135 million Series E funding round. The investment was led by ION Crossover Partners, and saw participation from M12 Ventures - Microsoft’s venture arm, Insight Partners, TLV Partners, Greenspring, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Acrew Capital. Furthermore, it was reported that the company’s post-money valuation spiked over the billion-dollar mark.
Employees cashing in on options
The Aqua Security platform provides companies complete visibility over their container activity, in addition to identifying and preventing malicious activity. This way, the platform helps enterprises securely transfer applications to production.
“It was a year of significant growth on all fronts,” claims CEO and co-founder Dror Davidoff in a chat with Geektime. “We’ve recruited almost 100 employees worldwide… The ARR has been almost doubled, and we’ve seen an increase in new customers,” he adds. This year, the company launched Aqua DTA, which analyzes containers in a sandbox to locate sophisticated malicious software that sneaks through standard signature-based scans - an increasing attack vector over the last year. “Aqua has the only product that detects attacks during their early stage,” says Davidoff.
“We earned it,” notes Davidoff, who highlights that despite the inflation in Unicorns, companies like Aqua, monday.com, and JFrog have real products, real customers, and gradual growth. This proves that it’s not just blind hype or stupid money waiting to be invested. Regarding the future, Davidoff says: “We plan on going public in two years. No use in trying to predict the future but that’s the goal, and we are preparing the company for it.
And what about the race for talent?
Davidoff: “With the market flooded with money, the race for talent, and the subsequent salaries have become near insane. During this current round, we allocated a nice chunk of money for veteran Aqua employees to cash in on their options, and I’m happy we had the opportunity to reward them now instead of waiting for the IPO.”
In addition to the Series E round, the company has raised $265 million, throughout its 6 years of existence. Aqua was founded at the end of 2015 by Dror Davidoff and Amir Jerbi, and launched its platform in May 2016. The company has offices in Israel, San Francisco, Massachusetts, and London, and plans on adding at least 150 employees to its team of 300 workers.