Since its inception, the young Israeli cyber startup Wiz has received criticism. Perhaps it bothers people that it is "the fastest unicorn in the history of Israeli high-tech", or the fact that it raised copious amounts in capital, or maybe it was the lavish vacation hosted for employees in Mauritius and the extravagant Disney-themed company party it held. With the critiques, the company has been painted the poster girl of the tech "bubble", as various reports on its profits stated that it only made a few million dollars. But yesterday (Wednesday) the startup revealed a new and impressive milestone, especially for how young it is.
The $100-million-a-year club
Wiz was founded in March 2020 by the group of entrepreneurs who founded Adallom – Ami Luttwak, Yinon Costica, Roy Reznik and Assaf Rappaport – and sold it to Microsoft 3 years after the establishment. Rappaport continued at Microsoft and managed the company's Israeli development center, until he left in 2020 and founded Wiz. From the beginning, we could see that Wiz wasn't playing by the book.
For example, only 9 months after it was founded, it had already raised $100 million. But it only picked up the pace from there, as it managed to raise about $600 million in just 18 months, with their most recent valuation being $6 billion. Among the investors in the company are VC firms Sequoia, Index, Insight Partners, Green Oaks, Salesforce and Gili Raanan’s Cyberstarts. Some of their private investors include Bernard Arnault (the third richest man in the world), Howard Schultz (owner of Starbucks) and other prominent entrepreneurs.
Wiz has just announced that it has reached $100 million in annual recurring revenue in only 18 months. According to the company, it is the startup that did it in the shortest time in the world. The importance of using ARR as an index, especially in a time of market uncertainty, is that it signals to investors to focus on generating sales and profits. The Bessemer Foundation uses this index to check the progress of its portfolio companies and calls it the "North Star". However, it is important to remember that this is a private–not public– company, so the data is based on its reports only; we were not allowed to see confirmation or verification from an external accounting firm. In addition, looking only at the ARR index, without data on the cash burn rate, and expenses such as customer acquisition cost, we are only a partial view.
Beyond the heavy funding rounds, the company also jumped in the number of employees they have, from 200 at the beginning of the year to 500 today. Moreover, its product is used by about a quarter of the Fortune 100 companies.
Assaf Rappaport, co-founder and CEO of Wiz, said in response to the announcement: "Many cyber companies today continue to grow rapidly. The slowdown in the markets does not reduce the cyber expenses of large organizations, but the opposite. Many governments are increasing the procurement volumes of cyber technologies, and at the same time applying regulation to a series of organizations, mainly those dealing with critical infrastructures, like financial organizations and health organizations since they use sensitive information of hundreds of millions of citizens and more. Naturally, Israel is one of the main beneficiaries of the growth in the field, and Wiz will continue to grow at a rapid pace in terms of recruiting brilliant employees in Israel and the world, as well as rapidly recruiting customers. We have enough money to continue to support our growth plan and recruit the best talents."