Orca Security raises $210 million, becomes ‘unicorn’ with $1.2 billion valuation

Google’s growth fund leads investment in the Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm set up 2 years ago by former execs of Check Point Software Technologies

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The Orca Security team, March 2021 (Orca Security)
The Orca Security team, March 2021 (Orca Security)

Orca Security has raised a $210 million Series C round led by the growth fund of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Redpoint Ventures, the company said on Tuesday. The new investment brings the cybersecurity firm to a valuation of $1.2 billion, giving it “unicorn” status just two years after its founding.

The startup said the round was led by Alphabet’s CapitalG growth fund and follows a series B funding round in December in which it raised $55 million. Orca Security has raised a total of almost $300 million to date, including the latest funding round, which included participation from existing investors GGV Capital and ICONIQ Growth. In addition, Silicon Valley CISO Investments (SVCI), an angel syndicate of 50 prominent chief information security officers, again invested their personal funds and expertise in the firm, the startup said in a statement.

Orca Security secures the cloud, but it says that unlike competing tools that operate in silos, the firm treats the cloud as an interconnected web of assets, and weighs the risk based on the severity of the attack along with the potential damage it could do to the business.

This does away with “meaningless security alerts” to whittle them down to just the critical few that actually matter, along with an exact pathway to how to fix the breach and the threat. The solution gives enterprises “100 percent visibility and coverage within minutes,” the company says, detecting vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, authentication risk, and secret keys among others. The firm’s patent-pending SideScanning technology is the heart of the platform.

Orca Security was founded in 2019 by Avi Shua and Gil Geron, both of whom formerly held executive positions at the Israeli cybersecurity giant Check Point Software Technologies.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the overall cloud security industry will grow to a market valuation of $37 billion by 2026, as more and more businesses shift activities to the cloud.

“Orca Security represents a revolutionary step forward in optimizing cloud environments,” said Gene Frantz, general partner, CapitalG. “Their touchless SideScanning technology is best-in-class, as confirmed by our extensive interviews with their ecstatic customers and by the senior Google security leaders who we invited to evaluate it. We believe that Avi and team not only have a compelling vision but also the ability to execute it. We’re thrilled to join Orca on their journey to reinvent cloud security.”

In 2020, Orca Security achieved more than 1,000 percent year-over-year growth and signed deals with clients including Robinhood, Databricks, Unity, Live Oak Bank, Lemonade and BeyondTrust, the company said in the statement.

The funding will allow Orca Security to further develop its software, to work with the variety of cloud infrastructure suppliers, like Google Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure.

“By creating a security solution that actually works, we are solving a fundamental problem that has been broken since the inception of cloud security,” said Shua, now the CEO. In the face of increasing threats and rapidly expanding cloud estates, “we enable our customers to instantly protect their cloud environments, eliminate attack paths, fuel digital transformation, and meet compliance mandates.”

By the end of 2021, Orca Security plans to have nearly tripled its R&D and sales teams, and aims to expand its sales offices in Europe. It also plans to open an office in Australia to better serve APAC markets, the statement said.

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