The cloud security market is heating up within the venture capital community, with the past two months flush in funding for startups operating with a wide range of business maturity levels. That activity has been punctuated over the last month by a hefty round of funding for three already proven cloud security vendors with established technology and a growing roster of clients: Skyhigh Networks, Netskope, and Okta.
The increased investment is another signal of growing IT interest in not only reining in the security of cloud deployments, but also finding better ways to harness the power of cloud computing to deal with some of today's biggest security challenges. Here's the skinny on each deal.
The deal: $40 million in Series C round funding, led by Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. This adds to a total VC tally of $66.5 million for Skyhigh.
What it does: Launched in 2013, Skyhigh Networks focuses on helping enterprises securely adopt cloud services by providing tools that enforce security and governance policies on cloud services accessed from within the network and off the network. Its platform provides discovery of cloud services used within an enterprise, along with risk analysis and controls designed for more than 6,000 cloud services.
What to expect: This latest infusion of cash is meant to bolster Skyhigh's sales and marketing efforts. The firm says that it will use the funds to add at least 70 more bodies to its 135-person team and to expand into Europe and Asia.
The deal: $35 million in Series C round funding, led by Accel Partners. This brings total VC investment in Netskope to $56.4 million.
What it does: A close competitor with Skyhigh, Netskope says its biggest goal is to help CIOs get a handle on shadow IT by offering automatic visibility into how cloud apps are used and enforced within their IT environments. Netskope's platform also offers analytics, policy enforcement, and data loss prevention, as well as anomaly detection for activity in cloud application activity, whether sanctioned or not.
What to expect: Netskope plans to pour the investment into R&D, as well as sales and marketing. It also plans to double headcount from 100 to 200 by the end of 2014.
[What does VC funding of security firms mean for buyers? Read How Enterprises Can Harvest The Knowledge Of Security-Focused Venture Capitalists.]
The deal: $75 million in Series E funding led by Sequoia Capital, raising its total VC funding to $155 million.
What it does: A leader in the burgeoning identity-and-access-management-as-a-service market, Okta has built a cloud-based platform designed to help enterprises centralize management of user identities across on-premises, cloud, and mobile accounts. With a healthy roster of more than 1,200 clients, Okta's technology powers identity management for 4 million users worldwide. Over the few short years it has been around, it has seen a meteoric rise, and this latest round of funding is a testament to its long-term prospects in the security market.
What to expect: This late funding round is meant to sharpen the company's focus in preparation for taking it public in 2016. This means more product development and more aggressive global expansion.