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Startup Orca Security Raises $55M To Thwart Cloud Complexity

‘It’s time to ramp up on all fronts ... We feel this is the right time to hit the gas pedal, and when you do that, you better have a full tank,’ Orca Security Co-Founder and CEO Avi Shua tells CRN.

Rising cloud security star Orca Security has closed a Series B funding round to address emerging technologies, facilitate more customization and build its channel program.

The Los Angeles-based cybersecurity startup said its revenue has grown tenfold since closing its Series A funding round in March, with a dramatic acceleration in cloud migration due to COVID-19 resulting in wait times of up to 10 days for prospects to speak with Orca’s sales team, according to co-founder and CEO Avi Shua. The latest $55 million funding round was led by new investor ICONIQ Growth, Orca said.

“It’s time to ramp up on all fronts,” Shua told CRN. “We feel this is the right time to hit the gas pedal, and when you do that, you better have a full tank.”

[Related: The 20 Coolest Tech Startups Of 2020]

Orca was founded in 2019, and has grown its headcount from less than 30 employees at the start of 2020 to 70 employees today. Twenty-two new hires have been made in the last few months, Shua said, with Orca growing its sales team from two to nine people during that time by hiring for sales leadership, engineering and enablement functions. Orca plans to grow its staff by another 50 percent during 2021.

“It’s been a amazingly successful year for us,” Shua said.

From a technical standpoint, Shua said the Series B funding will allow Orca to add capabilities around Kubernetes and serverless security as well as more customization for advanced customers who are looking to create their own rules. These are typically larger organizations that want to put their own policies in place beyond what’s required by compliance or regulatory frameworks, according to Shua.

Orca’s technology enhancements will make it easier for customers to take a holistic view of risk that goes beyond just looking at the severity of the identified issue, Shua said. For instance, Shua said a server with a critical vulnerability that isn’t exposed to the internet should be a lower remediation priority than a server that’s indirect exposed to a load balancer that could make customer data public.

In addition to providing customers with a customized list of threats that are most important to them, Shua said Orca plans to use the Series B funding to add more detection capabilities and bolster its ability to identify and remediation deviations from compliance frameworks such as PCI in a manner of minutes.

Orca’s few dozen customers span the gamut from startups with a few hundred employees and an IT security team of less than 10 people looking for greater cloud visibility to Fortune 100 companies with hundreds or even thousands of different cloud environments who need help with governance, Shua said. The company is strong in the fintech space, and hopes to have at least 100 customers by late 2021.

Roughly a quarter of Orca’s sales go through the channel today, and Shua said the company works with MSSPs, SIs and consultants that can provide meaningful value-added managed or professional services around the company’s technology. Most of Orca’s very large customers have a direct relationship with the company, while many smaller customers rely on the channel to choose and deploy tools, Shua said.

Orca hopes to grow its channel community from a few partners today to a couple of dozen solution providers a year from now, according to Shua. The company has brought in a marketing leader to build out more channel marketing resources, and has also added channel account manager (CAMs) to help maintain relationships with the solution provider community, Shua said.

Finally, Shua said Orca hopes to use some of the Series B process to build sales offices outside the United States in Australia, Japan and the European Union nations. Roughly a third of Orca’s sales come from outside the U.S. today, and Shua thinks that figure could reach 40 percent by the end of 2021.

“The move to cloud has dramatically accelerated during COVID,” Shua said. “There’s a market for what we’re building.”

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