With $175M in new funding, Island is putting the browser at the center of enterprise security | TechCrunch

Island, the enterprise browser company, may be the most valuable startup you’ve never heard of. The company, which is putting the browser at the center of security, on Tuesday announced a $175 million Series D investment at a whopping $3 billion valuation. island A total of $487 million has been raised so far.

That’s a lot of money, and it makes us wonder: What is the company doing to warrant such an investment at this level of value? Doug Lyons, a partner at Sequoia who invested in the A round in Island, says he was attracted by the company’s founding team and unique value proposition.

“The two founders, one of whom was a technical founder out of Israel – Dan Amiga – and one who was a very senior security executive out of the US – Mike Fay – had a vision that if you could build a browser based on Chromium “Looks like a standard browser for a consumer employee in a corporation, but was secure, it would stop bad guys from doing a lot of things,” Lyon told TechCrunch.

He says the end result is that you can reduce the overall cost of security by replacing things like VPNs, data loss prevention, and mobile device management, all of which can be done directly in the browser instead of purchasing separate tools. Are. This can reduce the overall cost of securing the network.

Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says Island is defining a category with an enterprise browser, while allowing employees to work in a familiar environment and keeping them more secure.

“They’re using the security angle to change human computing interactions,” he said. “Think of the browser as your screen in a ‘choose your own adventure’ game, and based on all the data captured, it can deliver contextually relevant content, actions and insights, but it also provides enterprise class security. “While doing so, it does so through data, process and identity.”

Fay admits that if he came to a company with a proprietary browser, and they had 20,000 apps — which would be possible at a Fortune 100 company — he would have to test all of those apps against that browser. But the fact that Island is based on the Chromium standard means IT can trust the browser without putting everything through a lengthy testing process. “Browser World Standardized on Chromium, This idea could not have come to fruition before that,” Fay said.

Despite the value proposition and standardized approach, Fay says some clarification is still needed for executives to understand that by paying for a security-focused browser, they can actually save money in the long run. “You have to show where the ROI is [return on investment] Comes from. What am I getting? Where is this coming from? And the ROI should be very understandable and very credible and big,” he said.

how large? Consider that they say a company saved $300 million a year by closing racks in a data center because they no longer needed nearly the same level of resources to run the same applications.

Fay says it’s not about replacing these tools, but rather about the fact that leveraging a standardized browser would have made it much easier to perform things like web filtering or even on virtual desktops. Is. It sounds simple, but the company has 280 employees, 100 of whom are engineers. He says a lot of engineering work went into making this possible.

Although he wouldn’t discuss specific revenue figures, the company has about 200 customers and has been growing steadily over the past few years. Lyon called this exponential growth.

Fay believes Island could eventually become a large public company. “At this point we have good ARR, meaningful ARR and our margins are good,” he said. “So you know what we think is that we will make a strong IPO candidate someday, but not next year. some day.”