Israeli cybersecurity asset management company startup Axonius has announced that it has raised $100 million in a D round. The round was led by New York-based growth investment firm Stripes, with the participation of existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, OpenView, Lightspeed, and Vertex. Stripes founder and partner Ken Fox is joining Axonius's board of directors.
The current round brings the total amount raised by Axonius to date to $195 million. The company states that the round was at a valuation of over $1 billion, putting Axonius, which was founded only in 2017, into the rapidly expanding Israeli unicorn club, as money continues to flow to the technology sector.
Last December, Axonius was selected among "Globes'" ten most promising startups of 2020. The company was founded by Dean Sysman, Ofri Shur and Avidor Bartov, who met during their service in the IDF's intelligence unit 8200. Axonius helps enterprises identify and protect computers and other devices connected to their networks, when the enterprises themselves may not be aware of their existence. At the end of 2020, the company had 120 employees, half of them in Israel and half in the US.
Axonius uses a different approach from that of another Israeli cybersecurity company, Armis, to identifying devices connected to a network. Armis's solution is based on scanning the enterprise's network traffic to identify the device the moment that it connects to it. If a hospital connects a new X-ray machine to its network, Armis will know immediately.
Axonius, on the other hand, connects to the systems that the enterprise uses, such as various security systems, cloud platforms, information systems, and even its Zoom account. Axonius produces a log of who has connected to the systems and how, and by cross-checking information sources it arrives at a full picture of what is happening in the enterprise. "You could say that the regular methods are like knocking on every door in a building to see who lives there. We go to the manager of the building, tell him that we are entitled to know who lives in it, and obtain the list," Sysman, who serves as Axonius's CEO, explained.
Sysman says that Axonius's method is better to suited to a time when computing is switching to the cloud, and especially when it comes to remote working. "Employees who connect remotely reach the enterprise's applications directly, without going via the network, and so if you scan the network you won't see whether they have connected from their laptop at home or from their telephone in a café via WhatsApp," Sysman said.
"Axonius is one of the fastest growing companies in Bessemer's history. It took it less than fifteen months to grow from $1 million to $10 million in ARR terms," said Bessemer Venture Partners partner Amit Karp, who is also a director of Axonius.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 1, 2021
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