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Snyk; Uptycs; Stackhawk; ShiftLeft; Yuqing Liu/Business Insider


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  • Developer security is one of the fastest-growing segments of the booming cybersecurity industry, according to the analysis firm PitchBook.
  • The sector is pushed by the hot trend of “shift left,” which moves security earlier in the development process. 
  • Startups are driving the shift left trend, from $2.6 billion Snyk to newer startups Apiiro and StackHawk.
  • Here are the top startups in this sector with valuations above $20 million, according to Pitchbook, and two newer startups curated by Business Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One of the hottest segments in the booming cybersecurity industry is developer security, which focuses on helping engineers build safer software and applications from the very beginning, with the goal of preventing would-be hacks from ever taking place. 

Its rise is part of cybersecurity’s mantra of “shift left,” which is industry slang for moving security earlier in the process of developing software and mobile applications. Companies are now beefing up application security in the beginning of development— by using artificial intelligence to check security code or pulling from libraries of “clean” code — rather than tacking it on at the end. 

This delights some longtime cybersecurity experts: “I have spent 35 years trying to get at the root cause of cybersecurity issues,” Ted Schlein, the longtime cybersecurity investor and general partner at Kleiner Perkins told Business Insider in a recent interview.

The good news for Schlein and other experts is that developer security is being driven by startups, from $2.6 billion Snyk to newer firms like Apiiro and StackHawk.

PitchBook pegs application security – which developer security, or DevOps, falls under – as a $4.7 billion market as of 2020, with double-digit growth next year ultimately leading to a $7 billion market by 2023. 

“DevOps security tools are gaining traction because organizational culture shifts have led developers to become central to the security buying process,” says Brendan Burke, an emerging technology analyst at PitchBook. “Leading cybersecurity VC investors have achieved a first wave of exits benefiting from this cultural shift and are doubling down on the niche.”

DevOps companies Splunk, New Relic, PagerDuty, and most recently JFrog have all gone public in recent years, and all have DevOps security-related offerings. 

Here are 23 startups that PitchBook lists in the DevOpps security space with a valuation of at least $20 million, as well as two other startups in the space curated by Business Insider (all financial and company data via PitchBook unless otherwise stated):

Snyk

Peter McKay Snyk

Peter McKay, CEO of Snyk.

Snyk


Location: Boston

Founded: 2015

Employees: 375

Total funding raised: $454.51 million

Valuation: $2.6 billion

Investors: Salesforce Ventures, Addition, Canaan Partners

What it does: Snyk (pronounced sneak) scans open-source computer code — which software developers increasingly rely on to quickly build applications — and finds and fixes security vulnerabilities. The company raised a $200 million Series D in September and acquired an AI company from Switzerland DeepCode.

Auth0

Eugenio Pace

Auth0 CEO Eugenio Pace.

Auth0


Location: Bellevue, Washington

Founded: 2013

Employees: 700

Total funding raised:$333.5 million

Valuation: $1.92 billion

Investors: Telstra Ventures, DTCP, Bessemer Venture Partners

What it does: Auth0 manages user authentication and identity verification for large companies through single-sign-on or multi-factor authentication and makes it easy for developers to add that functionality to their applications. In June, the company raised a $120 million Series F round led by Salesforce. 

Contrast Security

Jeff Williams Contrast Security

Jeff Williams, CTO of Contrast Security

Contrast Security


Location: Los Altos, California

Founded: 2014

Employees: 290

Total funding raised: $119.6 million

Valuation: $480 million via PitchBook, though the company said this figure (from February 2019) is “significantly lower” than its current valuation. 

Investors: Warburg Pincus, Battery Ventures, General Catalyst

What it does: Contrast provides a tool called Route Intelligence that tests each segment of computer code for vulnerabilities and maps what parts have been tested, ultimately saving developers time. 

Aqua Security

Co founders of Aqua Security

Co-founders of Aqua Security Amir Jeerbi (left) and Dror Davidoff

Aqua Security


Location: Ramat Gan, Israel

Founded: 2015

Employees: 250

Total funding raised: $131.3 million

Valuation: $362.69 million

Investors: TLV Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Acrew Capital

What it does: Aqua Security automates security checks and prevents vulnerabilities for applicationsbuilt with “containers,” or a method of bundling code that makes it easy for developers to run applications in multiple clouds. Aqua raised $30 million in Series D funding in May.

Tigera

Ratan Tipirneni, CEO of Tigera

Ratan Tipirneni, CEO of Tigera


Linkedin



Location: San Francisco

Founded: 2016

Employees: Unknown 

Total funding raised: $53 million

Valuation: $155 million

Investors: Wing Venture Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Insight Partners

What it does: Tigera helps deveopers and enterprises secure computer code built with Google’s Kubernetes.

StackRox

StackRox CEO Kamal Shah

StackRox CEO Kamal Shah

StackRox


Location: Mountain View, California

Founded: 2014

Employees: 69

Total funding raised: $60.5 million

Valuation: $145 million

Investors: Sequoia Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Amplify Partners

What it does: StackRox provides developers with a range of tools to help them quickly and securely build applications using containers. In September, StackRox raised a $26.5 million Series B that it said would be used to scale and meet demand. 

Gremlin

Kolton Andrus Gremlin

Kolton Andrus, CEO of Gremlin

Gremlin


Location: San Jose, California

Founded: 2016

Employees: 65

Total funding raised: $26 million

Valuation: $143 million

Investors: Redpoint Ventures, Amplify Partners, Index Ventures

What it does: Using experiments that test for security failures, Gremlin points vulnerabilities out to developers and shows how they need to be fixed before applications are pushed through production. 

Uptycs

Ganesh Pai Uptycs CEO

Ganesh Pai, Uptycs CEO

Uptycs


Location: Waltham, Massachusetts

Founded: 2016

Employees: 65

Total funding raised: $43.3 million

Valuation: $130 million

Investors: Comcast Ventures, ForgePoint Capital, Sapphire Ventures

What it does: Uptycs helps developers find long-term security issues, like vulnerabilities enterprise networks or from employees’ laptops. The company raised a $30 million Series B in June. 

vArmour

Tim Eades, CEO of vArmour

Tim Eades, CEO of vArmour

vArmour


Location: Los Altos, California

Founded: 2011

Employees: 115

Total funding raised: $167 million

Valuation: $130 million

Investors: SC Ventures, NightDragon Security, Redline Capital Management

What it does: vArmour helps developers see how their applications will work with other applications, scanning multi-cloud networks to see how systems interact with the ultimate goal of reducing the risk of security issues. 

Polyverse

Alexander Gounares, CEO of Polyverse

Alexander Gounares, CEO of Polyverse


Linkedin



Location: Bellevue, Washington

Founded: 2012

Employees: 40

Total funding raised: $37 million

Valuation: $96 million

Investors: Soliton Systems, SpringRock Ventures, Clear Fir Partners

What it does: Polyverse targets its product to the US military: Its software disguises details of open-source code to prevent hackers from finding security weaknesses, which lets developers use it in defense applications. In September, the company raised $16 million.

Capsule8

John Viega, CEO of Capsul8

John Viega, CEO of Capsul8

Capsul8


Location: New York

Founded: 2016

Employees: 49

Total funding raised: $29.8 million

Valuation: $80 million

Investors: Bessemer Venture Partners, Rain Capital, ClearSky

What it does: Capsule8 helps to ensure that separate applications running on the Linux operating system can work securely. It does this by testing the security of entire networks, rather than addressing application issues separately. 

ShiftLeft

Manish Gupta ShiftLeft CEO

Manish Gupta, ShiftLeft CEO

ShiftLeft


Location: Santa Clara, California

Founded: 2016

Employees: 43

Total funding raised: $29.3 million

Valuation: $60.8 million

Investors: Thomvest Ventures, Mayfield Fund, SineWave Ventures

What it does: ShiftLeft is an application security tool designed to apply cybersecurity early on in the development process of new applications. 

ForAllSecure

David Brumley, CEO of ForAllSecure

David Brumley, CEO of ForAllSecure

ForAllSecure


Location: Pittsburgh

Founded: 2012

Employees: 32

Total funding raised: $14.7 million

Valuation: $59.7 million

Investors: Jim Swartz, Lane Bess, New Enterprise Associates

What it does: ForAllSecure sells a system that uses artificial intelligence to autonomously point out security flaws. In April, the company was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fossa

Kevin Wang CEO FOSSA

Kevin Wang is the CEO of FOSSA.

FOSSA


Location: San Francisco, CA

Founded: 2014

Employees: 74

Total funding raised: $33.9 million

Valuation: $58.5 million

Investors: Bain Capital Ventures, Canvas Ventures, Flight Ventures

What it does: FOSSA, an acronym for “free open-source software auditing,” helps developers find secure open source code to integrate into the software they are building, and counts Uber, Motorola, and Verizon among its customers.

Blue Cedar

John Aisien Blue Cedar

John Aisien is the CEO of Blue Cedar.

LinkedIn


Location: San Francisco 

Founded: 2016

Employees: Unknown 

Total funding raised: $27 million

Valuation: $57 million 

Investors: Grayhawk Capital, Kreos Capital, Sway Ventures

What it does: Blue Cedar offers a “no-code” platform for easily installing security features that block unauthorized access to user data. 

GitGuardian

GitGuardian founders: Jérémy Thomas and Eric Fourrier

GitGuardian founders: Jérémy Thomas and Eric Fourrier

GitGuardian


Location: Paris, France

Founded: 2017

Employees: 32

Total funding raised: $14 million

Valuation: $42.64 million

Investors: Delphis, Lise Invest, Scott Chacon

What it does:GitGuardian’s software continuously scans public computer code repositories for confidential company assets accidentally uploaded that hackers could use to break into networks.

Cybellum

Cybellum founder Salava Bronfman

Cybellum CTO Michael Engstler, left, and CEO Salava Bronfman

Cybellum


Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Founded: 2016

Employees: Unknown 

Total funding raised: $14.5 million

Valuation: $37.32 million

Investors: RSBG Ventures, Target Global, Blumberg Capital

What it does: Cybellum makes a risk-assessment tool that helps manufacturers of connected devices identify and fix security issues during the development and production process. 

Calypso AI

Neil Serebryany, CEO of Calypso

Neil Serebryany, CEO of Calypso

Calypso


Location: San Mateo, California 

Founded: 2018

Employees: 17

Total funding raised: $13 million

Valuation: $33 million

Investors: Manta Ray Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Phoenix International Investments

What it does: CalypsoAI uses machine learning programs to make government artificial intelligence systems more secure. The company recently nabbed $13 million in Series A funding in April. 

Aurora Labs

Zohar Fox, CEO of Aurora Labs

Zohar Fox, CEO of Aurora Labs

Aurora Labs


Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Founded: 2016

Employees: 30

Total funding raised: $34.1 million

Valuation:$32.4 million+ via PitchBook, though exact figure is unknown

Investors: TA Ventures, MizMaa Ventures, Fraser McCombs Capital

What it does: Aurora Labs helps developers build applications to allow cars and other machinery to address security issues through automatically rolling out patches. It raised a $23 million Series B in September.

TerraTrue

Jad and Chris.TerraTruejpg

TerraTrue cofounders Chris Handman, left, and Chad Boutros.

TerraTrue


Location: San Francisco

Founded: 2018

Employees: 12

Total funding raised: $4.5 million

Valuation: $24.5 million

Investors: Neal Katyal, Anthos Capital, Christopher Sacca

What it does: TerraTrue helps companies comply with local and federal privacy and user data laws by implementing privacy safeguards throughout software development and production. In April, the company was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan.

BluBracket

Prakash Linga, CEO of BluBracket

Prakash Linga, CEO of BluBracket

BluBracket


Location: Palo Alto

Founded: 2019

Employees: 17

Total funding raised: $6.5 million

Valuation: $24 million+ PitchBook, though exact figure is unknown 

Investors: Unusual Ventures, SignalFire, Firebolt Ventures

What it does: BluBracket helps software developers track and map their use of public computer code from repositories like GitHub. 

Alcide

Amir Alcide, CEO of Alcide

Amir Alcide, CEO of Alcide

Alcide


Location: San Mateo, CA

Founded: 2016

Employees: 34

Total funding raised: $12.2 million

Valuation: $20.5 million

Investors: Israel Innovation Authority, Elron Electronic Industries, Intel Capital

What it does: Alcide helps make containers more secure. 

Medcrypt

Mike Kijewski, CEO of Medcrypt

Mike Kijewski, CEO of Medcrypt

Medcrypt


Location: Encinitas, California

Founded: 2016

Employees: 34

Total funding raised: $8.3 million

Valuation: $21 million, according to the company

Investors: Eniac Ventures, Section 32, Grant Park Ventures, Y Combinator

What it does: Medcrypt is a data security company focused on the medical industry. The company helps developers to build privacy features into medical equipment with a few lines of code.  

Bonus: StackHawk

Joni Klippert StackHawk

CEO Joni Klippert of StackHawk

StackHawk


Location: Denver

Founded: 2019

Employees: 15

Total funding raised: $14.62 million

Valuation: Unknown 

Investors: Sapphire Ventures, Todd Vernon, Costanoa Ventures

What it does: StackHawk works in tandem with developers to check for security flaws every time they write a line of code. The company raised $10 million in Series A in October.

Source: StackHawk

Bonus: Apiiro

apiiro cofounders

Apiiro cofounders Idan Plotnik and Yonatan Eldar

apiiro


Location: Tel Aviv, Israel 

Founded: 2019

Employees: 25

Total funding raised: $35 million 

Valuation: Unknown 

Investors: Kleiner Perkins, Amichai Shulman, Greylock Partners

What it does: Apiiro helps software developers ensure the applications and products they are building will be free from security vulnerabilities by using machine learning programs to learn how computer code will perform when connected with other code – and automatically addresses any security issues. The company launched out of stealth last month with a $35 million Series A.

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