Endpoint Security

Island Raises $100M to Embrace Anomaly Detection, Go Global

CEO Mike Fey Wants Island to Expand From North America to Germany, Japan, Benelux
Island Raises $100M to Embrace Anomaly Detection, Go Global
Mike Fey, co-founder and CEO, Island (Image: Island)

An enterprise browser startup led by former Symantec President and COO Mike Fey closed its Series C round to accelerate market penetration and revenue growth.

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The Dallas-based company said the $100 million investment led by Prysm Capital will make it easier for companies to secure bring your own device, "work from anywhere" patterns and contractor access. Island notched a $1.5 billion valuation in conjunction with the funding, up $200 million from the $1.3 billion market cap associated with the company's $115 million Series B funding round 19 months ago (see: Enterprise Browser Is More Than Just Security).

"We now have the funding we need to scale for three to five years of explosive growth," Island CEO Fey told Information Security Media Group. "Doing an up round is a huge vote of confidence for what we've built. Becoming a unicorn underneath the old rules of valuation versus now is very different. Things are going well enough that people still saw this as an opportunity for explosive growth."

Embracing Automation, Anomaly Detection

Island plans to double its engineering headcount from 100 to 200 over the next 12 to 18 months as it adds new functions around automation and anomaly detection, Fey said. The automation will allow customers to reduce the number of technicians needed to secure the cloud stack, improve the digital experience and observability and deliver a secure experience to any device regardless of posture.

From an anomalous detection perspective, Fey anticipates the investment will offer more visibility into how Island's user community handles apps as well as the cybersecurity or productivity issues the firm's sales reps or call centers workers are hearing about. And from a go-to-market perspective, Island will grow its sales team from 40 to 80 as it expands from North America into Germany, Benelux and Japan.

Island wants to grow from 2 million deployed browsers today to 10 million deployed browsers in less than two years by expanding the number of users within existing customers and adding new customers across the large enterprise segment. Fey said Island continues to keep an eye on cash burn and could turn profitable immediately if the company were to stop hiring new salespeople and sales engineers.

"Island is a pioneer and clear leader in what has rapidly become one of the most exciting and high-growth product segments in cybersecurity," co-founder and Managing Partner Jay Park said in a statement.

From Stealth to Unicorn

Island emerged from stealth 20 months ago with more than 100 employees, nearly $100 million in outside funding, and a generally available product called Enterprise Browser that reimagined the role browsers can play in security and IT functions. Island was co-founded by Fey and ex-Fireglass founder and CTO Dan Amiga - who is Island's CTO - with Forescout CRO Steve Tchejeyan joining as president in July.

Today, Island has received more than $325 million in outside investment. The company addresses both security and productivity use cases with an offering that delivers a robust user experience and is compatible with all devices, operating systems and application types, according to Island.

The company is part of the burgeoning secure browser market, which includes 2022 RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox contest winner Talon Cyber Security, which completed a $100 million Series A funding round in August 2022. But Talon appears to be eyeing the exits, as Calcalist reported last month that Palo Alto Networks was in advanced negotiations to purchase the startup for $600 million.

Established firms also have sought a foothold in the enterprise browser market. Privileged access management vendor CyberArk debuted a secure browser offering in May that prevents adversaries from harvesting the credentials of privileged users who are accessing sensitive web applications. The new browser will aim to prevent CyberArk users from exposing credentials and cookies to bad actors.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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