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Salt Security raises $30 million B round led by Sequoia Capital

Kyle Wiggers, Venturebeat, 12-8-2020

Tel Aviv and Palo Alto-based Salt Security Inc. has raised a $30 million series B funding round by Sequoia Capital, the company announced Tuesday. Tenaya Capital, S Capital VC, and Y Combinator also participated in the round. In June, the company raised a $20 million round. To date, the company has raised a total of $60 million in equity financing. Other investors in Salt Security include Check Point co-founder Marius Nacht, and René Bonvanie, who serves as EVP of Strategic Accounts at Palo Alto Networks.

Founded in 2016 by Michael Nicosia and Eliyahu, Salt Security uses artificial intelligence algorithms to develops protection tools for application programming interfaces (API).

"We raised capital from Sequoia Capital’s growth fund. Sequoia is the best fund in the world, with portfolio companies whose valuations are worth 20% of the total of Nasdaq. They have invested in the past in companies like Apple, Google, Oracle, Cisco, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and many others,” Roey Eliyahu, Salt Security’s co-founder and CEO said in an interview with Calcalist. “Carl Eschenbach, the Sequoia partner who led the investment and has joined our board, is very selective and carries out very few investments in companies, and those he did are now valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. The number of boards Carl has joined, whose companies are now unicorns is second to none. Carl saw that there was a ‘Blue Ocean’ ahead, with the API field hungry for focused security solutions. He saw that we were market leaders and in possession of the best technology available. Carl is an industry leader and shaper. He invests in category-defining companies and he saw that we offered that in the developing field of API security.

"We are on course to build a giant company, with our next milestone being to reach unicorn status in the next two or three years and keep on growing from there. That is why we chose Sequoia out of all the offers we received. Sequoia is not after an exit of a few hundreds of millions of dollars, they want to build big companies,” Eliyahu added. “Our growth is evident in our sales. We see clients who were significantly harmed by the Covid-19 crisis, but have still chosen to increase their investment in protecting APIs.”

Throughout the pandemic, many companies gave up on software and applications that weren’t deemed as necessary. According to Eliyahu, Salt’s solution is critical. “They see the attacks they’re being targeted with and the value of protection. Companies, who during the crisis made a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’, all included our solution in the first category because APIs pose a major security risk to them. Our client retention rate is very high and we grew our customer base by 200% during the pandemic.

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