Israeli startup Orca raises $55 million with goal to become global cloud security leader

The company aims to strengthen its position in the cloud security industry with its touchless and context-aware software for detecting malware and vulnerabilities and protecting assets on cloud platforms

Meir Orbach 16:0008.12.20
Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup Orca Security Ltd. announced Tuesday it has raised $55 million in a series B funding round led by ICONIQ Growth and with the participation of existing investors: GGV Capital, YL Ventures GP Ltd. and Silicon Valley CISO Investments (SVCI). The new round brought Orca Security’s total funding raised over the past two years to $82 million.


The new funding will allow Orca Security to strengthen its position in the cloud security industry with its touchless and context-aware software for detecting malware and vulnerabilities and protecting assets on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.


Orca Security CEO Avi Shua (right) and CPO Gil Geron. Photo: Orca Security Orca Security CEO Avi Shua (right) and CPO Gil Geron. Photo: Orca Security


Co-founder and CEO Avi Shua told Calcalist that the company has experienced dramatic growth over recent months and is determined to make the most of it. "We raised $55 million six months after our previous round because we have experienced crazy growth over this period. We currently employ 70 people even though we thought we would only have 50 and our sales projections have seen a tenfold increase from what we had planned," noted Shua. "There is a huge demand for our products and there is a need to expand our sales team. We know what our clients need and now is the time to keep our foot on the gas pedal and it is better to do so when you have a full tank. We met with ICONIQ and this is a partner that really believes in what we are doing. All our existing investors wanted to participate in the round as well.


"Our vision is to become the most significant cloud security company," added Shua. "We will cross the 100 employee mark in a year and will have many dozens, if not hundreds, of clients. The valuation of our company has at least tripled since our last round six months ago."


Shua has relocated to the U.S., but the other co-founders, as well as the majority of the company’s employees, are based out of Israel. "I never met our investors face-to-face. We considered meeting for a coffee, but ultimately decided not to," said Shua. "Our offices in Israel are open and we also allow our employees to work from home. I haven’t even met half of my employees. I've never been to our new offices in Tel Aviv and that is very weird for me. There are employees who have been working for the company for 11 months and I've never met them, but that is just the world we are living in today."


While competing cloud security solutions were built for on-prem environments, Orca Security was born in the cloud, for the cloud. Orca treats each customer’s cloud estate as an interconnected web of assets, prioritizing risk based on the underlying security issue combined with environmental context, including its accessibility and potential damage to the business. This context also helps to reduce thousands of security alerts to the critical few that matter, along with their precise path to remediation. This unique ability is achieved using Orca Security’s patent-pending SideScanning technology, which reads the cloud configuration and workloads’ runtime block storage out-of-band to detect vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, weak and leaked passwords, secret keys, unsecured PII, and more.


"The current approach to cloud security is fundamentally wrong," added Shua. "Security teams waste valuable time in installing and operation agents instead of managing the actual threats. Even after years of adjusting agents to the organizational environment, the security coverage is usually limited to less than 50%. Even worse, agent-based solutions don't address the context and can't see beyond a single case in a single asset, which leads to endless worthless security alerts. The current solutions see the cloud resources as individual lists while the hackers are seeking attack vectors. Orca Security has changed the rules of the game with a solution that displays the cloud's resources from the attacker's point-of-view."


Orca was co-founded by Shua (CEO), Gil Geron (CPO), senior architects Matan Ben Gur, and Liran Antebi, senior software engineers Hadas Amitay, Wagde Zabit, and Shay Filosof, and Eti Spiegel-Khobra (success manager), who are all former employees of Check Point.


The new funding comes on the back of a $20.5 million series B in May and a $6.5 million seed round. The company plans to further expand its cloud security and compliance capabilities, and by the end of 2021 to nearly triple its R&D team since its A round in May of 2020. It is also boosting its sales team to nearly 30 people to meet global product and customer demand. The company also plans to open new sales offices in the UK and Australia to serve the European and APAC markets.


“We are very impressed with the depth, ease of deployment, and effectiveness of Orca Security’s technology, and believe in its potential to solve the growing problem in cloud security,” said Matthew Jacobson, General Partner at ICONIQ Growth. “We have been fortunate to partner with many high growth, high impact, emerging market leaders with an unmatched approach to solving customer needs and we have full confidence in Orca Security’s long-term opportunity as an important technology leader.”


"The market response to Orca has been second to none. Collecting numerous industry awards, Orca has seen impressive adoption by both enterprise and SMB security teams, increasing Orca’s revenue tenfold from its Series A,” said Oren Yunger, investor, GGV Capital. “This buzz is well deserved as Orca provides immense value where agents and network scanners fail to. It not only depicts the vulnerabilities, but also outlines the full context of the business and cloud environment. GGV Capital is thrilled to double down on Orca in its series B and support its stratospheric growth."


“Orca’s agentless cloud security solution is lightyears ahead of its time,” said Yoav Leitersdorf, Managing Partner at YL Ventures. “But even our highest expectations didn't account for how quickly Orca’s SideScanning technology transformed its sector. Thanks to a team of highly respected technologists and a powerful new approach to cloud security, Orca’s attracted the industry’s top talent, closed high-profile customers and secured a total of $82 million in funding in just under two years.”