Israel-based cybersecurity startup Salt Security has made a new $140 million investment led by CapitalG, the independent growth fund of Google parent Alphabet, the company announced Thursday.
Existing investors such as Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, S Capital VC and Advent International also participated in the round. The Series D investment values Salt Security at $1.4 billion, making it a unicorn, private company valued at over $1 billion.
The round brings the company’s total funding to $271 million, including $210 million raised in the last 12 months.
Salt Security was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Roey Eliyahu and Michael Nicosia, and is headquartered in Palo Alto, with offices in Tel Aviv. The company has developed software that detects risks and protects APIs (application programming interface, software allowing the connection between devices and programs). Salt Security claims to use machine learning and AI to automatically and continuously identify and protect organizations. He works with Fortune and Global 500 companies and counts Spanish multinational telecommunications company Telefonica, financial software company Finastra and City National Bank among his clients.
Salt Security’s client list also includes a host of Israeli and Israeli-founded companies, such as TripActions, AppsFlyer, Payoneer, Gett and Guesty.
The company said in a statement that it would use the capital to expand its R&D investments, boost sales and expand its international operations. He said the demand for API solutions has grown exponentially as they drive digital transformation, application mobilization and other IT modernization initiatives.
Salt Security said that over the past year, it has experienced 500% revenue growth and increased its customer base by 300%.
Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals, bp Launchpad (the digital innovation and scaling unit of oil giant BP) and Berkshire Bank were among Salt Security’s newest clients, he said.
“APIs are the foundation for innovation in today’s economy,” said Eliyahu, who serves as CEO. “Our vision for Salt Security has always been to make innovation safer and easier for businesses by securing APIs against a growing and dynamic attack surface. We are honored to have CapitalG as a strategic partner as we realize this vision globally and expand our lead in this important industry.
James Luo, partner at CapitalG and board member at Salt Security, said the investment “comes at a critically important time for the wider business community. APIs are critical to enable the business innovation, but security risks are multiplying at an unprecedented scope and scale.”
“Salt has taken an innovative, best-in-class approach to building its API security platform by leveraging big data at cloud scale, allowing it to effectively detect and stop attacks in the wild without compromising strong left shift abilities,” Luo said. “We look forward to partnering with the Salt Security team to help propel them to the next level of market penetration and success.”
“Five years ago, Salt’s founders had a vision to create this critical category, and they’ve driven it ever since, creating the most secure and robust solution in the industry. Innovation and corporate dominance led us to double our investment,” said Ali Rowghani, Managing Director of YC Continuity, the investment fund of the famous Y Combinator. The startup accelerator has helped launch companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, Instacart, Dropbox and Twitch
“YC Continuity only invests in the best YC companies that define their category. Salt Security is one such company. Like other YCC companies Stripe in payments and DoorDash in food delivery, Salt will become a security company iconic,” Rowghani added.
Google last month acquired Israeli threat detection firm Siemplify for $500 million, nine years after it bought the billion-dollar navigation app Waze.
Google also bought Israeli companies elastica cloud storage company and data migration company Alooma, in 2019.