Israel cybersecurity startup Axis Security emerges from stealth with $17M Series A funding
Axis Security, the private application access startup, today emerged from stealth with $17 million in funding to launch a purpose-built, cloud-native security and analytics platform that offers organizations simple and secure control of private application access. Built on a zero-trust approach, the Axis Application Access Cloud offers a new agentless model that delivers the easiest and safest way to connect users on any device in minutes to private apps without touching the network or the applications.
The initial investment came from Cyberstarts, a VC firm backed by founders and entrepreneurs from Sequoia Capital, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Imperva, among others. Ten Eleven Ventures’ Alex Doll led the Series A round in which Cyberstarts was the first investor. Additional investors include Dan Amiga, founder of Fireglass, and board of director member Michael Fey, former president of Symantec and Blue Coat.
Founded by Dor Knafo and Gil Azrielant, the San Mateo, California-based Axis Security is a privately held, venture-backed company, headquartered in San Mateo, California, with research and development in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Axis Application Access Cloud solves the issue of implicitly open network access and removes the pain points of network-based security associated with Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s). VPN’s can be complex, slow to deploy, hard to manage and inflexible, especially when it comes to providing access to third-party supply chain partners, vendors, contractors, and remote employees.
“Axis Security is helping to solve one of the most complex security challenges for IT teams,” said Dor Knafo, co-founder and CEO. “Enabling access to the basic tools of digital transformation should not be one of the biggest risks an organization takes. We’re giving IT teams what they’ve been lacking when it comes to applications and that is a single managed solution for access, security, control, and scalability without the complexity.”
“Axis Security is solving the problem of secure application access with a cloud-based approach that keeps users separate from the network and the applications. This dramatically reduces the attack surface, it also provides a level of visibility and control that is not found in alternative solutions today. Axis Security is helping organizations meet the needs of employees, partners, and vendors who require secure access to critical business applications anywhere, anytime,” said Diego Souza, Managing Director, Security Technology, United Airlines.
“The exponential adoption of cloud technologies made secure access to private applications a top concern for Fortune 500 companies,” said Gili Raanan, general partner and founder for Cyberstarts and Sequoia Capital (Israel). “Dor and Gil’s strong vision combined with their decision to blend top Israeli engineering talent with sales and marketing executives from Check Point, Tanium, Juniper, and McAfee set them up for success.”
“Our business depends on globally located employees, contractors, and partners accessing enterprise applications,” said Gram Ludlow, Chief Information Security Officer. “With new zero trust approaches that focus on secure application access, we are able to completely shift our strategy to securing our IT infrastructure, so that business can be accelerated, not brought to a halt. This is the way of the future.”
“For years, we’ve been stating that identities are the new perimeter,” said Curtis Simpson, Chief Information Security Officer. “This new zero trust solution from Axis offers a modern solution to a modern problem. It enables organizations to truly monitor and manage third-party risk and is a true enabler to move users from a generally flat network to a better, more secure experience with nothing more than an internet connection.”
Commenting on the funding, Alex Doll, Founder and Managing General Partner, Ten Eleven Ventures said, “The Application Access Cloud that Axis has developed gives enterprises the security solution they’ve been looking for: unmatched visibility and control over users by requiring coordinated control over requests, users, policies, and activities. We’ve been very impressed by the innovative approach Axis has taken, as well as by how quickly the founding team has gone from concept to development to market validation. It’s a real testament to the magnitude of the challenge posed by the changing nature of enterprise networks and hybrid cloud usage, and the skill of the Axis team in solving it with an identity-forward approach to modern application security.”
“It is application access, not network access, that is a major pain point for organizations today. Business applications must be available anywhere, anytime, to any user, on any device,” said John Grady, cybersecurity analyst at ESG. “This ‘Matrix of Anyness’ encompasses a myriad of constituencies, from employees to partners, a host of third parties, as well as cloud and on-premises applications. Axis Security’s cloud-native, private application access solution separates users from applications, thus reducing the attack surface and providing greater control through enhanced analytics and visibility into application traffic. This approach helps solve a problem many organizations continue to struggle with.”
“This market is ripe for disruption,” said Richard Stiennon, founder and principal analyst at IT Harvest, and author of Security Yearbook 2020: A History and Directory of the IT Security Industry. “Existing approaches to secure application access are network focused, and primarily use a VPN — posing a lot of difficulty when connecting and managing partners. The ability to circumvent the network to access applications makes a lot more sense for third parties, employees and security teams.”