AppOmni raises $70M to find and secure vulnerabilities in SaaS application stacks – TechCrunch

As more companies migrate applications and workloads to the cloud, the need for more sophisticated technologies to secure this activity increases. This has resulted in a strong series of funding rounds for startups creating products to fill this gap. In the latest development, AppOmni – which has built a platform not only to connect and secure SaaS applications, but to find, highlight and help fix vulnerabilities that arise when different applications are used together or in tandem – raised $70 million. CEO Brendan O’Connor said the funding, a Series C, will be used to pursue both international growth and to continue to develop the platform.

AppOmni customers include large enterprises and tech names such as Dropbox, Ping, and Accenture, as well as large Fortune 100 financial and healthcare companies, who use the platform both to secure their application stacks SaaS (AppOmni integrates with hundreds of SaaS apps, including biggies like Box, Confluence, Fastly, GitHub, Google Workspace, Jira, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Workday, and Zoom) and also, from April, any custom apps they create and use alongside it.

Thoma Bravo is leading this round, with previous backers such as Scale Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, ClearSky and Costanoa Ventures also investing. The valuation is undisclosed, but as a marker of where she might be, she has now raised $123 million; PitchBook notes that AppOmni was valued at $200 million after the money in its last round — a $40 million Series B in April 2021 that we covered here — and it has continued to have triple-digit growth. since then. Collectively, it claims it now secures applications spanning 78 million users and 230 million exposed data records and over 9 billion monthly events. So even amid the pressures we’ve seen on overall funding and competition from other security startups seeking funding, there are signs that AppOmni is among the strongest tier of them. .

The gap in the security market targeted by AppOmni is old and in some ways becoming more critical with the evolution of computing. As more companies deliver on their promise of “digital transformation” and pledge to do more and invest more in cloud services, they are adopting an ever-widening range of applications, some of which are “approved “by computers and others not. – which users can access from an increasing number of terminals (i.e. devices, such as laptops, their desks, phones and tablets, via home Wi-Fi, hotspots hotspots, mobile networks, office networks, etc.). This spaghetti of permutations, taken across a wide range of applications, creates many crossovers that inadvertently lead to vulnerabilities.

These can relate either to specific apps – AppOmni says on average it finds more than 20 unauthorized app uses on a single engagement – or to specific data types or data records. The startup’s specialty is to find these flaws and provide alerts about them, as well as begin the remediation process to fix them. It also generates analytics for security operations teams to get more complete pictures of network activity to identify trends and manage specific events.

“SaaS has become one of the most essential elements of the IT stack. But even though SaaS applications now house extremely sensitive data and run some of the most critical business workflows, most organizations haven’t prioritized SaaS security enough,” O’Connor told us. “This means there is a huge amount of unsecured data in the cloud. Our goal is to give businesses and enterprises an easy way to secure their SaaS data and keep it safe over time.

O’Connor and his co-founder, CTO Brian Soby cut their teeth exploring cyber risks in cloud services after years of working for SaaS companies themselves, perhaps most notably at Salesforce, where O’Connor ‘Connor had been Senior Vice President and ‘Chief Trust Officer’ and Soby had been Director of Product Safety. Tellingly, their impact on Salesforce has been positive, with Salesforce now an AppOmni investor and partner. O’Connor then held a similar position at ServiceNow, which, like other SaaS companies, faces many similar issues of SaaS applications conflicting with each other (even when they seem to work together).

The traction it has had has helped the startup stand out among its peers, which include IBM and Amazon, as well as F5’s Threat Stack.

“The digitalization of businesses across industries has accelerated the need for reliable data protection and control, and AppOmni’s security solutions are unmatched in the industry,” added Robert (Tre) Sayle, partner at Thoma Bravo. “We’ve been impressed with AppOmni’s rapid scale, high levels of customer satisfaction, and continued product innovation, and we’re excited to partner with Brendan and his team as they capitalize on the tremendous market opportunity ahead.”

Lance B. Holton