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Wiz – the Guardians of the Cybersecurity Galaxy

How their focus on customers pains helped them built the $10 billion cybersecurity unicorn in no time

Welcome to our new series! AI Infrastructure Unicorns. They provide the hardware, software, and services necessary for Generative AI companies but even if GenAI will someday become extinct, these infrastructure builders won’t stay without the job as they serve a much bigger industry of AI/ML models in general.

We bet that you might not know much about Wiz, yet it's a cybersecurity company currently valued at $10 billion, largely due to its focus on generative AI infrastructure support. Remarkably, Wiz escalated its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) from $1 million to $100 million in just over 18 months and then tripled that figure shortly thereafter. Just two days ago, on April 10, they acquired a second company, gearing up for an IPO. Who are the minds behind this meteoric rise? What has propelled their phenomenal growth? And how are they leveraging the momentum of GenAI infrastructure demands?

These questions peel back layers of a complex story. Let’s delve into the founders' journey, the debate between the power of an idea versus the strength of the team, Wiz's explosive growth, their strategic approaches, and the essential steps for preparing an IPO when growth outpaces expectations.

  1. Steps to Wiz’s success

  2. There are tons of cybersecurity companies out there, how to shine?

  3. A hole worth billions of dollars

  4. Thriving on AI Demands

  5. Customers

  6. Wiz's Solution and Main Products Overview

  7. Investment rounds

  8. Acquisitions

  9. Wiz's Strategic Expansion in Channel Partnerships

  10. Not only rainbows on the horizon

  11. Conclusion

Updates:

May 7, 2024

Wiz has recently secured an impressive $1 billion Series E funding round! The investment was co-led by a16z, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Thrive Capital at the $12 billion valuation. Wiz has also announced that a portion of this capital will be used to acquire smaller startups.

Steps to Wiz’s success

Wiz is only four years old. It tops all the charts and makes the investors happy with its growth. But its success is a result of almost two decades of friendship and business relationships between Assaf Rappoport, Roy Reznik, Ami Luttwak, and Yinon Costica.

Image Credit: Wiz.io

All four of them joined the Israeli army in 2001, serving in Unit 8200, an elite intelligence division. Israel, often called the "Start-Up Nation," has fostered a thriving start-up ecosystem significantly influenced by its unique security situation. Historically, Israel invested heavily in science and technology to gain a qualitative edge for national security, which has catalyzed its commercial technology sector. More than 1,000 start-ups have been founded by 8200 alumni alone. Though the intellectual property developed during service legally belongs to the military, requiring soldiers to sign nondisclosure agreements, there are challenges in ensuring that these technologies do not find their way into the commercial sector, particularly in fields like cybersecurity, where former soldiers are highly sought after.

At some point, Rappaport was transferred to an even more secretive elite cyber group called Unit 81. And that's where and when their cyber journey actually began.

In 2011, their knowledge, skills, and passion for security led them to launch of their first startup Adallom. In 2015, they would sell Adallom to Microsoft and join the tech giant together to experience what it's like to work on that scale.

"When we started, Microsoft didn't have any security sales," says Ami Luttwak, co-founder and CTO. "When we finished, it was around $1 billion a year."

Cushy for the next 5 years, only in 2020 they decided to quit the comfortable world of corporation and start all over again in the same cyber space. It was just the beginning of the pandemic times – and the best time for the cloud security startup.

The rest of this fascinating story is available to our Premium users only. Please β†’

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