"The cybersecurity market is on fire, and that can be felt especially here in Israel because the country is a center of excellence and there are many amazing R&D centers here," Ami Luttwak, co-founder and CTO of Wiz, said in an interview during Calcalist’s Cyber Conference. "This trend is going to continue as the threats aren't going anywhere. It is nice to see Israel stand out and we must preserve this. It’s fun to see many Israeli startups in cybersecurity. There are always one or two Israeli startups in any new cyber sector."
Even though the market is on fire, how do you explain raising $100 million in a series A funding round? Is it due to the reputation that you, CEO Assaf Rappaport, VP Product Yinon Costica and VP R&D Roy Reznik earned following the sale of Adallom to Microsoft for $320 million in 2015 or perhaps it is something else?
"We have developed a solution that fills a massive void in the market. As soon as you have a product like this in the cloud security sector, which is used by almost every company in the world today, everything changes. Cloud security is the biggest revolution security organizations have undergone over the past two decades. It isn't just a question of moving a server from one location to another. The technological complexity is far greater. There are hundreds of technologies that are always changing."
After nine months you already have a product that works?
"Yes, it works and it is being sold. Wiz's product provides a solution to security teams as there is a gap between all the existing technologies and the different clouds. The product provides a new operational method for securing a cloud. The client is immediately provided with a report of all the issues and major risks and can start working to fix them immediately with the R&D team."
Part of the reason behind your substantial funding round and the speed at which you developed is connected to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rapid changes it required from organizations. The question is whether this burst of momentum hasn’t died down?
"Coronavirus certainly accelerated processes that were happening anyway, but the cloud will double or triple itself in the coming years and we have seen just the tip of the iceberg of its potential. If you've transferred most of your servers to the cloud then why would you invest most of your efforts in securing your branches? There is an understanding that security needs to move to the cloud as well."
And what about the financial side? Will we continue to see record investments in cybersecurity the way we saw in 2020?
"We are expecting an increase in investments in cloud security and startups. I think there will be continued investments in new startups as well as growing companies."
It is tempting to move company headquarters to the U.S. with all the money there and especially with all the big marketing opportunities. Will Wiz, which currently employs several dozens of employees out of its Tel Aviv office, continue to be headquartered in Israel?
"Our headquarters will remain in Israel, with the R&D and product building taking place here. We are currently building sales centers in the U.S., Europe, and Australia and we are growing quickly across the globe, although another advantage brought about by the pandemic is that you can easily sell anything from Israel to anywhere in the world."