Monday, April 9, 2018

Armis raises $30 million Series B as enterprise IoT security heats up

When Armis launched in 2015, the company founders looked over the horizon and they saw the Internet of Things requiring a strong security layer. Today, the Israeli IoT security startup announced a $30 million Series B.

The company has attracted a strong group of venture capitalists. The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures and Red Dot Capital. Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital, who were investors in earlier rounds, also participated. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $47 million.

The company secures IoT devices without an agent because it’s often impossible to put an agent on a connected device like a video camera, light bulb or sensor. That requires some knowledge of these devices and their expected behavior and Armis has created a growing database of more than 5 million devices to track this information.

Company co-founder and CEO Yevgeny Dibrov says it involves taking that database and combining it with other information about the environment in which the device operates to understand if it’s behaving in an expected fashion. When it’s not they may shut it down and alert the customer, depending on how it’s configured and how severe the problem appears to be.

“To build and agentless platform, we [look at] existing infrastructure, traffic, wireless infrastructure and network infrastructure, to get a huge amount of traffic information. We analyze and detect and get a fingerprint of every device and asset in the environment and leverage the 5 million devices in the knowledge base,” he said.

It’s an approach that attracted investor Jeff Williams, operating partner at Bain Capital Ventures. Williams said he has been researching the IoT security market and has been seeing explosive growth in connected devices, which he sees creating a new attack surface for the enterprise. “Armis’ ability to help enterprises discover, manage and secure these devices is what companies today need to get in front of protecting the new era of IoT. All these forces, plus the pedigree of Armis’ executive team and their impressive research division are setting Armis up for powerful growth,” he said.

And the company is growing quickly with dozens of customers and 50 employees. The startup’s R&D team is 35 strong and is located in Israel, while the remaining employees with a focus on sales and marketing are located in the US.

As the number of IoT devices proliferate in the enterprise, the company will devote a portion of today’s money to increasing their R&D budget to continue building the database of devices.