The Expert's View with Michael Novinson

Cloud Security , Security Operations

Why Wiz Wants to Buy Cloud Startup Gem Security for $350M

Wiz May Not Need More Cash for Its 2nd Deal in 4 Months Since It Has $900M on Hand
Why Wiz Wants to Buy Cloud Startup Gem Security for $350M

Cloud security phenom Wiz's reported that it is pursuing an additional $800 million in funding just a year after raising $300 million in capital - a move that surprised industry observers.

Now, we might know why.

The New York-based company is apparently set to buy centralized cloud threat management vendor Gem Security for $350 million, Bloomberg reported this week. The deal would come just four months after Wiz made its first-ever acquisition, scooping up cloud-based development platform Raftt for as much as $50 million, Bloomberg reported at the time.

"While we cannot discuss specific business developments until they are officially finalized, at just four years old, the company is uniquely positioned to explore mergers and acquisitions that enhance our cloud security offering," a Wiz spokesperson told Information Security Media Group. "[We] regularly evaluate opportunities that would drive customer value, accelerate our growth and align with our ambitious hiring plans."

Wiz has enough money in cash to finance the deal and won't need to raise additional money, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. A Wiz spokesperson told Information Security Media Group the company has $900 million in cash and $350 million in annual recurring revenue. Gem Security didn't respond to an ISMG request for comment. The Financial Times first reported Wiz's pursuit of additional funding (see: Why Wiz Is Pursuing Its 2nd Massive Funding Round in 2 Years).

The impending acquisition of Gem Security comes less than six months after the New York-based cloud detection and response vendor completed a $23 million Series A funding round led by GGV Capital. The company employs 75 staff and has been led since its inception in 2022 by Arie Zilberstein, who previously led incident response at Sygnia as well as R&D for Unit 8200 of the Israeli Military Intelligence.

Zilberstein will join Wiz's executive team alongside Gem co-founders Ron Konigsberg and Ofir Brukner, who serve as the company's chief technology officer and vice president of product, respectively. Brukner worked alongside Zilberstein for most of the past 15 years at Unit 8200 and Sygnia, where he was head of R&D. Konigsberg spent the past seven years at Singular, where he rose to the role of chief growth officer.

What Gem Security Brings to the Table

The company aims to bridge the gap between security operations and cloud complexity by helping firms prepare, detect, investigate and respond effectively to sophisticated cloud attacks. Gem said it not only supports Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Kubernetes but has also successfully collaborated with AWS and Azure teams to identify and fix vulnerabilities, boosting security for millions.

"Organizations need to embrace a new cloud operating model and ensure effective collaboration between development and security teams," a Wiz spokesperson told ISMG. "Cloud environments demand a consolidated, cloud-native approach. With the average CISO now managing an average of 75 security tools, the need is more urgent than ever."

Gem's capabilities would strengthen Wiz's cloud security platform, which already consists of cloud workload protection, data and cloud security posture management, supply chain security, vulnerability management, AI security posture management, code security, cloud detection and response, cloud infrastructure entitlement management, and infrastructure-as-code scanning, according to IT-Harvest.

Forrester in January ranked Wiz's cloud workload security capabilities fourth-best in the industry, behind CrowdStrike, Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft. The analyst firm praised Wiz for its agentless cloud workload protection, compliance template mapping, CIEM and container orchestrator protections. But Forrester said Wiz lags peers in admin user IAM, reporting and auditing, and agent-based CWP adoption.

Wiz was founded in Tel Aviv by the creators of cloud access security broker Adallom and got a $10 billion valuation in February 2023. Last month, Dali Rajic made a lateral move from the chief operating officer position at Zscaler - which at the time had a $34 billion market cap - to the same role at Wiz, which is far smaller. As of February 2024, Wiz had 900 employees and plans to add 400 staff members this year (see: Wiz Raises $300M on $10B Valuation to Safeguard Cloud Data).



About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.




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