On Tuesday, Israeli-founded mobile threat protection cyber security startup Zimperium announced the close of their Series C funding round, bringing in $25 million in new financing. Leading the round was the private equity investor Warburg Pincus.
The company has already staked its claim in the mobile security field, working with global leaders like Samsung and Deutsche Telekom, giving them a strong position in both the manufacturer and carrier markets.
More recently, they made news when their technology was listed as providing the base for the new more than $14,000 phone that was rolled out by Sirin Labs last month, with claims to have the most advanced security features in the civilian market.
Co-founded in 2010 by Elia Yehuda and Zuk Avraham, the company now has its headquarters in San Francisco. In February 2015, they raised a $12 million Series B that was led by Australia’s largest telecom provider Telstra, with Japan’s TOYO Corporation who is their local distributor. Previous investors from their Series A in October 2013 include names like Samsung Electronics, Lazarus Investment Opportunities Fund, Sierra Ventures, and David Eun.
Zimperium’s product zAnti comes as an app that sits on an employee’s phone, working with both iOS and Android. With consistent monitoring of the device, the app works to detect, analyze, and help the user remediate any issues that could turn up.
The IT team can monitor network activity including logs, maps, history, and other important details through their zConsole cloud-based management platform for a bird’s eye view of the company’s security status.
In it to win it
Beyond the apparent strength of their product on a technical level, it fits in very nicely with the new model of “bring your own device” (BYOD) that has taken over in the modern workspace. With the growth of the smartphone industry, and likely due in part to the fall of Blackberry, employees generally prefer to use their own phones at work, mixing business and pleasure. This trend should be fairly obvious as first off, nobody likes carrying around two devices, and secondly why not? It’s simply more convenient.
The problem is that while this may be useful for the individual, it can increase the risk for the herd. As an employee’s device gains access to a company’s network, any breaches of security on one phone can quickly impact the rest. Zimperium’s solution of giving their clients a downloadable app that can monitor the health of their employees’ devices allows them to maintain high level security standards while avoiding the headaches of fighting with team members about using a company provided and “secured” phone: an apparent win-win.
Zimperium’s funding stands out in the startup sector with their high percentage of strategic investors, a mark that speaks volumes about where they are heading. While they have attracted some VC cash, their investors seem to have been drawn to them out of belief that their product is an industry necessity that will only continue to grow.
Where they go from here will be interesting to follow. As they become a key player, working with different market leaders simultaneously, they could have good reason to stand on their own and continue on the path to building a very large company, thus avoiding the exit ramp. While the right offer could always come along to make them change their minds, expect to see this company in it for the long haul.