When Ambuj Kumar and Anand Kashyap started Fortanix in our offices in 2016, I knew it was the start of something special. From our very first meeting, I was struck not only by their formidable backgrounds in cryptography, but also by their bold vision for strengthening cloud security and protecting customer privacy. That’s why Foundation Capital led their first round of fundraising and incubated the startup in our former Menlo Park offices. It was there that Ambuj and Anand made good on all that promise, building out the first mathematically complete, verifiable solution to the problem of data encryption during run-time.
Six years on, I’m happy to announce that startup dreams can come true: Fortanix, now one of our leading cybersecurity investments, has raised a $90-million Series C, led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. This latest round of capital is evidence that its innovative approach to data protection has become critical to an enterprise’s defense, as the vectors for attack grow exponentially year by year. The trend was exacerbated by the pandemic, as companies expanded their online businesses and firms shifted to remote and hybrid work.
At the risk of immodesty, Fortanix’s Series C — achieved in an environment where very few companies are raising large growth rounds — is also further vindication of one of the central pillars of our enterprise practice: investing in companies that enable the security of the new software infrastructure, namely the hybrid cloud. Security, we’ve long said, is a bottomless opportunity.
It’s almost impossible to conceive of a firm today that isn’t heavily impacted by the misuse of data, leading to breaches, ransomware attacks, penalties for compliance deviations, and compromised customer privacy. But most solutions focus on network and infrastructure security. Fortanix is different. It assumes that no infrastructure can ever be completely secure, and instead places the focus on the application itself, protecting data while it’s being processed. That approach has been validated by the company’s meteoric growth — 500 percent in aggregate over a three-year period, despite the pandemic and the recent macroeconomic conditions.
Fortanix is a pioneer and industry leader in the field of confidential computing because it approaches security from a data-first standpoint. Instead of looking at preventing breaches or patching infrastructure in the aftermath, the company decouples security from infrastructure, and provides an elegant way to secure data — wherever it is. It’s no wonder that Fortanix’s data-security-manager platform has garnered quick traction with several Fortune 500 companies including banks, FSIs, technology companies, cloud service providers, and federal agencies. Its success has also led to strategic partnerships with a strong alliance ecosystem including major public cloud providers, chip vendors, and several independent software vendors.
Five years ago, when Fortanix came out of stealth and we announced that Foundation Capital led the Series A, I said that it was “just the beginning of Fortanix’s story. In them, we see an opportunity to usher in a world where companies and their consumers are far better protected.” Well, that story has come a few chapters closer to fruition, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the journey. Congratulations to our friends at Fortanix!