My wife and I are avid gardeners. Some of the specimens we plant require diligent tending to for years, before they yield fruit or flower. But others, like marigolds, transform into a riot of blossoms seemingly overnight. It was marigolds that I was thinking of this morning when Symantec announced that it’s acquiring Skycure, the market leader in enterprise mobile security.
Less than a year ago, we led Skycure’s Series B. In that short time, we’ve worked with Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, Skycure’s co-founders, to develop their sales and strategy. And, boy, has it been a productive partnership! At Foundation Capital, we pride ourselves on taking the long-term view. But it’s an undeniable thrill when, sometimes, success comes fast and furious.
Skycure’s deal is also great news for the entire security community. Today, businesses try to protect themselves against malicious hackers from every angle of their infrastructure: VPN’s, firewalls, and two-factor authentication, to name a few. But those measures are just for the hardware they own. As enterprise becomes increasingly mobile, businesses can’t neglect the commonplace practice of employees using their own phones and tablets. According to Symantec, more than 600 new vulnerabilities appeared on the iOS and Android platforms in 2016, leading to more than 18.4 million separate instances of malware detection.
Skycure wants to put a stop to those threats. By applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to a vast network of crowd-sourced threat information, Skycure has developed a security package that can identify and proactively protect against malicious apps, networks, and exploits. A partnership with Symantec means a wider reach and a deeper pool of data, making their security even stronger than before.
Foundation Capital and Skycure’s partnership began with a simple phone call. Jayaram Bhat from Shasta Ventures – and a friend of mine going back two decades – had just led Skycure’s Series A. He called me with a simple message: He’d met a mobile security company poised to make a huge impact in the industry, and thought that I should meet them too.
Foundation Capital had a longstanding interest in mobile security, going back at least to our investment in MobileIron. We’d spent three years searching for the right company to work with in the mobile security space. When we met Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, we knew that Skycure was that company. Adi and Yair are two top-notch product leaders, who had built an impressive team in Israel. After doing our due diligence, we were confident that this was/is the strongest product team on the planet for mobile security.
Over the past year, we’ve lent Skycure our expertise and energies however they could be best used. We supported Adi and Yair as they figured out sourcing, recruiting, and sales. Together, we crafted Skycure’s go-to-market plans. How helpful our efforts were, I will bashfully let Adi speak to:
One of the unique things that Foundation Capital brings, outside of just dollars, is their commitment of time and resources. Their events, activities and workshops are part of an overall strategy to invest in the founders and their success. Paul Holland, especially, has been an invaluable partner. He was my main resource on planning and executing our go-to-market strategy. He and the Foundation team helped Skycure recruit our outstanding worldwide sales leader, Jim Walsh. They also helped negotiated some of our most important strategic partnerships. And Paul personally rolled up his sleeves to help us close some of our largest deals. Skycure would not be where it is today without him and Foundation Capital.
Let me return the compliment and say what a privilege it’s been to work with this incredibly talented team and these brilliant founders. The Foundation Capital family and I are beyond proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time, gratified that we were able to help, and excited for what comes next. Congratulations and upwards, Skycure!