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Israeli Orca to invest in UK cyber scene

Tel Aviv-headquartered Orca Security wants to set up a new R&D centre in the UK

Israel-based cloud security specialist Orca Security is to make a substantial investment in the UK’s burgeoning cyber sector after scoring a $550m series C funding round led by Singaporean investment vehicle Temasek – which has boosted its valuation by 50% over the past seven months to almost $2bn.

Orca said it is seeing “pent-up” demand from customers who are fed up with security “gimmicks”, “subpar solutions” and “disparate tools” and, as a result, has grown its business eightfold year on year, helped along by the much-documented, pandemic-linked shift of enterprise workloads into cloud environments that traditional security tools are ill-suited to protect.

“Customers are fed up with agent-based tools that claim run-time protection but de facto are little more than a gimmick, typically reach only a fraction of the environment, and don’t provide the context that security teams desperately need to prioritise critical alerts,” said Avi Shua, CEO and co-founder of Orca.

“Our growth is exploding because Orca Security simply works. We provide fast agentless deployment, 100% coverage of all cloud assets, and automatic prioritisation of the alerts that demand quick action.”

The firm said it wanted to expand its footprint and customer base in the UK, and across the wider EMEA region, and is targeting the opening of a physical office space in London to expand its sales presence.

In a vote of confidence in the UK’s research and development (R&D) expertise, Orca’s London sales presence will also sit alongside a new security R&D centre, which will be the firm’s first outside of Israel. It hopes to have 24 staffers on the ground by the end of 2021.

“I’ve been part of four IPOs in the past and the rate of growth and adoption that Orca is seeing is the fastest I’ve seen,” said the firm’s EMEA VP, Andrew Bartlam. “Recent wins across EMEA include huge enterprises across healthcare, FMCG, finserv, telco, media, and others.

“To that end, Orca will shortly be opening a London office to better support our clients across EMEA and to act as both a commercial hub and development centre in the region.”

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Meanwhile, Temasek’s involvement in the wider funding round will help Orca deepen its reach into Asia Pacific and target industries including telecoms, financial services and transport. It aims to have a further 12 employees on the ground in the region by the end of the year. This comes alongside enhancements to its channel strategy, and new hires to its marketing team.

The firm’s new funding also includes backing from US-government contractor SAIC, which wants to position Orca’s cloud platform as the standard solution in its federal business portfolio, and data specialist Splunk’s investment unit, which it hopes will enhance its growing role as a supplier to security customers.   

“Cloud-based security infrastructure and operations provide exceptional opportunities for innovation advancement, and are vital to combat today’s threat landscape,” said Varoon Bhagat, vice-president of corporate development at Splunk.

“Our investment and technical integration with Orca Security underscores Splunk’s commitment to helping organisations investigate, correlate and visualise their data to identify possible compromise and quickly take necessary action.”

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