Top 5 Cyber Security Unicorns in 2021
- March 31, 2021
- Posted by: Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
- Category: Cybersecurity
The global Cybersecurity market is worth $202B today and is expected to reach a whopping $433B by 2030. The cyber security market consists of five major segments and those are network security and endpoint, threat detection and intelligence, identity access management or IAM, data and cloud security, encryption, and cryptography, and a few others. Just for context, the cybersecurity losses in 2020 are expected to reach one trillion dollars. And by 2025, the losses are expected to reach a massive number of ten and a half-trillion dollars. In other words, the losses in 2025 will be twice the size of the global IT spending in that year. And this is a piece of shocking news.
Cybersecurity and VC funding landscape
Now, for this and other reasons, plenty of money has been sloshing around the cybersecurity startups over the past few years. According to one estimate, there are over 30 cybersecurity startups out there with one billion dollars or more in valuation. Over the past few years, we have seen several cybersecurity companies that went IPO and saw their valuation skyrocket since then. I am talking about companies such as Zscaler, CrowdStrike, and Cloudflare.
Top-5 Late-Stage Startups – Tanium, Snyk, NetSkope and Lookout
So, here is the list of late-stage startup unicorns that are planning an IPO in 2021 or recently exited. Tanium, Snyk, NetSkope, Auth0, and Lookout. So, let’s start with Tanium. Tanium offers a unified endpoint management solution, it is based out of Washington, and has raised over one billion dollars in venture capital over 8 rounds of funding. Tanium’s current valuation is at nine billion dollars and that makes it the most valued privately held cybersecurity company in the world. Tanium’s top competitors include Tenable, Malwarebytes, CrowdStrike, and Carbon Black. Tanium’s platform fits into what Gartner describes as the Unified Endpoint Security which combines the main features of an Endpoint Protection Platform, Endpoint Detection and Response, and Mobile Threat Defense all from a single dashboard. The company seems to have decent reviews on Gartner Peer Insights. The endpoint security space has seen two trends that have been around for years but now have been dramatically accelerated by the current pandemic and those are distributed or remote workforce and the volume of cyberattacks that are now at an all-time high. Based on reviews on G2 and Capterra, the Tanium core product meets or exceeds the solution feature requirements and value for money metrics. I did notice some critical feedback for the ease of use and customer support satisfaction.
Next up is Snyk. Snyk is an application security company, based out of Massachusetts, that has raised over seven hundred million dollars in venture capital over 4 rounds of funding. Snyk’s current valuation is at 4.7 billion dollars and that makes it the 2nd most valued privately held cybersecurity company in the world. Snyk’s top competitors include WhiteSource Software, Deep Secure, and Codified Security. The company seems to have really good reviews on Gartner Peer Insights. Based on reviews on G2 and Capterra, the product features seem to have a strong product-market fit. The critical feedback is mostly in the areas of business metrics and reports and spotty customer support.
Now, let’s talk about NetSkope. NetSkope started as a cloud access security broker or CASB vendor which was pioneered by SkyHigh Networks that was acquired by McAfee three years ago. Anyhow, as per Gartner, NetSkope is a leader in the CASB category and a visionary in SWG. It is based out of Silicon Valley and has raised over 300 million dollars in venture capital over 5 rounds of funding. NetSkope’s current valuation is at three billion dollars and that makes it the third most valued privately held cybersecurity company in the world. NetSkope’s top competitors include Bitglass, Zscaler, Cisco Umbrella, CipherCloud, and Symantec. The company seems to have really good reviews on Gartner Peer Insights. Based on reviews on G2 and Capterra, NetSkope seems to have mixed reviews. It appears as a company that’s stretched too thin and perhaps lacking focus. There is plenty of critical feedback around the areas of product features and implementation of CASB scenarios.
Now, let’s talk about Auth0. Auth0 is an identity management company, based out of Washington, that has raised over seven hundred million dollars in venture capital over 7 rounds of funding. Auth0’s valuation at its last funding round was at 1.9 billion dollars and was recently acquired by Okta for an out-of-this-world sum of 6.5 billion dollars which by the way made it a 20X exit for the Palo Alto investors. Auth0’s top competitors include WhiteSource Software, OneLogin, PingIdentity, and JumpCloud. The company seems to have really good reviews on Gartner Peer Insights. Based on reviews on G2 and Capterra, the product features seem to have a strong product-market fit. The critical feedback is mostly in the areas of sales and customer support.
Now, we’re left with Lookout. Lookout is a mobile security company, based out of Silicon Valley, that has raised over 288 million dollars in venture capital over 7 rounds of funding. Lookout’s valuation at its last funding round was at 1 billion dollars. Lookout’s top competitors include Illumio, Tanium, and Contrast Security. The company seems to have mixed reviews on Gartner Peer Insights. Based on reviews on G2 and Capterra, the product features seem to have good reviews. The critical feedback is mostly in the areas of difficulty in configuration and resource footprint it takes on the mobile devices.
Now, here are my final thoughts.
Number One. While markets are currently in the grip of inflation fears, I can foresee most IPOs will get pushed to the second half or later part of the year but companies with strong revenue growth and a path to profitability will do just fine.
Number Two. While we only talked about the top 5 companies, there are about 31 cybersecurity unicorns out there, these are companies with over a billion-dollar valuation. Cybersecurity is super hot so if you have a passion for IT security, this is the time to jump into it with both feet. I often get asked this question, like how someone is supposed to start a career transition into Cybersecurity. Well, it entirely depends on where you are in your professional career today. The quickest way to build your Cyber credentials is to get started with an entry-level network or cyber certification. Like, you can get started with a CCNA or Security plus or GIAC Security Essentials.
THANK you for reading this article, I hope you found it helpful. I am keen to hear your thoughts.
Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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