IoT Security Startup Armis Raises $30M As Channel Partner Roster Grows


Internet of Things security startup Armis has raised a new $30 million financing round as the company continues to ramp up channel partners.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company will use the funding, which was announced on Monday, to invest further in research and development for its agentless IoT security platform, which lets enterprises gain visibility and control of the increasing number of unmanaged devices coming into business environments, including smartphones, tablets, printers and smart cameras.

These devices are posing new security risks for businesses, which Armis underscored last fall when the company discovered a Bluetooth vulnerability in Amazon Echo devices that could have exposed sensitive information. Armis seeks to mitigate these vulnerabilities by continuously profiling devices on the network for anomalies and malicious activity and then disconnecting them when necessary.

Armis has pitched itself as a channel-friendly vendor, with CEO Yevgeny Dibrov telling CRN last year that the company's goal "is to be 100 percent channel-focused." In an interview Monday, Dibrov said that's still the case, with the company's number of partners now standing at around 25, up from when Armis' channel chief, Mike Baker, told CRN last November that the company was closing in on 10 to 12. Current channel partners include Presidio, Optiv, INNO4 and Red Sky Solutions.

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"This is key for our growth," he said. "We're taking almost every deal today through the channel."

After launching last year, Armis has 30 customers, most of which are in the Fortune 500, Dibrov said. The company declined to disclose revenue, but Dibrov said "it's growing super fast." The company now has 50 employees, which is expected to nearly double this year in sales, marketing and R&D.

Michael Parker, CMO of Armis, said a "very strong portion" of revenue is coming through meetings and introductions from partners and that the company is prioritizing meetings with partners at the upcoming RSA Conference.

One of the company's selling points for partners is that Armis' platform can easily integrate with a business' existing infrastructure, network and firewall. That means for partners already working with vendors like Cisco, Aruba Networks, Palo Alto Networks and Check Point Software Technologies, Armis can potentially be an easier sell. Armis is also looking at increasing revenue opportunities for partners by allowing them to provide services on top of the product.

The new funding comes as IoT security spending is expected to grow 28 percent to $1.5 billion in 2018 from last year, according to a recent Gartner survey. The survey said professional services is slated to account for 62 percent of spending in 2018, pointing to greater opportunities for solution providers.

Michelle Drolet, CEO of Towerwall, a Framingham, Mass.-based Armis partner, told CRN that while her company yet to make any Armis sales, there are "potential substantial sales" in the pipeline for 2018 and 2019. Towerwall started working with Armis not long after the vendor came out of stealth mode last year.

"The way that they're handling us as partners is very mature compared to some organizations when they're starting out that don’t understand the power of the channel — and they definitely get it," Drolet said.

Towerwall targets its advanced information security solutions at hospitals, biotechnology companies and financial institutions. Drolet said healthcare companies could benefit from Armis because of all the devices that are used in facilities, including ones that can't be patched.

Armis' latest financing, which brings total funding to $47 million, was led by Bain Capital Ventures and Red Dot Capital Partners, an Israel-based venture capital firm that is backed by Singapore's state investment firm Temasek. Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital also participated in the round.