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Cybersecurity Startup Swimlane Raises $70M For Global Expansion

Jay Fitzgerald

About 70 percent to 75 percent of Swimlane’s current business is via the channel in North America, Swimlane CEO James Brear tells CRN, and he’s expecting a ‘massive’ increase in that business as Swimlane expands into Europe and Asia.

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Swimlane has landed an additional $70 million in funding as the security automation startup prepares for a “massive” expansion of its channel business.

Boulder, Colo.-based Swimlane’s new Series C funding was led by Activate Capital, with prior investors Energy Impact Partners and 3Lines Venture Capital participating in the latest round. Swimlane has now raised about $92 million since its founding in 2014.

The new cash infusion will be used for a number of things, including expansion of the company’s marketing and partnership programs on a global scale, said Swimlane CEO James Brear.

About 70 percent to 75 percent of Swimlane’s current business is via the channel in North America, Brear said in an interview with CRN.

But Brear said he’s expecting a “massive” increase in channel business as Swimlane expands into Europe and Asia, where channel partnerships are more prevalent.

“We want to be exclusively channel-led,” said Brear, who did not release revenue numbers for the firm.

Swimlane currently has about 180 employees, and that number is expected to grow to 200 to 220 by the end of this year, Brear said.

The funding news comes a month after Swimlane announced the release of its new product, Turbine, which the company describes as a “breakthrough low-code security automation platform” that performs better than a “typically closed extended detection and response ecosystem.”

Turbine can be delivered on-premises or via the cloud, according to Brear.

Turbine was released as cybersecurity companies increasingly emphasize the benefits of automation as a way to lower customers’ security costs and their need for more security-related employees.

“We invested in Swimlane because we believe in the company’s ability to unlock the most valuable product developments customers demand for security automation inside and outside the [Security Operations Center],” said Raj Atluru, managing partner at Activate Capital. Atluru is joining Swimlane’s board following its funding of the company.

In a press release, Atluru said Swimlane has “risen to meet the growing need for low-code security automation to help organizations quantify business value, overcome process and data fatigue, and combat chronic staffing shortages.”

Sameer Reddy, managing partner at Energy Impact, agreed that the demand for automation is growing.

“Organizations don’t have enough people, money or resources to address all of their security workflows across the entire organization, while also responding to threats the moment they happen,” he said in a statement. “Automation will have to play a critical role in addressing these challenges and Swimlane is incredibly well-positioned as the leading independent security automation platform.”

Brear definitely has high hopes for Swimlane, telling CRN that “our game plan is to go public” within the next three to five years. During the same time period, he said he’d like to grow Swimlane into a $100 million, break-even company.

In recent weeks, a number of later-stage cybersecurity startups have laid off hundreds of employees and cut other expenses due to the recent drying up of the IPO market.

But Braer said current market conditions shouldn’t hurt Swimlane’s long-term plans, assuming the markets recover within three to five years.

In the short term, he said demand for cybersecurity products will remain strong, economic downturn or no economic downturn, and so Swimlane is in a “great place” right now for growth.

The recently raised Series C funds should be able to carry Swimlane through possible choppy economic times to come, he added.




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