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Salt Security Raises $70 Million To Strengthen API Security

Salt Security plans to consolidate spending around runtime protection, enhance training and enablement for channel partners, and deliver more protection to companies earlier in the development lifecycle.

Salt Security closed a Series C funding round to scale the company’s sales organization globally and enhance security earlier in the development lifecycle.

The Palo Alto Calif.-based API security startup plans to use the proceeds to consolidate more spending around runtime protection, enhance training and enablement for channel partners, and deliver more to companies that are ready to extend their security strategy beyond production environments, according to CEO Roey Eliyahu. The $70 million funding round was led by private equity firm Advent International.

“We are not going to allow anyone get near us [in API security],” Eliyahu said. “Our goal is maintaining this leadership in dominating this category.”

[Related: 10 Cool Tech Startups That Raised Funding In June 2020]

Salt Security was founded in 2016 and has now raised $131 million, $120 million of which has been brought in since June 2020. Over the past year, Salt has increased sales by 400 percent, headcount by 160 percent, and the amount of API traffic it secures by 380 percent, according to the company. Salt currently employs 69 people, according to LinkedIn.

Customers typically want to secure by securing runtime environments since discovering all the APIs they have as well as finding and mitigating vulnerabilities reduces risk by 80 percent pretty much right away, Eliyahu said. From there, Eliyahu said clients are looking to apply the insights they’ve obtained to the application design and testing phases to ensure their building and staging environments are also secure.

“Two years from now, we know the world is going to move into more and more companies wanting to have more insights on the earlier side in addition to the runtime,” Eliyahu said. Salt Security most frequently competes against Ping Identity’s PingIntelligence product as well as CloudVector, which was acquired by Imperva last month, according to Eliyahu.

From a runtime perspective, Eliyahu said Salt Security is looking to add more and more attack cases that address different roles in the organization. Runtime security is today a more significant part of Salt’s business than ‘shift left’ initiatives, but Eliyahu said customers are starting initiatives today that will help push security earlier in the development lifecycle.

As for go-to-market, Eliyahu said Salt Security brought in longtime Nutanix leader Anton Granic to build out its sales and channel organization. Nearly half of Salt’s business goes through the channel today, with a number of Fortune 500 companies and midsize enterprises alike introducing Salt to solution providers they already had close relationships with, according to Eliyahu.

Under Granic, Eliyahu said Salt Security plans to double down on training and enablement for partners as well as provide financial incentives that reward solution providers that invest significantly in the relationship. The company works with a ‘double-digit’ number of channel partners, though Eliyahu was unable to provide an exact figure.

From a metrics standpoint, Eliyahu said Salt Security is most focused on customer retention, executing on its product roadmap, and maintaining its current pace of innovation. Salt has excelled not only at landing new customers but also at growing its wallet share with existing customers, who expand their use of the company’s technology within the organization when it’s time for renewal, Eliyahu said.

“As we are really the first leading company in this category, we keep innovating and defining in more areas what the category should look like,” Eliyahu said.

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