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Security Vendor Illumio Raises $225M To Tighten SI, MSSP Ties

Illumio expects to source most of its business through the channel as soon as this year, and is currently enhancing its products to make them more operationally friendly for MSSPs, says CEO Andrew Rubin.

Illumio has notched a $2.75 billion valuation and plans to invest heavily in its programming for systems integrators (SIs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs).

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based zero trust segmentation vendor expects to source most of its business through the channel as soon as this year, and is currently enhancing its products to make them more operationally friendly for MSSPs, according to Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Rubin. Illumio on Thursday closed a $225 million Series F funding round led by private equity giant Thoma Bravo.

“They know our space,” Rubin said of Thoma Bravo. “They know our category. And they bring an incredible amount of operational experience to the table.”

[Related: Illumio Eyes $250M Funding Round At $2.9B Valuation: Report]

Many of Illumio’s largest customer engagements and deals have come by way of SIs like IBM, and Rubin said the company plans to invest significantly in building, supporting, and maintaining its network of SI partners. Many large customers still aren’t doing zero trust segmentation, and Rubin said they’ll often farm out the process of choosing a segmentation firm to SI partners they’ve worked with for a long time.

There are still global SIs that don’t know Illumio exists yet since the company isn’t a large, multi-billion-dollar incumbent, and Rubin said the company needs to increase its market awareness among both SIs and their customers. Illumio also plans to use some of the money operationally to get SIs, trained, up to speed and more capable on the company’s products, according to Rubin.

Illumio historically hasn’t worked with MSSPs, but over the past two years, Rubin said customers are increasingly looking for a managed service around zero trust segmentation. The company is currently working with early MSSP partners to make them more operationally efficient and develop a story that’s compelling to their customers, according to Rubin.

MSSPs have unique operating models, and Illumio is currently investing in product enhancements that will allow the company’s products to run better inside an MSSPs internal environment. Early reaction from the MSSP community has been favorable, Rubin said, and he expects MSSPs will be a meaningful go-to-market route for Illumio in the near future.

“We care deeply about the channel,” Rubin told CRN. “They’re already a meaningful part of our business.”

Illumio also plans to use the $225 million to make headcount investments that will support diversification from a geographic, vertical, and customer size perspective. The company was focused exclusively on the United States when it first entered the market six-and-a-half years ago, but now supports customers across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to Rubin.

The company today has a considerable sales and support presence in the United Kingdom as well as personnel in continental Europe, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Illumio wants to expand and strengthen the presence of its internal team across Continental Europe and Southeast Asia, and further leverage the channel to support customers in places like Japan and the Middle East.

From a vertical standpoint, Rubin said Illumio has evolved from primarily serving customers in the financial services and tech spaces to having a broader footprint across the government, transportation, retail, legal, healthcare and education sectors. And as far as customer size is concerned, Rubin said the money will continue to fuel Illumio’s push from the large enterprise into the mid-market.

As for metrics, Rubin said he’s most concerned about ensuring customers quickly realize value from the company’s products. If customers can successfully get up and running quickly, Rubin said success in other metrics such new customer acquisition, new partner acquisition and topline revenue will quickly follow.

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