The 10 Hottest Cybersecurity Startups Of 2023
Startups with innovative new tools in security operations, data security and software supply chain security are among those that have stood out during the year.
Even with the higher priority on security tool consolidation — a major theme for both partners and customers throughout 2023 — the need for innovation in key segments of cybersecurity remains massive. And while venture funding has remained tight, there has still been funding available to a variety of cybersecurity startups, particularly those whose founders have had prior success with previous companies.
Among the major areas for startup-driven advancement in security tooling in 2023 have included security operations (SecOps), data security and — especially — software supply chain security. Early-stage companies that have stood out during the year included many that focus on securing the numerous links in the supply chain for software development — three of which we’ve included on the following list. Software supply chain security has risen as a top concern in recent years since the attack against SolarWinds and its customers, and the threat has been reinforced this year through incidents including the software supply chain compromise at communications app maker 3CX.
Other startups on our list are focused on areas including ransomware prevention, secure web gateway technology and passwordless authentication, in addition to data security and SecOps. To be included on the list that follows, startups must have been founded since 2020. The list also excludes startups focused on cloud security, which we’ll be covering in an upcoming post.
What follows are 10 of the hottest cybersecurity startups of 2023.
CEO: Dan Lorenc
Chainguard offers tools that aim to dramatically improve the security of the software supply chain and open source software — including through providing its own secure container images that help development teams to avoid many vulnerabilities by default. In November, Chainguard announced a $61 million Series B funding round led by Spark Capital, and reported that its container images are being used by a number of Fortune 500 companies.
CEO: Slavik Markovich
Descope offers a tool that helps developers to more easily integrate passwordless authentication into applications — with a focus on enabling easier connections into passkeys from vendors including Apple, Microsoft and Google. In February, Descope raised $53 million in seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and GGV Capital.
CEO: Kunal Agarwal
Dope.security offers a new breed of secure web gateway that aims to be easier to deploy — powered by its patented “fly-direct” architecture that avoids the need to reroute web traffic through stopover data centers. In March, the startup landed $16 million in Series A funding led by GV (Google Ventures). And in September, the company expanded its channel program through signing a distribution agreement with e92plus.
CEO: Varun Badhwar
Endor Labs aims to provide enhanced security for the software supply chain, with a platform focused on enabling the secure use of open-source software — spanning dependency selection, management and remediation of code security issues. In March, Endor Labs launched a global partner program and said it’s making a “100 percent commitment” to working with channel partners to drive its business. Then in August, the startup announced a $70 million Series A funding round from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital.
CEO: Ben Bernstein
Gutsy offers a tool for security governance that leverages process mining techniques to provide automated insights from data — ultimately enabling reduced security risk and improved auditing, as well as reduced risk from key projects such as cloud migration and managed service adoption. The startup announced its emergence from stealth in October with a $51 million seed funding round led by YL Ventures and Mayfield.
CEO: Jon Miller
Halcyon offers a number of capabilities aimed at thwarting ransomware — including pre-execution ransomware prevention using proprietary AI/ML and methods for tricking an attack into revealing itself or aborting. In April, Halcyon raised $50 million in Series A funding led by Syn Ventures.
CEO: Thomas Pace
NetRise focuses on enhancing visibility into the extended internet of things (XIoT), spanning firmware and software issues associated with IoT, IT, OT and other connected systems. Recent updates have included the addition of capabilities to make it easier to work with SBOM (software bill of materials) files. Meanwhile, in November, NetRise launched new capabilities for boosting the security of the software supply chain, enabling identification of compromised software assets using AI-driven semantic search “for the first time” in the industry, the company said.
CEO: Connie Stack
Next DLP offers a platform for spotting insider risk while also detecting exfiltration of data and data loss, using a software agent that delivers a minimal impact to CPU performance and worker productivity. In September, Next DLP announced the expansion of its Reveal Platform to cover generative AI tools including Hugging Face, Bard, Claude and several others, in addition to ChatGPT.
CEO: Shahar Ben-Hador
Radiant Security offers an AI-powered Security Operations Center (SOC) automation tool aimed at enhancing productivity and threat detection — including through enabling dynamic reviews of all security alerts as well as investigation and root cause analysis for incidents. The startup emerged from stealth with its product in August, and then disclosed raising a $15 million Series A round led by Next47 in November.
CEO: Ofer Smadari
Torq offers a no-code method for automating security operations, with recent updates including the launch of a GenAI-powered tool that aims to autonomously address the vast majority of Tier-1 tickets. The new tool on the startup’s Hyperautomation Platform, Torq Socrates, is the cybersecurity industry’s “first Tier-1 analysis AI agent,” the company said in a news release. In June, Torq announced a channel program that the startup said offers the “highest guaranteed-margin opportunities possible.” The Torq Partner Acceleration Program guarantees MSP/MSSP partners margin of 25 percent, the company said.