Wiz Debuts First Partner Program Amid Cloud Security Surge, $10 Billion Valuation
The startup — which this week became the top-valued, venture-backed cybersecurity vendor by achieving a valuation of $10 billion — currently has VAR partners involved in 75 percent of its deals. That percentage is expected to increase going forward, a Wiz executive told CRN.
Cloud security startup Wiz, which this week achieved the highest valuation of any venture-backed cybersecurity company, announced its first formal partner program Wednesday that’s meant to help accelerate the company’s sales through the channel.
The Wiz Partner Program aims to build on already rapid growth that the company has been seeing during its less than three years of existence.
[Related: 10 Hot Cybersecurity Companies You Should Watch In 2023]
Founded in early 2020, Wiz quickly found huge traction for its product that brings together numerous cloud security capabilities while deploying quickly and offering greater prioritization of threats. In August 2022, Wiz disclosed that it had crossed $100 million in annual recurring revenue, achieving this key startup milestone in the shortest amount of time of any company to date at 18 months, according to the firm.
On account of its growth surge, Wiz announced Monday that it was able to raise $300 million in new funding at a valuation of $10 billion. That was up from its prior valuation of $6 billion, as of October 2021, and moved Wiz to the top spot on CB Insights’ ranking of cybersecurity unicorns. Wiz said it has become the fastest SaaS company to achieve a $10 billion valuation.
‘Incredibly Strategic’ Partnerships
Currently, about 75 percent of Wiz’s deals involve a value-added reseller (VAR) partner, and the company is aiming to increase that percentage going forward, said Colin Jones, chief revenue officer at Wiz. Major VAR partners of Wiz include Trace3, Optiv, Presidio, WWT and GuidePoint Security.
“We see our VAR community as this incredibly strategic and valuable resource to help customers go from reactive to proactive [on cloud security], and to really get the true value out of our platform,” Jones said.
Looking ahead, “we recognize the need to strengthen our existing partnerships, and to forge some new ones, in order to meet the demand and deliver on the behalf of the customers,” he told CRN.
“In the VAR community, we’re seeing organizations make considerable investments in their cloud security practices,” Jones said. “And so we expect that trend to continue, and that will no doubt present new opportunities for partnership.”
Key capabilities on the Wiz platform include cloud security posture management (CSPM), which is used to detect misconfigurations in cloud infrastructure and enable remediation of the issues.
Wiz has stood out in the cloud security market with a product that is agentless — helping to enable fast deployment — and that also excels at correlating various signals to allow for better risk prioritization in the cloud. The Wiz platform supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and VMware vSphere.
Trace3, No. 36 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500, has been partnering with Wiz since early 2021. In 2022, Wiz was already among Trace3’s top emerging vendors — i.e. vendors that are venture-backed and less than 10 years old — in terms of revenue, despite being just a few years old. Trace3 saw “incredible amounts of growth” in its business with Wiz in 2022, said Katherine Walther, vice president of innovation at Trace3.
Wiz has distinguished its cloud security platform in areas including ease-of-use and the ability to dramatically improve visibility for customers, Walther said.
Security risk is far different in the cloud than in on-premises environments because of how easy it is for users to add new services, she noted. And with new functionality arriving constantly, the demands of keeping up with configurations in cloud services have “exceeded human capacity,” Walther said.
Wiz, however, is helping organizations to get a handle on all of those issues — while also offering unique capabilities related to the identity components of cloud security, she said.
With all of its moves, Wiz has been “positioning themselves to be pretty tough to beat“ in the cloud security space, Walther said.
Wiz has been “a great partner” overall, she said, noting that Wiz executives such as CEO and co-founder Assaf Rappaport have often gone the extra mile to directly assist with client interactions.
‘Keep The Feedback Coming’
The Wiz Partner Program offers three tiers for partners — Registered, Focus and Premier — and includes expanded discounts and benefits based on achievement of revenue goals.
Other key components of the new program include deal registration and access to sales, training and marketing materials through the Wiz partner portal.
Wiz expects it will “learn a great deal as well” from its partners in the future, Jones said, adding that his message to partners is to “please keep the feedback coming — we’re always listening.”
The company is in its “infancy” of partnering with large global systems integrators, he noted — and may also explore working with additional categories of partners in the future, such as consulting partners, which have shown considerable interest in working with Wiz.
Wiz’s channel chief is Trish Cagliostro, head of worldwide channels and alliances at the company, who was formerly head of business development in the worldwide public sector for security services organization at AWS.
Wiz said this week that it now counts more than 35 percent of Fortune 100 companies in its customer base. With the $300 million Series D round announced Monday, the company has now raised $900 million in funding to date.
Wiz has offices in Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as in New York and Denver, and employs 650.