Wiz, a cybersecurity startup based in the U.S. and Israel, said Monday that it has raised $300 million in fresh capital at a valuation of $10 billion. It won’t move any of that money to Israel, however, amid ongoing unrest about proposed reforms to the country’s judicial system.
The Series D funding was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and existing investors Greenoaks Capital Partners and Index Ventures. Crunchbase data shows Wiz has now raised a total of $900 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and Salesforce Ventures 1, just three years after it was founded. The latest funding makes Wiz the most highly valued cybersecurity unicorn on The Crunchbase Unicorn Board.
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Wiz was founded in March 2020 by CEO Assaf Rappaport, CTO Ami Luttwak, Vice President of Product Yinon Costica, and Vice President of R&D Roy Reznik. The team had previously worked together at Microsoft’s cloud security group and co-founded Adallom, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2015 for $320 million.
Tech companies question future in Israel amid turmoil
Wiz, headquartered in New York and Tel Aviv, said it plans to use the new funding to expand its workforce, which currently includes about 650 employees. It also plans to open new offices in Austin and Dallas, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
None of the new money will go to Israel, however, the company said, while the country is mired in uncertainty and division about a proposed overhaul of its judiciary by the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Critics say the proposed judicial system reforms would undermine Israel’s democratic foundations and grant unchecked power to the government led by Netanyahu, who faces corruption charges. Netanyahu and his allies have said the overhaul is needed to curb the power of an unelected judiciary.
The prime minister’s plans have sparked widespread protest and prompted some leaders of Israel’s thriving tech sector to question future investment in the country. Among the tech companies eyeing the exits are Papaya Global, a payroll startup valued at $4 billion.
“Unfortunately, due to the legal coup the money raised will not enter Israel,” Wiz co-founder and CEO Assaf Rappaport said in a statement given to Reuters. “Our big concern about Israeli high tech is not only about money leaving Israel but also the large amount of money that will no longer enter Israel.”
Cybersecurity funding by the numbers
Wiz’s latest funding follows a pullback in cybersecurity funding last year amid an overall decline in VC spending in 2022. Funding to the sector in the first few months of 2023, however, has held up relatively strong: Cyber startups received a total of about $1.7 billion in the first six weeks of 2023, per Crunchbase data — down from the same period last year but ahead of 2021 and 2020’s figures.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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