Palo Alto, California-based Salt Security secured a $70 million Series C, just more than five months after closing its $30 million Series B and less than a year after taking in a $20 million Series A.
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The new round was led by Advent International — through Advent Tech — with participation from Alkeon Capital and DFJ Growth. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Tenaya Capital, S Capital VC and Y Combinator also participated in the round. Founded in 2016, the company has raised a total of $131 million.
Salt, which provides API security, was not actively fundraising when investors approached the company, said co-founder and CEO Roey Eliyahu. In fact, the company still had most of its previous raises in the bank — but the company changed course after seeing a presentation from investors.
“We looked at their strategic value and thought that was something we could use,” Eliyahu said.
Securing the API explosion
An API — or application programming interface — is what enables two applications to talk to each other. In essence, when you check Facebook on your phone, you are using an API.
The amount of APIs — including web, mobile and third-party — in use has exploded through the years. Eliyahu said a report by internet company Akamai Technologies said 83 percent of all web traffic now goes through APIs.
“Organizations now have thousands of APIs,” Eliyahu said. “They don’t even know how many they have.”
Securing APIs is needed to protect the data and services that flow through those interfaces.
“We believe there is a significant unmet need in the market around identification and remediation of API security threats, and therefore have strong conviction in an oncoming wave of customer adoption across enterprises,” said Alek Ferro, vice president at Advent.
“Ultimately, we believe this is a multibillion-dollar total addressable market which will grow as API volumes continue to grow,” he added.
The 70-person company will use the new funds to expand both its sales and marketing and its R&D team, as it competes against others in the API security space like Ping Identity and CloudVector — which was just acquired by Imperva earlier this month.
In the past year, Salt’s revenues have grown 400 percent and Eliyahu sees more growth ahead. While he did not offer a precise valuation for his company after the current round — he did give a hint.
“Between zero and $1 billion, it’s closer to $1 billion,” he said with a laugh.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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