Island, developers of the Enterprise Browser, hit the $1.3 billion valuation mark earlier this month with Series B funding of $115 million.
The latest funding round came not long after Island emerged from stealth on Feb. 1. SC Media caught up with the company’s co-founder and CEO Mike Fey, who talked about how the Enterprise Browser integrates with all leading SaaS and web apps, as well as the company’s future growth plans.
Can you give us a rundown of the need the Enterprise Browser will serve in the market?
When we look at the Enterprise Browser there are lots of opportunities to add tremendous value. We can give users the ability to have direct experiences with all the SaaS apps and web properties they interact with. Then from that we can improve the security of the environment, making sure the critical data stays inside the apps and doesn’t leak out in dangerous hands.
What's not available today for security teams that Island will offer?
When you think about consumer browsers you have to assume all that data you see in that browser can leave the browser, whether you print the screen or cut the data out. And as we’ve developed the hybrid workforce we now have call center users, developers, and salespeople who have very important data they have access to in SaaS apps that companies want to keep private and have to go to extreme effort if they want to do that with a traditional browser.
So how does the Enterprise Browser make that happen?
We built our browser on top of Chromium, the open source project behind all the major browsers. We render and work with all the major SaaS properties just like every other browser. But when enterprises want to put on a control, lay robotic process automation onto that, or wish to change how security works or how data is seen they have the ability to do that because we are fully integrated back to the enterprise.
So the Enterprise Browser is a platform to manage security across SasS applications? Is that it?
Sure. That’s a great way to look at it. We always like to say SaaS and web apps because one of the big challenges business have are the web sites and apps they build, not just the public SaaS apps. And it’s not just security. There’s end-user performance and the end-user experience. We give that data back to the IT teams. When everybody got sent home from the offices suddenly, what does performance feel like at your house? Are you getting data in a timely fashion? Is it a good experience. We can give them that view.
What's the plan for the new funding round?
We’ve established product markets, we know there’s a desire for the solution, and we’ve got a strong, growing customer base. Now it’s about scale on the R&D side and sales teams and our customers. Right now, we have 120 employees and expect to cut across the 200-person mark by the end of the year. About 75% are in Israel where R&D is located and 25% in the U.S. spread across the geography with headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
Is there a plan or a goal for taking the company public?
That’s still very far down the line although we would love to do that, of course. We're still young, we’re only two-years-old. The market is definitely different. We were very honored to receive this funding in the midst of this market. It’s not an easy market for start-ups, you have to be a disrupter to get high valuations right now. It’s probably not the best time for IPOs, but we’re not looking at that right now.