Barely a month after they emerged from stealth and announced their arrival, Shape Security is back in the news. Today they’ve announced raising $40 Million in Series C funding and plan to expand their product and workforce with the proceeds. This round of venture capital funding was led by Norwest Venture Partners. It’s a fast move considering that the company was in top secret development mode for over two years before it launched its market-defining web security product, ShapeShifter. As it introduced ‘real-time polymorphism’ to website protection at the user-interface level, it addresses one of the hardest security problems in the industry and is now being called a ‘botwall’.
The ShapeShifter is the industry’s first botwall, offering a comprehensive defense against major website attacks. Existing security technologies try to detect attacks based on how they appeared or behaved in the past. This is not effective against adversaries who are constantly changing their code and behaviors to avoid detection. It also does nothing against previously unknown attacks. Instead of guessing about the nature of traffic, the ShapeShifter uses real-time polymorphism to turn websites into constantly moving targets, creating a new foundational defense for user interfaces which disables attacks from malware, botnets, and scripts.
Expanding Sales and R&D
In a briefing with Shuman Ghosemajumder, Shape Security’s VP of strategy he spoke of the enormous interest in the product already, and the plans ahead based on this funding. First they anticipate doubling their headcount from the 60 they number now with an increase in worldwide salesforce and R&D. Based in Mountain View, it is a competitive market for talent, but that is nary a concern as they currently have several high profile former Google personnel and have seen a lot of interest. Getting in on the ground floor of a market that you have defined and is sorely needed is never a bad thing. Research and development will be further developing the product because the nature of web attacks and security is always advancing, and Shape anticipates an ongoing battle with advanced hack tactics in its future.
Shape seems to be doing a number of great things right. You had this two-year secret launch mode, which kept its product away from the curious eyes of hackers and competitors. They have $66 million in funding thus far that is being invested into even more development of a product that has only really been out for a month and they anticipate big sales numbers so they are lining up the people they need to support that demand.
“Since our launch last month, we have been inundated with inquiries from customers all over the world,” said Derek Smith, Shape Security CEO. “We have worked with early adopters in financial services, healthcare, and retail, and our goal with this new funding is to scale quickly to protect every industry.”
Ghosemajumder notes that the reception of how the product works is pretty instantly realized. By changing the economics of hack attacks, this layer of defense is understandably going to be well-received, and we all witness the high-profile breaches that get reported, one after another. Customers onboard through a strategic assessment and rapid deployment, which changes the risk posture from web applications in a hurry. Buzz is a good word for what’s happening and interest from all over the world is coming in.
Shape Security is at this year’s RSA conference in San Francisco