Aqua Security Raises $25M to Secure Cloud Native Application Workloads

The container security startup plans to use its Series B round of funding to continue its work helping secure workloads wherever they are deployed.

Aqua Container Security

Containers are one of the hottest areas of technology in 2017, and as a result there is an increasing need for advanced container security platforms. One company in the business of securing containers is Aqua Security, and on Sept. 19 it announced that it has raised $25 million in a Series B round of funding.

The funding was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and included the participation of existing investors Microsoft Ventures, TLV Ventures and Shlomo Kramer. Aqua announced a $9 million Series A round of funding in September 2016 and had previously raised $4.5 million in seed funding, bringing total funding to date for the company to $38.5 million.

"We started the company two years ago, and since then we've seen the widespread proliferation of container technology use," Dror Davidoff, CEO and co-founder of Aqua Security, told eWEEK. "From the beginning, we realized that containers represented an opportunity to revolutionize the way application security is done."

Aqua emerged from stealth in May 2016, after rebranding itself from the company's original name, Scalock. The company's core platform is the Aqua Container Security Platform, which aims to provide multiple layers of security controls for application container workloads. The most recent major release of the platform was version 2.0, which debuted in February 2017.

Aqua started off by securing a single container on a single host, according to Davidoff. What has happened over the last two years is that container orchestration systems including Kubernetes, as well as the DevOps trend of moving to container micro-services, have driven up the need for container security at scale.

"Once we realized the size of the addressable market we wanted to conquer, that was when we realized we needed additional funding to go after the immense opportunity," Davidoff said.

With the new funding, Aqua is planning to expand its platform support, according to Amir Jerbi, co-founder and CTO of the company. Aqua already supports container deployment on both Windows and Linux as well as the Docker container engine and Kubernetes. 

"The market is expanding, and there are new players and container engines and we want to support them," Jerbi told eWEEK. "We're also expanding our runtime security and networking capabilities, adding functionality based on our customers' requests."

A guiding vision for Aqua's Container Platform is that organizations be able to secure their workloads with Aqua and then deploy those workloads anywhere they want, be it native Docker, Kubernetes or otherwise. Jerbi explained that Aqua is not concerned with the security of the host system or cloud, but rather is focused on the security of cloud native applications.

"With a single language, policy and command console, we can manage containers on AWS, Azure, Google, Kubernetes and Docker Datacenter, among others," Jerbi said. "So you only need to define the policy once, and Aqua adapts based on where the workload is running."

The market for container security technologies is an increasingly competitive space, with multiple vendors including Twistlock, Stackrox and Capsule8 all aiming to grow share. Davidoff is encouraged by all the competition as it signifies a degree of market validation.

"The fact that the competition is intensifying validates our view about the size of the market opportunity," Davidoff said. "The scale and breadth of our solution is what differentiates us."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.