Skyport Systems Funding Tops $67M to Build Secure Servers
New $30 million funding round for security startup Skyport Systems includes participation of Google Ventures.
At the core of all modern IT, even in the modern software-defined era, is x86 server hardware that must be secured. Knowing this, Skyport Systems first emerged from stealth in May 2015 with an audacious goal of building servers that secure both hardware and software.
This week Skyport announced a new $30 million Series C round of funding, led by Google Ventures. That brings total funding for Skyport to $67 million, with the company previously raising $7 million in its Series A and $30 million in its Series B rounds.
Doug Gourlay, corporate vice president at Skyport, addressed the need for new funding, telling eSecurityPlanet that his company looked at the business success it has been having and what it would take to grow its geographical coverage to support today's and tomorrow's customers with dedicated sales and systems engineering teams.
"We modeled the amount of resources it would take to attract and retain the best talent possible and sustain operations during a period of somewhat constrained investment capital and arrived at our figure," Gourlay said.
The other factor playing into the new round of funding was about ensuring that both Skyport's employees and institutional shareholders could realize a return on their investment of time and capital, he added.
"The challenge with some of the over-inflated valuations we have seen is future 'down rounds' or exits both in the private and public marketplaces that have not lived up to the artificial valuations set during earlier funding," Gourlay said. "We wanted to have a very clean deal that maximized opportunities for all parties."
With the Google Ventures investment, Skyport gets an active board observer seat that will be held by Dave Munichiello, general partner at Google Ventures. Google Ventures identifies technology that is deemed both valuable and viable based on their years of experience working with some of the most cutting-edge technologies in use today, Gourlay said.
Skyport's platform includes the SkySecure Server, a trusted compute platform that goes through a rigorous process to provide the highest levels of physical and virtual security. Beyond just the physical assets on the box, the SkySecure Center service checks the integrity of firmware, BIOS, software and cryptography. The operating system on the SkySecure Server is an SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) version of Debian Linux, with all applications running inside of a secured and isolated Xen hypervisor.
As to where Skyport is headed, Gourlay emphasized that the sky is not the limit.
"Coupling our access to capital, experienced executive team, proven product, and demonstrably strong industry partnerships with an appetite for improved security that actually prevents breaches, we want to ensure we are offering our customers the depth of features and breadth of form factors and consumption models to meet the changing landscape of IT services," he said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurity Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.