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SaaS app management and security startup AppOmni nabs $40M

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AppOmni, a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) security management, today announced the closing of a $40 million round led by Scale Venture Partners. The company says it will use the funding to grow its footprint and bolster product R&D as it looks to acquire new customers.

Estimates show that 92% of web apps have security flaws that can be exploited, and some 16.2% of U.S. companies have two or more web apps that don’t securely store personally identifiable information. The problem is often less negligence than ignorance, as companies lack the expertise required to lock down their services and platforms. A recent survey by ESG and the Information Systems Security Association found that 70% of organizations believe they’re impacted by a cybersecurity skills shortage.

AppOmni’s SaaS platform allows customers to scan, triage, and monitor apps using firewalls and access controls. With AppOmni, teams can define security rules and use continuous monitoring for alerts of data exposures. They’re also able to apply role-based policies across clouds, business units, environments, and apps.

“While some companies have taken steps to secure their SaaS environments, they commonly use a cloud access security broker (CASBs) or a penetration test. Unfortunately, neither of these tools is sufficient to fully secure today’s SaaS platforms,” AppOmni cofounder and CEO Brendan O’Connor told VentureBeat via email. “CASBs focus on network traffic between employee devices and the cloud. Pentests can be helpful but only measure a single moment in time and often are limited in scope. Alternatively, AppOmni scans cloud APIs and implements data access policies within the SaaS application, governs third-party access integrations, and continuously monitors SaaS applications and activities.”

Above: AppOmni’s management dashboard.

IT teams using AppOmni get a configuration management dashboard that lets them snapshot security policies, access profiles, and review changes before they’re promoted to production. Beyond this, teams can export access reviews and reports or classify data according to type and business requirements.

Beating back competition

AppOmni isn’t alone in the app management services market, which is anticipated to be worth $32.5 billion by 2024. Among others, it competes with DoControl and Sqreen, which raised $14 million in April 2019 for its cybersecurity suite that helps developers monitor and protect web apps from vulnerabilities and attacks. And Productiv, which develops software that helps enterprises manage SaaS apps, secured $45 million in March.

The sector’s growth is partly due to the pandemic, which accelerated the adoption of SaaS applications and remote work. According to Gartner, enterprises are investing in SaaS at a record rate, with 95% of new enterprise app purchases cloud-based. And cloud spending rose 37% to $29 billion during the first quarter of 2020, a May 2020 report from Synergy Research Group revealed.

AppOmni, which employs over 50 people, claims to have an advantage over rivals in its momentum. The company has several Fortune 500 organizations as clients, including Dropbox and Accenture, and backing from Salesforce Ventures and ServiceNow Ventures via its recent series B round. And in 2020, AppOmni’s annual recurring revenue increased by over 900%.

“The COVID pandemic accelerated the move to cloud and SaaS … Unfortunately, we anticipate that companies’ rush to install and expand SaaS platforms over the past year — without making the accompanying investment in SaaS security — has created a significant security gap,” O’Connor said. “What makes AppOmni unique, aside from its technology, is that it was founded by security practitioners who have real-world experience securing SaaS applications at scale.”

San Francisco-based AppOmni has raised over $53 million to date, after closing a $10 million series A in January 2020 and a $3 million seed round in April 2019.

Existing backers, including ClearSky, Costanoa Ventures, Inner Loop Capital, and Silicon Valley Data Capital, also participated in AppOmni’s series B announced today.

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