Today, I’m excited to announce Upwind’s $50M round (following our $30M seed round 10 months ago) to accelerate our journey in helping enterprises secure their cloud-native infrastructure.
Continuing Our Entrepreneurship Journey
Our last few years have been filled with action. Our story started with Spot.io, which went from an idea that no one believed would succeed to becoming the world’s leading cloud optimization company. We worked hard to build and scale Spot.io and continued our journey after NetApp acquired Spot.io in one of the most impressive exits in the last few years.
After being acquired, our core team helped NetApp run their cloud strategy and expand the company’s cloud portfolio. While this was incredibly important, we all felt that we wanted to continue building and innovating, leading us once again to start something from the ground up.
It’s All About the Team
I believe that the true recipe for success is a strong team and an even stronger culture, and the decision to start Upwind was a mutual dream of the core founding team members of Spot.io. While we had an incredibly successful run with Spot.io in the DevOps realm, we saw a unique opportunity to bring that experience to the cybersecurity field. More importantly, we wanted to keep our culture and build on the same foundation that brought us to where we are today, working together on both good days and challenging days.
Bringing DevOps to Security
We had the privilege to work with thousands of DevOps teams to optimize their cloud spend, and every optimization starts with automation. We built products focused on large-scale cloud environments and modern workloads such as containers, microservices, complicated CI/CD pipelines and distributed applications. This experience helped us understand what DevOps truly need for increased efficiency and organizational success, and one of the biggest challenges facing these teams is adequate security.
DevOps often play a role in the security process. We wanted to bring the level of cloud understanding and visibility that DevOps has to security leaders, breaking down the silos that often separate these teams.
Cinderellas and Underdogs
Our journey with Spot.io was a Cinderella story in every sense of the word. We had a very unpopular idea that struggled to get initial funding, which we were able to turn into an incredible success story — becoming the world’s leading cloud optimization product. Not only did Spot.io see success as an organization, but our journey with Spot.io opened the door for others to join the field of cloud optimization and create a new and healthy ecosystem.
At Upwind, we are beginning our journey from a different starting line. We are entering a well-established security ecosystem as underdogs, starting with the very basics and working closely with hundreds of security leaders to understand their pain points better than anyone else on the market. This customer-obsessed approach is not a cliche, it is a strategy. A deep understanding of the issues facing security leaders in the realm of cloud security is the tailwind that is pushing Upwind forward, allowing us to bring something new and needed to the industry.
We Are on to Something Big
In the past year, we worked with hundreds of CISOs and security engineers, to get a mile-deep understanding of their biggest security challenges and priorities. Through this process, we discovered major hurdles facing security teams and understood that the right, most complete way to solve them is at runtime. Upwind is shifting the paradigm of cloud security and redefining CNAPP (Cloud Native Application Protection Platform) with runtime insights.
We firmly believe that a runtime-centered security strategy is going to become a big part of every enterprise and mid-market organization, because runtime fills the biggest gaps between Dev and Ops and gives security teams the most accurate view of their cloud environment.
In a time when security leaders are looking to consolidate tools and focus on solutions that solve their most pressing challenges in a meaningful way, a centralized, more efficient CNAPP is needed.
Fast. Simple. Customer Obsessed.
We know that what sets us apart is not just our product – it’s our culture.
We move fast. We believe in simplicity. Above all, we are obsessed with our customers and we work backward from their biggest pain points and challenges.
We are building Upwind around this unique set of values, which is the force that propels us every day and is giving us the chance to build a market-leading company.
Not only do we have an incredible team and culture, we are also backed by the best investors in the world – Greylock, Cyberstarts, Leaders Fund, Craft Ventures, Omri Casspi’s VC Sheva, and Stephen Curry’s VC Pennyjar.
“Greylock co-led the largest seed round we have ever participated in for a software company in Upwind for two simple reasons — securing cloud runtime environments is the single most important problem in cybersecurity, and the Upwind team is a successful repeat entrepreneurial team who’s one of the absolute best we’ve ever backed.”
– Saam Motamedi General Partner, Greylock
We are beyond excited to partner with them to build a truly unique security product fueled with the right culture and powered by runtime.
We say, Up and Upwind!