Security startup Fortanix closed a $23 million Series B led by Intel Capital. The investment brings the company’s total funding to $31 million. Existing investors Foundation Capital and Neotribe also contributed.
The company will use the new round to expand its sales team globally and further develop its key management and encryption technologies, said Ambuj Kumar, co-founder and CEO of Fortanix. It also strengthens the startup’s partnership and work with Intel — Fortanix’s software runs on Intel hardware.
The startup does, in fact, partner with Alibaba Cloud, in addition to other cloud providers. The Chinese cloud giant runs Fortanix’s key management service on its platform. This allows customers to encrypt all their data in the cloud while keeping the keys protected from Fortanix and Alibaba Cloud.
Fortanix also partners with data center giant Equinix, which uses Fortanix’s key management software to power its security service. Additionally, the security startup teamed up with IBM Cloud on a service that protects data in use, and cloud provider Elastx uses Fortanix software to power the key management for its cloud.
Gartner last year named Fortanix a “cool vendor,” and it’s garnered a handful of awards and accolades for its technology. RSA named it a runner-up in the RSA Innovation Sandbox for “Most Innovative Startup” at the 2018 RSA security conference.
“CEOs are struggling with how to address security and privacy, and Fortanix is the only company today which has set out to solve this security and privacy problem all together,” Kumar said. “The way we do that is by removing the security challenge posed by the infrastructure. Even if your cloud is compromised, even if you have insiders, even if your machines are hackable, we will still keep your applications protected.”
It does this by using encryption to keep keys, data, and applications protected while in use, during runtime, and at rest.
The Mountain View, California-based company launched its product 18 months ago. It’s called Self-Defending Key Management Service (SDKMS), and it’s a cloud-based service based on what Fortanix calls “runtime encryption” technology. It runs on Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) hardware and allows general-purpose computation on encrypted data. This provides both key management and hardware security model (HSM) capabilities via software. It also ensures that untrusted operating systems, root users, and cloud providers don’t have access to the encrypted data.
The software runs in on-premises data centers and in any cloud that supports Intel SGX hardware.