The round, announced today, adds Google and Cisco as Skyport investors, under the auspices of GV (Google Ventures) and Cisco Investments. Intel is an investor as well, having participated in Skyport’s $30 million Series B last year.
Google, in particular, liked Skyport’s affinity for zero-trust computing, says Art Gilliland, who joined the startup as CEO last year. True to the name, zero-trust computing means that each segment — for example, computing, networking, the application, or the end users — assumes that all of the others are breached. That mode of thinking pares communications between segments down to a minimum.
“We found a way to make it accessible to a less sophisticated kind of customer,” Gilliland says.
Skyport sells a server that physically isolates workloads from the rest of the network. It runs on Intel processors but uses a specially devised I/O controller to talk to the network. Moreover, the product is sold as a service — meaning, Skyport handles things like server management.
That makes the server a little more idiot-proof, because best-in-class products “are only best-in-class if you can operate them correctly,” Gilliland says. “Household names are breached — and they own everything. They don’t have the expertise to be able to operate it.”
“Systematic” Growth Mode
Having now raised a total of $67 million, Skyport will put some of its latest round toward “proving out the architecture inside customer environments,” Gilliland says.
The company also wants to expand sales beyond the United States, but only in a “very systematic” fashion, Gilliland says. Specifically, the company is certified to ship to 40 countries, but Gilliland wants to extend operations into new countries only as customers insist upon it.
In terms of products, Skyport is developing a smaller version of its server, intended for branch offices and due to come out later in the year.
Other new investors in the Series C round include Thomvest Ventures, Northgate Capital, and InstantScale.
The round also included all of Skyport’s previous venture investors: Index Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and, as mentioned, Intel Capital.