'Enterprise' browser maker Island valued at $1.3bn out of the gate

High valuation just weeks out of stealth for browser in business control

A startup pitching an "enterprise browser" hit unicorn status only weeks after emerging from stealth.

Island, which announced itself on February 1, said today it completed a Series B funding round raising $115m and bringing its valuation to $1.3bn. Founded in 2020, Island is now in prestigious company as one of the fastest startups to ever hit unicorn status (meaning a valuation over $1bn). 

Heading the investment round was venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, whose co-founder and managing director Jeff Horing describes Island as a product addressing a real market need.

"Our market research on this space shows a real need and robust customer response to the Island Enterprise Browser category, which naturally led us toward a substantial increased investment in this significant opportunity," Horing said.

Insight Partners has also invested in Shopify, Qualtrics, DocuSign, Docker, Mimecast, and other brands you've likely heard of.

Original investment partners Stripes and Sequoia Capital also participated in the round, bringing the total to over $200m.

What is an enterprise browser?

Island describes the modern web browser as the most-used enterprise application, despite the fact there isn't a single browser designed specifically for enterprise use. Island Enterprise Browser, built on Chromium, aims to be the secure-by-design alternative.

Island's browser is centrally managed like other enterprise assets, and gives businesses' security teams control over users' functionality such as copy, paste, download and upload, screencapturing, and other potential exfiltration routes. Advanced security features are also available, like smart network routing, MFA enforcement, and everything else that IT teams have to manage in the last mile of user connectivity.

The browser also offers what Island said is an alternative to "poor-performing VDI software," enabling a native experience on the user's computer while maintaining security and granular control through things like built-in safe browsing, web filtering, web isolation, exploit prevention, and zero-trust network access. 

Island reckons the key to its appeal is how it looks and feels just like any other Chromium browser, and how it integrates security in a non-obstructive manner: the theory is everything is controlled behind the scenes, and all users have to do is keep working.

"The enthusiasm from our customers and the IT community has been extraordinary," said Mike Fey, Island CEO and co-founder. Fey has made the rounds at a number of large enterprise security firms, including McAfee, where he was EVP and CTO and more recently, President and COO at Symantec, a position that ended in 2018 as Fey pursued boardpositions at security-focused startups including Axis Security. Fey's founding partner, Dan Amiga, held security-focused roles at Symantec in addition to joining Fey in board appointments.

Island testing at several Fortune 500 companies in September 2021 was positive, and indicated an intensifying market demand for its product, the company said. ®

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