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AppOmni locks up $70 million Series C for Platform Cybersecurity Growth

AppOmni, an independent software vendor based in San Francisco, yesterday announced it has secured a $70 million Series C equity investment. The company specializes in providing services that analyze and secure several leading SaaS systems, including Salesforce, against internal and external threat actors.

Thoma Bravo, a software investment firm, was the lead investor. There was participation from existing investors, including Scale Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, ClearSky, and Costanoa Ventures. With this round, AppOmni has raised $123 million in total funding to date. “The high-profile SaaS breaches we’ve seen in recent months highlight the urgency CISOs are facing,” said Brendan O’Connor, CEO, and co-founder at AppOmni. “Customers and prospects across industries tell us the same thing: security teams need better visibility into their SaaS environments and automated tools to adequately secure their quickly growing SaaS ecosystems,” added Mr. O’Connor in a press release.

AppOmni Claims Strong Numbers

In the funding announcement the company cited trends to assert strong growth. The company claims to have a zero-churn rate, with 100% customer retention. The company also claims to have “strong triple-digit ARR growth in each of the past three years.” This implies that AppOmni at least doubled revenue in the last year.

This is consistent with the growth of other companies that support SaaS installations, such as Salesforce devops platform vendors. AppOmni investors recognize a strong demand environment for SaaS-related services. “The digitization of businesses across all sectors has accelerated the need for reliable data protection and control, and AppOmni’s security solutions are unmatched in the industry,” said Tre Sayle, a partner at Thoma Bravo, in the press release.

SaaS Platform Cybersecurity

Dealing with cybersecurity concerns, especially in the Salesforce world, seems to fall to the wayside for many platform owners. One reason for this is the monumental complexity of Salesforce data security. With overlapping security models, it is nearly impossible for an individual to fully comprehend the implications of managing data security rules.

And, in case you forgot, it is up to the platform owner to properly set up security in a Salesforce org. You get a new org pretty much fully open in terms of data security. That makes it easy to add new features and get everyone to use it, but such an open posture can lead to data theft and malicious destruction. That is where the “shared data responsibility” rule comes into play. Basically, if you make a mistake in your data security setup, and a rogue employee steals your customer list, then Salesforce isn’t responsible.

Essentially, setting up security in a Salesforce org is now so complex that no amount of training and education allows a group of workers to effectively manage data security in a large org. Platform owners need an external system to organize and sort out that complexity. This is where AppOmni comes into play. For Salesforce org owners, AppOmni provides a platform for systematically analyzing and applying data security settings inside of a Salesforce org. The company also performs similar functions for about 20 SaaS platforms, including Office 365, ServiceNow, Workday, Google Workspace, and Slack.

Better Cybersecurity Marketing Needed

A major trend in enterprise computing is business creators using low code tools to build applications. These applications are used internally, and occasionally with external stakeholders. Salesforce has led the way for business creators to build functionality using low code tools.

So, every day more critical business, scientific, and financial data is being stored and managed in Salesforce. And, since most Salesforce platform owners ignore platform cybersecurity, more incidents of data breaches, theft, and malicious destruction of critical data are bound to happen.

But, going through the work and expense of locking up an org properly is often at the bottom of a platform owner’s list of priorities. So, how do software makers like AppOmni, OwnBackup, and Odaseva break through and educate platform owners of the coming threat?

I think a basic upgrade is to simply use scarier words when we describe products. That is why I break down Salesforce cybersecurity into platform cybersecurity and developer cybersecurity categories. Marketers should connect the external threat environment, rightly called a major cyberwar, to the realities of managing a complex SaaS environment.

AppOmni Funding More Good News for SaaS Ecosystem

Despite troubling economic news, and doom-and-gloom from some fintech startups, the SaaS ecosystem seems to be holding steady in mid-2022. Last week Salesforce pleasantly surprised financial markets by releasing strong earnings with a very optimistic tone. The tone of this AppOmni funding announcement also seems to reflect a strong customer demand environment.

The success of SaaS cybersecurity companies like AppOmni, as well as other Salesforce devops companies I track, is a lagging indicator of the overall growth in Salesforce, the company. That is because Salesforce customers usually add in services like AppOmni after they have started using a new Salesforce installation.

This funding announcement from AppOmni tends to confirm last week’s positivity from Salesforce. Salesforce’s overall growth combined with the growth in business creators making critical applications means the need for securing and managing those orgs is growing even faster. As 2022 goes on, we should see startup funding pick up to meet the growing demand for ancillary SaaS services.