A startup offering an enterprise-focused web browser has surpassed a billion-dollar valuation, despite launching only a matter of weeks ago.
Island exited stealth mode in early February, but has already achieved unicorn status courtesy of a $115 million Series B funding round that valued the company at $1.3 billion. Although the product was under development for two years prior to launch, Island is still among the fastest startups to achieve the milestone.
The funding round was led by venture capital firm Insight Partners, which has previously invested in the likes of Shopify, Qualtrics and DocuSign, all of which have multi-billion-dollar market capitalizations. Other investors include Sequoia Capital, Stripes and Cyberstarts.
The core difference between Island’s browser and the likes of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge is a heightened focus on cybersecurity. According to Island, typical browsers are entirely unsuitable for use in a business context, despite their ubiquity in the professional sphere today.
“The most widely deployed app in the enterprise is the browser, but it’s a consumer-based design,” Island CEO Mike Fey told TechCrunch, when the company emerged from stealth.
“A consumer wants to have infinite freedom; they want to be able to install anything they want, go anywhere they want, and do who knows what with their browser without any issues. The enterprise, however, wants to make sure that their customer data is safe, that their critical information is protected, and that they’re getting a good experience.”
Although Island’s service is built on the same Chromium engine as many popular browsers, and therefore has a familiar interface, it places a number of restrictions on the way in which end users can interact with the web.
For example, the Island browser gives security teams control over simple functionality such as copy-and-paste, screen capture and content downloads. It also places limits on the kinds of extensions that can be installed and the domains that can be visited.
Separately, the service gives IT administrators access to advanced tools to help secure SaaS applications and prevent data leakage, as well as full insight into all deployments to help identify the source of incidents as quickly as possible.
“Island has created a whole new way of thinking about enterprise work. By fundamentally transforming the work environment to be secure-by-design, the Island Enterprise Browser enables organizations to achieve entirely new levels of security, productivity, and IT efficiency,” added Fey.
“New investment from Insight Partners and increased investment from our original funding partners validates our product-market fit, accelerates our momentum, and highlights the huge opportunity in front of us.”
- Also check out our list of the best VPN services around