Last week, an Energize Ventures portfolio company, Awake Security announced it was acquired by Arista. Arista is a networking company with a $15 billion market cap based in Santa Clara. Awake Security’s CEO, Rahul Kashyap, is a visionary cybersecurity executive and a great leader.
Energize Ventures participated in Awake’s most recent capital raise. That round was a Series C and closed in Q1 2020. At Energize we are big believers that traditional industries need better security tools. New production assets are increasingly distributed and networks span from central HQ all the way out to the wind farm. Similarly, we believe that no energy and industrial firm will be exclusively “cloud”. A hybrid solution of cloud and on-prem technologies will always be used in these verticals. These complex network architectures require new digital solutions- and Awake was perfectly positioned to serve these new security needs.
We invested with the goal to infuse Awake’s cybersecurity platform into utilities, manufacturers, and the broader set of industrial companies. Our conviction proved correct and almost immediately a top 10 US utility adopted the product. Sales cycles that can take years moved to weeks. The reason? When a critical infrastructure firm has a cybersecurity concern, a year-long sales cycle moves to days… and mountains are moved by the customer to find budget.
The product-market fit uncovered by Awake ultimately means that Energize’s investment relationship with Awake was fruitful but short-lived. I wish Rahul and the Awake Security team a successful next chapter within Arista. The combined company is certain to find a lot of customers in the energy and industrial verticals.