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Portfolio February 25, 2013

Announcing the Launch of Skyhigh Networks and Greylock’s Investment

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Congratulations to Rajiv Gupta and the Skyhigh Networks team, as they emerge from stealth and launch at the RSA Conference today!

The growing adoption of cloud services is creating new challenges in IT governance, security and compliance. Skyhigh Networks allows application owners and enterprise IT to fully embrace the cloud while retaining visibility and control – whether employees connect via mobile or from the corporate network. Skyhigh today announced the industry’s first solution that allows enterprises to know exactly which cloud services their employees use, and the risks those services may pose. Initial customers include Cisco, Equinix, General Electric, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and several other Fortune 500 companies.

Rajiv and I have known each other for just over 7 years, and this is the second company where we are partnering together. We were originally introduced in February 2006, by an executive at Oracle. At the time Rajiv was raising a Series A financing for his previous startup – Securent. In a very competitive financing, Rajiv picked us over other top-tier venture capital firms that wanted to invest. Rajiv and Sekhar Sarukkai (Securent co-founder) built the industry’s leading entitlement management system, and right out of the gate grew customers and bookings rapidly in the first year. There was strong strategic inbound interest from several companies, and Cisco ended up acquiring Securent in November 2007.

Rajiv and Sekhar joined Cisco and spent several years with increasing responsibility levels within Cisco. We stayed in touch and began brainstorming over a year ago re: new customer challenges around the cloud. Rajiv, Sekhar and Kaushik Narayan (a Cisco veteran who was Chief Architect of Rajiv’s business unit at Cisco) co-founded Skyhigh Networks with a few slides and a big vision – Greylock led the Series A financing (as the sole founding venture investor) in 2012.

It’s been a privilege working with the Skyhigh team over the last year, to start building what we all hope will be the industry’s leading cloud visibility and control company. Similar to Securent, they have instilled a strong customer-centric and entrepreneurial culture. The company’s cloud-based offering is called Skyhigh Cloud Services Manager and has two components – a cloud service that reads logs from Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Bluecoat and other gateways and provides instant discovery and analysis of cloud usage; and a cloud transparent reverse proxy that provides ongoing monitoring and control over cloud traffic. Skyhigh has a comprehensive and growing cloud registry that already includes over 2,000 unique cloud services, cataloged across over 30 categories, and the industry’s first risk assessment across these services.

While we are still early in our company journey, initial customer interest has been strong. The below quote from Brian Lillie at Equinix is representative of the customer challenge and the opportunity:

“We need a solution that helps wrap cloud services with the security, compliance, and governance we need, but without any friction for the business or the providers,” said Brian Lillie, CIO of Equinix, a global data center company. “Skyhigh Networks addresses these needs and enables me to become the Chief Enabler for the business.”

Gartner classifies Skyhigh as a “cloud access security broker (CASB),” and has recently published research on the need for and growing importance of CASBs. Skyhigh Networks  was also selected is a finalist for the RSA Conference 2013 Most Innovative Company, and will be demonstrating its new platform and capabilities at booth #147 at RSA this week in San Francisco. The company is hiring across engineering, marketing and sales – if you have interest, please email gamechangers@skyhighnetworks.com.

Congrats to the Skyhigh team on today’s launch and look forward to a continued strong partnership towards accomplishing Skyhigh’s mission of becoming the industry’s leading cloud visibility and control company.