Dope Security raises $4m and eyes Irish expansion

Barbie Espinol

As it aims to disrupt the secure web gateway market, Dope Security has plans to ‘substantially’ increase its presence in Ireland.

Dope Security has emerged out of stealth mode and revealed that it raised $4m in funding to expand its secure web gateway business internationally.

A secure web gateway or SWG is a cloud-based network security service that sits between users and the internet, and screens web requests as per company policy to prevent access to malicious applications and websites.

As more companies move to remote working, network security has become top of the agenda for cybersecurity teams.

While cloud-based proxies can secure a distributed workforce, Dope said that stopover data centres for every connection can lead to outages, off-device decryption, significantly slower page loads and reduced productivity.

Headquartered in San Francisco with operations in Ireland, Dope aims to disrupt the SWG market by performing security directly at endpoint instead of the stopover data centre architecture required by legacy providers.

The cybersecurity start-up claims this “fly-direct architecture” improves performance for clients and ensures privacy and reliability against web-based threats.

“Why would you stopover when you could fly direct?” said Dope CEO Kunal Agarwal, who founded the company last year.

“My time at legacy cybersecurity companies highlighted the need to build a first-class customer experience on top of a new architecture that eliminates reliability, performance and privacy issues. With Dope Security, the internet will never be a stopover flight again.”

‘Ireland is at the heart of Dope Security’

Dope Security said it currently employs more than 10 employees in Cork – a figure that “is set to rise substantially”.

“Ireland is at the heart of Dope Security,” said head of product management Aidan Power, who is based in Ireland. “Cork is our HQ, where we will roll out further recruitment to boost worldwide operation.”

The funding round was led by US VC firm Boldstart Ventures, which previously invested in blockchain infrastructure platform Blockdaemon.

Following the investment, Boldstart general partner Ed Sim and former Bluecoat and Symantec senior vice-president Steven Schoenfeld will be joining Dope’s board of directors.

Sim said that Dope’s ‘fly-direct’ approach is “exactly what the SWG market needs” right now.

“Legacy solutions are too complex and slow down every company that uses the internet. By eliminating the stopover with a product-led growth motion, Dope Security is a true game changer. We’re excited to invest and make the internet fast again.”

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