Torii CEO Uri Haramati has announced that his company, which offers a platform for software-as-a-service (SaaS) management, was able to secure $3.5 million in a successful seed round.
Haramati spoke publicly for the first time about the round during his presentation at the Collision Conference in Toronto. Part of the “Breakout Startups” session on Tuesday morning, Torii was featured alongside additional exciting tech ventures handpicked by leading investors. Other SaaS companies that appeared included collaboration platform Hugo and voice app design platform Voiceflow.
With Collision being one of North America’s top technology conferences, the segment comes as a welcome development for the SaaS space as it affirms that investors are warming up to SaaS once again.
Torii offers a management solution that makes SaaS use more visible to administrators by automatically discovering SaaS applications being used within a company’s network. The platform also allows It managers to oversee access to applications through onboarding and offboarding features.
The round was led by Silicon Valley venture fund Uncork Capital and also involved Global Founders Capital and Entrée Capital. The fresh capital raised is set to bolster Torii’s efforts to integrate better mechanisms for workflow automation. The company also looks to allocate more funding to its US-based commercial activities.
Renewed Interest in SaaS
We’ve also seen some significant acquisitions of SaaS companies in the IT space so far this year. Disaster recovery service CloudEndure was acquired by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) for $200 million. Apptio also recently announced its acquisition of Cloudability, its third purchase in just two years.
Torii’s successful seed round only affirms the trend. The participation of a top funds like Uncork Capital, which is among the most respected VC shops in Silicon Valley, underscores that opportunities are truly present in the space.
“We chose to invest in Torii because we loved the team, the product, the early traction, and the market,” said Andy McLoughlin of Uncork Capital, whose firm’s portfolio includes big tech company names like SendGrid, About.me, Bitly, Fitbit, Eventbrite and Mint. “The three founders are experienced tech innovators – they bring valuable experience working in high growth businesses, coupled with developing consumer products.”
SaaS Continues to See Booming Adoption
According to Gartner, public cloud adoption is expected to continue its upward trajectory. By 2022, the total market for public cloud services is set to hit $331.2 billion worldwide. SaaS is expected to account for over 43 percent of the market, contributing $143.7 billion in revenue.
Consumers and line-of-business users are also shifting many of their daily activities to online and mobile, prompting businesses to aggressively digitize their processes. This widespread digital transformation of businesses is greatly contributing to cloud and SaaS growth. By 2020, 41 percent of workloads are set to run on public cloud platforms.
SaaS applications are distributed as browser-based app experiences, which has made technology once only accessible to enterprises more accessible to smaller operations and individual users.
Departments can now fit software acquisition to be part of their own operating expenses. This has also shortened the time across decision, purchasing, and implementation. As such, IT decision makers are now likely to prefer SaaS solutions over conventional licensed software.
Addressing Demand for Better Management
Rising SaaS adoption, however, has created new challenges for organizations to overcome. It has caused “shadow IT” – the use of devices and applications that are undisclosed to the IT department – to grow unchecked within organizations.
Shadow IT can introduce various risks for companies, top among which are cybersecurity threats. The use of poorly secured applications exposes them to possible hacks and data breaches. Should their data be stolen through these unsecure third parties, not only are they looking at the cost of data loss, but they can also face fines and penalties for non-compliance with privacy regulations.
Shadow IT can also result in unnecessary spending from redundant subscriptions. Poor integration mechanisms across these applications can also result in data silos which can degrade data integrity and disrupt workflows.
IT teams need to stay on top of all applications and subscriptions running within their respective organizations. These concerns only contribute to the growing demand for effective management tools specifically designed for SaaS, which represents a major opportunity for providers to offer solutions that address these issues.
“Companies can no longer afford to grant third-party tools access to their databases without knowing for sure that sensitive information won’t be vulnerable to interception or sold to the highest bidder,” Torii CEO Haramati said. “As part of their security mandates, IT leaders need to make sure that all software products in use at their companies are mapped, tracked and vetted.”
Investors and startups would do well recognizing that offering services that are integral and supportive of SaaS adoption appear to be a solid premise for success.
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