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A year of chaos, opportunity, and gratitude

March 21, 2021

One year ago today, Axis Security exited stealth on the same day that California, and much of the world, went into lockdown. 

We had raised $17M from great investors like Gili Raanan at Cyberstarts and Alex Doll at TenEleven Ventures. We had a solid use case and differentiated solution, providing secure remote access to private applications with an agentless approach for rapid deployment. 

The shift to work-from-anywhere and its implications for remote access was clear, as was the opportunity for Axis to meet this moment. We accelerated our plans, and re-evaluated what the market needed going forward, and what we could deliver. 

We stopped thinking about the next quarter or two on our roadmap and decided that our long-term vision of delivering a single platform for enterprise access was needed now. By summer, we were winning competitive deals in large global enterprise accounts, and generating interest from new investors. In September we announced a Series B round led by Canaan Partners general partner Joydeep Bhattacharyya. By the end of the year, we had delivered a single secure access solution for any app, device, user, or location.

One year and a week after our launch, we are announcing a Series C round, led by a new investor, Spark Capital’s Will Reed. This amazing team of investors has supported us with so much more than capital. From the very beginning when Gili Rannan introduced us to 50 CISOs as we formalized our plans for Axis, they have served as strategic advisors and mentors, helping us with every aspect of company building, from the team to the product, go-to-market capabilities, and culture. Gil and I feel so fortunate to have a team like this supporting us personally, and everyone at Axis. 

More than anything on this day, I am proud of the team at Axis and what we have accomplished. Like everyone, our team dealt with many personal challenges along the way, from homeschooling to not being able to visit family and friends. Gil and I were supposed to move to California, but that was not possible. 

One thing we learned this year is that you can grow and nurture teams remotely. Gil and I set out to build a diverse and inclusive company with shared values, united around a common goal of reimagining enterprise access. Great talent resides all over the world, and we found people this year who we may not have without being forced into remote recruiting, interviewing, etc.  In many ways, it opened the world to us, and as a result, we are a better company because of it.

On a personal level, it was such a difficult year, in so many ways, for so many people. As a business, Axis happened to be one of those companies with a solution to one component of this challenge we were faced with, in our case secure remote access. As a result, the year felt like one long sprint, charging full speed ahead, even as we never actually left our homes.

Despite it all, as a company, the team at Axis stuck together even as we were forced apart. We accomplished great things together, and we are only getting started.

About the Author

Dor Knafo
CEO & Co-founder
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dor-knafo/
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