Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Content, Networking

Aqua Security Hires Datto Veteran as CMO; Eyes Potential IPO


Aqua Security has hired Datto and ownCloud veteran Matt Richards as chief marketing officer. Richards joins Aqua roughly four months after the cloud security software provider raised $135 million at a $1 billion valuation -- essentially minting the company as a privately held, venture-backed unicorn.

Aqua Security, founded in 2015, develops a cloud native application protection platform. The platform extends security across containers and Kubernetes, serverless, and virtual machines. Key capabilities include vulnerability scanning, dynamic threat analysis and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM).

Aqua Security Partners: The Opportunity

MSPs should pay particularly close attention to Aqua's efforts in the Cloud Security Posture Management market -- which represents one of the fastest-growing managed security opportunities, according to ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert industry coverage.

The Aqua Platform, as of July 2021, supports a unified console for scanning, visibility and workload protection, and CSPM capabilities. Generally speaking, CSPM allows MSPs and MSSPs to determine and track whether customers have properly configured Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to mitigate risk across and within public cloud services.

Take a closer look, and MSPs will discover that most customers with multi-cloud environments failed to properly configure those cloud-based services, according to the “2021 Cloud Security Report: Cloud Configuration Risks Exposed” from Aqua.

Still, Aqua Security represents more than an CSPM and MSP partner opportunity. Indeed, Aqua Security's partner ecosystem spans technology partners, MSPs, systems integrators and consultants, and solutions providers. Active partners include Accenture, Cognizant, HCL, Hitachi Vantara, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Wipro, among others.

Aqua Security: Potential Initial Public Offering (IPO)?

Aqua's March 2021 funding was a Series E round -- which represents late-stage funding and a potential path toward an initial public offering (IPO).

Key Aqua investors include ION Crossover Partners, M12 Ventures (i.e., Microsoft's venture capital fund), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Insight Partners, TLV Partners, Greenspring Associates and Acrew Capital.

If Aqua pursues an IPO, new Chief Marketing Officer Matt Richards should be well-prepared for the journey. During his experience at Datto, the MSP-focused technology provider and data protection company evolved from late-state startup to the Datto IPO ($MSP) in October 2020.

Aqua Security Hires Chief Marketing Officer: Executive Perspectives

Dror Davidoff, CEO, Aqua Security
Dror Davidoff, CEO, Aqua Security
Matthew Richards, 2021

In prepared statement about hiring Richards, Aqua CEO Dror Davidoff said:

“Matt brings the deep-rooted experience in cloud technologies and in building high-growth businesses that will help take Aqua to the next level. We are at a unique moment where Aqua is leading the rapidly growing cloud native security market. Matt’s enterprise mindset and open source experience will help us expand our reach, build our global presence, and ultimately help secure customers for their cloud native journey.”

Added Richards:

“I am thrilled to join at this inflection point in Aqua’s journey. I have seen first-hand that the largest businesses in the world need agile, rapid growth that can only be delivered with cloud first application development. At the same time, these businesses need comprehensive security solutions to protect their assets in this new cloud first reality. With Aqua’s leadership, vision and award-winning product suite, we are poised to be the category leader in cloud native security, and I am excited to be part of the team to expand our global footprint and protect our customers.”

Before Datto and ownCloud, Richards also held management posts at CA Technologies, Novell and IBM.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.