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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz invests in $1.7 Billion cybersecurity startup Wiz

April 7, 2021, 2:18 PM UTC

Former Starbucks Corp. chief Howard Schultz is among the new investors in Israeli cybersecurity startup Wiz, according to people familiar with the matter.

The American billionaire invested in the last funding round, which valued the company at $1.7 billion a year after its founding, the people said, asking for anonymity because the information isn’t public. Representatives for Schultz and Wiz declined to comment.

Demand for cybersecurity for cloud-based services is booming as companies seek to bolster their digital defenses against increasingly sophisticated hacks, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market is expected to double to $68.5 billion by 2025, the research firm wrote in July.

“Cloud security is the biggest pain point for enterprise organizations, actually any organization that’s going through digital transformations,” Wiz Chairman Gili Raanan said in an interview.

Wiz’s software allows clients like United Airlines Holdings Inc. and The Home Depot Inc. to find potential risks in systems that run on cloud services from Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp.

The company raised $130 million last month from investors such as Greenoaks Capital, Advent International, Sequoia and Insight Partners, Chief Executive Officer Assaf Rappaport said in an interview.

With the new funds, Wiz plans to expand outside the U.S., said Rappaport, who sold his previous cloud security startup to Microsoft in 2015, and ran the American tech giant’s research and development operations in Israel until 2019.

Schultz has previously invested in other companies like plant-based milk company Oatly AB and mental health care provider Lyra Health Inc.