Snyk: Making Companies Feel Secure, Once and For All
You know how the famous saying goes, choose a job you love and you won't have to work a day in your life, right? Ever since a young boy, Guy Podjarny did exactly that, and his story is living proof that the saying is more than possible.
Occupying his mental faculties with computer science throughout his life, Guy’s abilities were constantly growing, as did his ambition. For this reason, he operated flawlessly in every job position he held. That is, up until it was time for him to build his own.
Although his first company cannot be considered an utter failure, it didn’t meet Guy’s life aspirations. However, he found a way to come out stronger instead of wallowing in his own grief – to sell it and move on towards his most successful venture!
This resulted in the foundations of Snyk - an open-source platform that helps software- driven businesses to develop swiftly and stay more secure than ever. But how did Guy’s company become the leader of an industry thus making him millions?
Born in the late 70s in the modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel, Guy hails from a family with a common background. Ever since he was a young boy, Guy occupied his mental faculties by diving deep in search of solutions to recurrent computer problems. With time, his passion grew to a powerful ambition - to learn the ropes of computers and influence the industry in one way or another!
Pursuing his future career with unabated zeal, the young computer geek embarked on a journey at the HaYovel University of Israel to study computer science. Graduating with flying colors in 1997, Guy continued towards his first dream job.
Fresh out of college, he sent his first application at an Israeli Intelligence Corpus, where he was accepted soon afterward. For Guy, there wasn't a better way to start than working on the side of his beloved country, while simultaneously being responsible for signals intelligence, and code decryption.
Four years later, Guy felt the need to enrich his knowledge. There was no better place to achieve this than the Great White North. Finding himself in-between choices, whether to follow his heart or contribute to the country he grew up in, Guy chose to enrich his knowledge and make a powerful comeback back to his country.
As fortune favors the bold, he bought a one-way ticket, parted ways with his homeland, and headed towards Canada.
Fortune Favors the Bold
Commencing his work as a chief architect in Watchfire he was responsible for creating and implementing AppScan Enterprise. Soon after, AppScan became a market-leading web application security scanner, and with that Watchfire took a greater role in the security industry. For that reason, Guy shifted his work towards the Sales & Marketing team, helping them with speaking engagements while working as a security expert. However, as his skills grew, his ambition did as well, and Guy aimed towards a path nobody would have imagined for him.
Come 2009, the entrepreneur-to-be began contemplating the best idea for opening a new venture. Tossing ideas around his head, Guy realized that there were numerous companies with messy websites.
Driven by his ambition, Guy made it his mission to open a company that would offer businesses a way to solve this problem. Presenting the idea to Eliot Durbin, a first check investor for enterprise founders, Guy fascinated him with the talent he held. Soon after, Eliot poured $1 million as a seed round to help Guy gather a team of workers that would build the best software. The goal was clear from the very beginning - to help enterprises properly organize their websites all around the world.
Not a small bite, wouldn't you think? Luckily, Guy’s determination was uninterruptible. By creating a technology to automatically rewrite codes in order to optimize websites’ speed performances, Guy launched Blaze.Inc, in 2010, with a small team of workers. As luck would have it, Akamai Technologies, a global content delivery network, cloud service, and cybersecurity company, acquired Blaze.Inc to complement their swift site acceleration.
Guy did not stop here and started yet another job, this time as a CTO at Akamai Technologies. His job responsibilities there revolved around building platforms for experimenting and innovating, as well as improving the company’s internal communication.
During his time at Akamai Technologies, Guy’s thought to be even more successful spurred on his ambition to found yet another company – and his saga towards earth- shattering success began!
Experience Makes Entrepreneurs Grow
Armed with experience, and ironclad knowledge of founding his first business, Guy was more than ready to fight for his upcoming success.
Looking back to what would help companies scale, Guy realized that security should be built into the development process. To achieve that, he knew that his next venture should be a company focused on developer tools, and not security.
Wanting to change how software was previously built, he began his search for investors. However, most of them were skeptical about the need for security developers, ultimately saying that he couldn’t make money in developer tooling.
Fortunately, other people’s comments didn’t discourage the bold entrepreneur, and instead, his strive to conceptualize the idea was growing with the speed of the light. Thus, the first $3 million led by Boldstart Ventures was poured as a seed round to Guy’s venture. Realizing that this was the time to contribute to his native country, he decided to start his journey in two locations - London and Tel Aviv.
Packing his bags again, he moved to London to search for the young potential that could help him develop the product. A few weeks later, Guy employed over twenty Londoners to work on the developer-first security solution. He constantly tried to portray his vision on how they can help enterprises to use open source while staying secure.
After working on pins and needles for several months, the team managed to launch Snyk in 2015. All of this turned out as Guy initially hoped for - with the company headquarters in London and a beautiful office in Tel Aviv.
The moment Snyk was launched, Guy decided to look for the new CEO of the company because he couldn’t imagine himself holding the position as he saw himself more as a product person. Determined to satisfy the market needs, he focused on product development whilst looking for the best CEO fit.
Immersed in his work, he thought of the excellent job the ex-Watchfire’s CEO, Peter McKay, was doing, and shortly after, reached out to him to offer him the job. A phone call later, the new Snyk CEO, Peter, was ready to rule the company.
In the next three years, Accel invested ravishing $300 million to help Snyk with its expansion, and motivate them to build security solutions to aid developers to solve malfunctions around containers. The funding assisted the next phase of growth for the company, letting Snyk employ over fifty additional people including more eminent leaders such as Jeff Yoshimura, Erica Geil, and Shaun McLagan.
Over the years, Snyk has received over $700 million in funding over eight rounds.
Today, Snyk employs over two hundred talented security experts and software developers in their London and Tel Aviv offices, making over $9 million in annual revenue.
With its mission to aid developers in using open-source code and stay safe, Snyk never moved from its leading place in developer-first security.
With his accomplishments, Guy proved to us all that the main source of knowledge is experience, which eventually leads to a favorable outcome.