Why this browser is valued at $1.3 billion

A Dallas-based tech startup called Island, whose product is a security-focused Web browser quietly launched in February, is now valued at a staggering $1.3 billion. The valuation comes from a Series B funding round which raised US$ 115 million (Thank you TechRadar), and it probably leaves you wondering if that browser cooks dinner and cleans the house while you browse the Internet.

No! The argument that has proved so appealing to investors is that Island Enterprise Browser is a company that companies can trust – Island argues that browsers like Chrome and Edge are consumer-facing in their approach, which makes them unsuitable for use in a business context.

“The most deployed application across the enterprise is the browser, but it’s a consumer-based design,” said Island CEO Mike Fey. told TechCrunch in February. “A consumer wants to have infinite freedom; they want to be able to install whatever they want, go anywhere they want, and do who knows what with their browser without any fuss.”

Most companies, the theory goes, don’t want their employees to do these things with a browser. The bet being made is that the Island browser’s offering of what Fey calls “IT security, productivity and efficiency” will have corporate America lining up to sign up.

The browser was in development for two years before its recent release and is based on the open source project Chromium (which is also behind Chrome and Edge). Its feature list is designed to give any IT team that has to deal with idiots like me the warm fuzzies: secure browsing, web filtering, exploit prevention, intelligent network routing, zero-trust access, and the ability to intervene. what Island calls the “last mile”, how to upload and download.

“Think of it as a last-mile infinite control browser for businesses,” said Fey. “We’ve done things to secure the environment, encrypt items and provide more control. We’re not necessarily removing the hacker, we’re removing the win. The reality is that the data they want to access is not sitting on your endpoint for them to steal.”

So yes: you may not have heard of Island Enterprise Browser. But now there’s a lot of money behind making this some sort of standard in the workplace, so it might be a familiar sight in no time. Cybersecurity is an increasingly acute concern for businesses large and small, and attackers are becoming more numerous and sophisticated. If the Island browser can deliver what it claims, then that $1.3 billion valuation might not be as far-fetched as it first appeared.

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