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Rapid7 acquires Alcide for $50 million to meet growing cloud security demand

With enterprises embracing the cloud for its speed and flexibility, they are turning to tools like Kubernetes to help deploy and manage their applications. But while such cloud-native approaches are increasingly popular, their relative youth has created a strong market for companies that can address new security issues.

That’s why Rapid7 today announced it has acquired Alcide, a security startup that specializes in Kubernetes and container-based architectures. The goal is to give developers the services they need to build security directly into applications rather than having to seek extra security products to plug holes after the fact.

Baking security into the development phase ideally allows developers to move fast while also not creating new vulnerabilities.

“This is an exciting time in cloud security, as we’re witnessing a shift in perception,” Rapid7’s senior vice president of cloud security Brian Johnson wrote in a blog post. “Cloud security teams are no longer viewed as a cost center or operational roadblock and have earned their seat at the table as a critical investment essential to driving business forward.”

In recent years, the shift to Kubernetes and microservices has accelerated. That’s created an expanding market for new types of infrastructure management tools.

And it’s fueling new startups like Armo, which targets cloud-native computing environments and recently raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Meanwhile, Valtix, a cloud-native network security platform that intends to plug gaps in application and network security across multiple cloud environments, just raised $12.5 million in venture capital.

This latest deal follows Rapid7’s purchase of DivvyCloud, another cloud-focused security startup, last year for $145 million. It’s a sign of how even more established companies like Rapid7, which was founded in 2000, are trying to adapt to the changing landscape for cloud infrastructure.

The company plans to fold Alcide’s platform into its own cloud security offering to enable greater visibility and management.

The exit is also a validation of a big bet Alcide’s founders made several years to go all-in on Kubernetes.

“About two and a half years ago Alcide decided to make a strategic move and focus solely on the Kubernetes Security space,” wrote Alcide’s CEO Amir Ofek in a blog post. “Today it seems obvious, but back then the jury was still out on Kubernetes. Clearly today Kubernetes is the standard for any cloud-native environment. According to CNCF, 91% of its annual survey respondents use Kubernetes today, with 83% having Kubernetes in production compared to 58% only two years ago (when we made our strategic shift to Kubernetes).”

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