back to article 'Enterprise' browser maker Island valued at $1.3bn out of the gate

A startup pitching an "enterprise browser" hit unicorn status only weeks after emerging from stealth. Island, which announced itself on February 1, said today it completed a Series B funding round raising $115m and bringing its valuation to $1.3bn. Founded in 2020, Island is now in prestigious company as one of the fastest …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    My daughter works in clinical trials. AFAICS her current firm is simply tweaking formulations into increasingly niche bits of an old, well supplied market. I wondered if there really was a big demand for such products. Her reply was "The boss is very good at talking money out of investors." and it seems to fit this case too.

    1. John 104

      Oh, I don't know. Think about all the data that Chrome slurps, or Edge, etc. Add in idiotic ideas like file browsing ads in Windows 11 and you get where mainstream software companies are headed. It's easy money to them. And for consumers, whatever, its fine I guess. But at work you are there to work, not get ads for crap. I see this as being a value add to large enterprise. Whether they deliver on the goods or not remains to be seen.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        One does have to wonder how well it handles 'legacy web apps' that require :shudders: Internet Explorer, though...

        Mines the flame-proof one-OW! I'm going! I'm going!

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Any company still married to IE is on an island! The writing has been on the wall for 1 maybe 2 decades? Or have I over simplified the time factor??

          1. Tom Chiverton 1

            Like the whole NHS...

            1. EnviableOne Silver badge

              90% of the NHS are using Edgium all be it with a few apps still running in legacy mode, but IE has gone the journey in most of the NHS

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Poor vision to say the least

        The Edge and Google Chrome are geared to consumer market for ad based revenue generation. What prevents Microsoft and Google to offer a lockdown "Enterprise Version" and sale it on fraction that these guys are planning to sale? In case of Microsoft they even have more leverage as they also control the windows world software and policy distribution centers. A alot of risky bet for something that there no market right now. Go and ask any corporate business users what they actually can do with their browsers.... absolutely nothing with all the policy enforcing security end points runing in their systems. To prevent screen scraping and copy paste? ??? So we are back to 1960s that all need to be typed one by one... Let's see how will go productivity those that choose to do this kind of enforcement... And chances are you will still see them in the news leaking customer information or victims of ransom ware.... The best solution is employee education and the current security status that allow flexibility for employees to do their tasks.

      3. nijam Silver badge

        > Think about all the data that Chrome slurps...

        But that won't be what they're stopping, I expect.

    2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Having just read today's report about the Lapsus$ arrests, it brought to mind the comment above.

      Why bother with the risk of all this difficult criminal hacking? There is much more money to be made by using your social engineering skills on investors who will do most of your work to convince them for themselves! And no criminal charges afterwards!!

  2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Useful product but ridiculous valuation

    Sure, I can see some (a tiny minority, but some) enterprises might want this. It will only be useful to large enterprises, who have a big enough IT team to manage it (can you imagine asking your IT team to define what pages users are allowed to use cut and paste on?), and can deal with the needs of all the different types of users in the company.

    But the barriers to entry are very low - a lot of this could probably be done in a plugin, but even if some of it requires real changes to the UI code, anyone can take Chromium and build something similar. Of course, there are all the tools around it (defining rules, and managing their deployment) but it isn't rocket science. So, what justifies this enormous valuation?

    Unless there is something like an unannounced deal with one of the big defence contractors: governments love to lock up what their users can do.

    1. badflorist Silver badge

      Re: Useful product but ridiculous valuation

      Useful or impossible? Here's a quote from their page...

      "Deliver a simple, efficient, and completely native zero trust experience across the last mile of the user experience."

      Pretending humans still have to make a choice somewhere in the chain, I envision 2 popular dialogs in this so called browser: "Are you sure?" and "Are you REALLY sure?". That's at best or at first, then realistically I'm seeing some goofy 2fa system like Captcha+pets_name.

      You can't take the human out of choice, not by choice anyways.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Useful product but ridiculous valuation

      "a big enough IT team to manage it"

      Somehow this seems to fit

  3. Paddy B

    Another browser

    Super. I'm sure it will comply with the standards, just like all the others do.

    1. PM from Hell

      Re: Another browser

      Super. I'm sure it will comply with all possible interpretations of the standards, just like all the others do.


  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Oy Vey

    Ah yes, the browser is the operating system and applications driver .... and coincidentally, both fortunately and unfortunately, [dependent upon one's primary interest and adept APT ACTive ability] a Virtual RAT Trap too.

    And a collapsing global stock and funny fiat money market just loves to pump and pimp the unicorn to starry eyed investor types with wardrobes of flash shirts to shred for recycling of nothing new for something real lairy and airy fairy. ........ but it’s the American Way. [throw dollars at anything to keep the churn and paper for spending ever turning, which works very well but only when all have plenty of folding for lavish exchanging]

    What is it that they say about suckers? ........ There is one born every minute?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IE Browser?

    Really? They are calling it Island Enterprise Browser? Or IE Browser for short?

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    control over users' functionality such as copy, paste, screencapturing

    It's a good job that the phones in most people's pockets don't have cameras built into them, otherwise this browser security idea might start to look a bit worthless........

    Otherwise, basically integrating Chrome's open source engine with Active Directory user policies (which, let's face it, is the main thing actually used to manage these type of restrictions in big enterprises) to restrict functionality, is not an especially big or hard task, and definitely not worth a billion buckaroos.

    I would suspect that many people will cotton onto this quite quickly and do the same, thus reducing that valuation considerably.

  7. nintendoeats Silver badge

    Right, so I exit full-screen mode on my remote desktop, open the snipping tool on my local computer, copy the data, take a nap.

    1. Mayday Silver badge

      and/or use the text reading function that iPhones/iPads (and others) camera app has and save as text.

  8. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    “ "Our market research on this space shows a real need and robust customer response to the Island Enterprise Browser category, which naturally led us toward a substantial increased investment in this significant opportunity," Horing said.”

    Nice bit of corporate speak. Also, isn’t here a “W” missing?

  9. runt row raggy


    you can pry it from my cold,dead hands.

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    My bet...

    My bet is that this story is probably the last you'll ever hear of it in any positive manner.

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