Tines taps $50M to expand its workflow automation beyond security teams

Automation continues to be a major theme in the enterprise — underscored not least by the rise of AI as a tool to help fix some of the more routine, resource-intensive and fragmented aspects of how security and other IT functions operate. To capitalize on that trend, one of the bigger startups in the space, the Dublin-founded Tines, is announcing $50 million in funding. Tines started with its roots in security workflow automation but has seen adoption across other parts of the IT landscape. Now, on the back of revenues growing 200% in the last 18 months, it plans to use the new capital to expand its automation platform play deeper into applications in infrastructure, engineering and product.

The funding — co-led by existing investors Accel and Felicis — is being described as an extension of the company’s Series B rather than a Series C.

“We weren’t proactively trying to raise and were focused on building the business,” Tines’ CEO and co-founder Eoin Hinchy said in an interview. “Our existing investors saw our execution and approached us. We went from discussing what a round could look like to it being wrapped up in a couple of weeks.” He confirmed that it is not profitable currently by choice, to focus on growth.

This actually makes this the second extension to Tines’ Series B in three years, with the original round appearing in 2021 (at $26 million), and the first extension coming in October 2022 ($55 million).

But it’s not without a valuation bump. Hinchy declined to disclose the numbers but other sources close to the company confirmed it’s now valued post-money at close to $600 million. (As a point of comparison, PitchBook data notes that it was valued at $423 million at the first extension.) Others in this round include Addition, strategic backer CrowdStrike Falcon Fund and SVCI — all existing investors in Tines.

It has now raised some $146.2 million in total.

As we have previously described, the gap in the market that Tines is targeting comes from Hinchy’s and his co-founder Thomas Kinsella’s direct experience. Hinchy is a classic technical founder. He and Kinsella (now chief customer officer) both spent around a decade working in leading roles in cybersecurity for companies like DocuSign, eBay and Deloitte, where they found major gaps in the market for tools to help better manage the large number of services they used to track data and network activity for his companies.

All of that was compounded by not just the explosion of new cybersecurity techniques but also hacking risks that grew out of the rise of cloud computing and related innovations. Hinchy estimated to me that the average security team manages some 77 different products, with “some in the hundreds.”

“By 2017 we desperately needed a workflow automation tool, and really nothing out there came close to what we wanted, so we decided to build what we wish we had,” Hinchy said. Tines covers what he describes as “mission critical workflows” which in security includes tools to monitor and track security alerts, compliance alerts and increasingly areas that are adjacent to where security teams need to have visibility such as employee onboarding and offboarding, patch management in IT and more.

“We are the plumbing between these systems,” he said.

Although Hinchy is technical himself, he saw that another gap was that a lot of the need for monitoring was best served by not having to be a technical solution in itself. The whole of Tines is conceptualized in a drag-and-drop, no-code framework, building blocks that aim to reduce the amount of time it takes to create and manage workflows on the platform.

That is where the opportunity lies also for Tines’ investors. Although there are definite and very large competitors in the market, including Splunk (and now Cisco by virtue of having acquired Splunk this year), Palo Alto Networks, ServiceNow and Microsoft, Tines and its backers and its users would contend that their focused and more context-aware approach is more useful and effective.

“Customer satisfaction is typically abysmally low in security,” Jake Storm, the partner at Felicis who led the deal, said in an interview. He said that he was surprised, when making due diligence calls when weighing up this latest deal, how different that was for Tines. “That’s just unheard of. It was just glaringly obvious that Tines was years ahead of its competitors back in 2022 and we just feel that gap has continued to widen.”

Luca Bocchio at Accel sees workflow as the key missing link, one that gives Tines a lot of potential to position itself further as a platform, not a service.

“If anything over the last few years, the growth of security needs has led to more security products and tools and that boils down to more workflow needs. That means Tines is becoming more relevant. With security being part of broader IT and business operations, it naturally needs to engage with the rest of the organization.”

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