“We saw firsthand how security teams struggled with the complexity of existing approaches to securing the cloud,” CEO and co-founder Assaf Rappaport said in a press release when the company came out of stealth. “We knew that by embracing a cloud-native approach, we could make a product that is simple to deploy and scale, allowing security teams to focus on real risks.”
But according to Orca CEO and co-founder Avi Shua, the founding story of Wiz is a little bit different. Orca announced its seed round in June 2019, about a month after Shua allegedly presented Orca’s own cloud security platform to Wiz’s founders at Microsoft.
“Wiz was birthed from the very beginning as a counterfeit copy of Orca’s ideas,” reads a complaint for a patent infringement case filed in Delaware District Court last week. Wiz did not reply to request for comment from Crain’s. The accusation was first reported by tech site The Information.
”The so-called “insight” of which Wiz boasts was nothing more than the misappropriation of Mr. Shua’s ideas and Orca’s technology as presented to Wiz’s founders before they formed Wiz and sought to launch a copycat competitor to Orca,” the complaint claims.
At the meeting, Shua alleges he explained how “cloud security would forever be changed by his novel agentless cloud security platform.”
Just months after that, he alleges, “the Wiz founders left their lucrative careers at Microsoft to start Wiz, build a clone of Orca’s technology, and compete directly with Orca.”
Indeed, Shua’s accusations line up with the founding of Wiz. In December of 2019, Rappaport announced he was stepping down from Microsoft to start his own company. He and his team wrote Wiz’s first line of code in January 2020, according to the company’s launch announcement.
Wiz went on to raise a total of $900 million, including a $300 million Series D in February 2023, New York City’s largest megaround in months.
But according to the complaint, Wiz’s speedy rise to the top was a direct result of copying Orca. The suit sites a litany of copycat moments, from wording on Wiz’s website to drawings in Wiz’s patents to hiring Wiz’s employees.
Wiz is expected to file an answer to the accusations on Aug. 2.