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Twistlock co-founders Dima Stopel (left), vice president of research and development, and Ben Bernstein, CEO. (Twistlock Photo)

As more and more companies start developing applications on top of cloud computing platforms, sometimes they need a little help with security. Twistlock just raised $33 million to accelerate the development of its container security tools and stay on top of this fast-changing market.

The new funding round, led by Iconiq Capital, brings the total amount of money raised by the Portland startup to $63 million. Existing investors YL Ventures, TenEleven, Rally Ventures, Polaris Partners and Dell Technologies Capital also threw in some cash for the Series C round, which could allow the company to triple its headcount by the end of next year, said Ben Bernstein, co-founder and CEO of Twistlock.

Twistlock sells security software-as-a-service to companies that are making their way into the cloud-native development world, adopting containers as part of their application deployment process. Containers got a bad rap on the security front a few years back as Docker usage exploded, and while a lot of those myths have been debunked container usage still requires companies to think a little differently about how they build software.

Companies concerned about security while dipping their toes into this world can use Twistlock’s services to work alongside their software development tools and look for vulnerabilities as they deploy their applications. “We tried to make as few errors as possible in getting the product to the market at the right time,” Bernstein said, and that process and timing has been rewarded by customers such as Aetna and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Iconiq came into the mix the old-fashioned way; a cold email indicating interest in learning more about the company that Bernstein initially dismissed as a “random email,” he said. Iconiq is definitely cut from a different cloth, operating on behalf of a select few wealthy tech clients like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but Bernstein said he was impressed by their attention to detail during a six-hour conversation about the company and its prospects.

Twistlock is now expanding its product lineup to cover emerging software development technologies like serverless computing and serverless containers, as evidenced by its recent support for Amazon Web Services’ Fargate container technology and its Lambda serverless computing product. The company plans to hire engineering talent to help build out those products as well as expand across the board in marketing and sales with the new round of funding, said Josh Thorngren, Twistlock vice president of marketing.

It’s been a nice summer for Portland startups on the fund-raising front, with big rounds for Jama Software, Vetsource, and Urban Airship over the last few months.

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