Author: AllegisCap

WSJ | Investors Turn Cautious Toward Cybersecurity

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

Venture capitalists wait longer to make deals but remain optimistic as enterprises keep adding to security budgets


By Cat Zakrzewski  |  Aug. 1, 2016
Investors say they’re waiting longer to make investments in cybersecurity startups but remain optimistic about the sector as enterprises continue to increase their security budgets.


Venture investment in cybersecurity rose modestly in the first half of 2016, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource. Investors bet $1.39 billion on the sector, vs. $1.03 billion in the same period last year.

“We’ve been more cautious,” said Asheem Chandna, a partner at Greylock Partners. He added that this was true across all sectors.

Many predict the current investment climate will be a prominent topic of conversation as the cybersecurity industry descends on Las Vegas this week for the annual Black Hat conference.

The rise in fresh capital was modest and follows several years of larger year-over-year growth. In 2015, the sector saw a boom in investment in the third quarter, driven by mega-rounds of financing for later-stage companies. Some investors said they don’t expect that kind of activity to hold up the rest of this year, but added that it won’t be a sharp slowdown either. Most enterprises continue to increase their security budgets, they said, even as other information-technology allocations are lowered.

“In 2015, there was a level of irrational exuberance on the part of the investment community as it related to cybersecurity companies,” said Allegis Capital Managing Director Robert Ackerman. “Now we’re seeing some moderation, which is a very healthy and constructive thing.”

Experienced security investors say the segment saw so much interest in recent years that companies without legs were funded. Now they say the hype around the sector is cooling off.

“The tourists are going to pack up and leave,” said Ten Eleven Ventures Founder Alex Doll. “I think a lot of the larger funds that weren’t good in security had started to try to play in this space.”

Several large, later-stage deals led the way in attracting new capital, including a $100 million investment in Cylance Inc., and a $76 million round in ForeScout Technologies Inc. Both companies reached billion-dollar valuations with these rounds.

But overall, venture capitalists say they’re seeing valuations in the segment readjust, much as they have done broadly across the tech sector. The decline in valuations has led to a steady amount of mergers and acquisitions in cybersecurity, which investors seems likely to pick up as a more diverse group of buyers have been assessing the industry for potential deals.

In recent months, Symantec Corp. said it would acquire Blue Coat Systems Inc. for $4.65 billion. Cisco Systems Inc. bought security firm CloudLock Inc. for $293 million.

Some venture capitalists said they expect private-equity firms will continue to play a role in security acquisitions. Vista Equity Partners announced in June it would acquire Ping Identity Corp. Legacy tech firms will also likely be active acquirers, investors said, because they rely on such acquisitions for innovation and see security as a growing area of their business.

Trident Capital Cybersecurity Managing Director Alberto Yepez said the influx of mergers and acquisitions is also driven by an influx of nontraditional acquirers, like General Electric Co. and industrial companies, as more devices become connected and security becomes more core to their business. He also said telecommunications service providers have become more active in the segment.

“The universe of acquirers has expanded,” he said.

In recent years, much of the activity in security investment has been driven by emerging technologies. Some investors think many of those changes haven’t been addressed yet and will continue to draw investment.

“I think we’re just beginning to see the mobile tsunami in security,” Mr. Yepez said.



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Xconomy | Allegis Capital Leader Co-Founds DataTribe To Tap Government Research

  |   Entrepreneur Resources, Portfolio News, The Latest
By: Bernadette Tansey   –  July 28th, 2016
 @Tansey_Xconomy     @xconomy     @AllegisCapital     @Data_Tribe

In 2015, Silicon Valley venture firm founder Robert Ackerman was helping the founders of Maryland startup Onyara to prepare for a fundraising round that would allow them to mine the commercial potential of advanced data processing technology developed at the National Security Agency.

“I just found my next billion-dollar idea,” Ackerman says he was thinking at the time.

But then, Santa Clara, CA-based data management software company Hortonworks  (NASDAQ: HDP) swept in and offered to buy Onyara for “north of $40 million,” Ackerman recalls. And his venture firm, Allegis Capital, missed the chance to lead the Series A fundraising round for a company that might have yielded a much bigger payoff for both founders and investors, Ackerman says.

He realized that founders like Onyara’s—new entrepreneurs coming out of East Coast government intelligence labs—needed more support than a venture firm usually provides. Rather than tackle all the steps ahead for Onyara as a startup, its founders accepted the instant Hortonworks payout, he says.

“If we could have filled that void, we could have taken that company much further,” Ackerman says.

It was one of the pivotal experiences that led Ackerman to co-found a new “startup studio” called DataTribe, whose formation was announced publicly this week.


DataTribe aims to find promising technologies developed from government research; form companies to license the technologies; and enlist former government engineers as executives or tech experts.

Such engineers are plentiful in the Washington, DC, Beltway area, where they work on cutting-edge government-funded projects in cybersecurity, big data, and data analytics for defense agencies. But they often lack the entrepreneurial experience to get a startup launched and funded, Ackerman says. And they’re far from Silicon Valley’s ecosystem of incubators, venture firms, experienced product rollout managers, and universities that foster entrepreneurship.

Ackerman co-founded DataTribe with former CIA information technology officer Steve Witt, who was Onyara’s CEO, and Mike Janke, a former Navy SEAL who was CEO of Silent Circle, a secure communications service he founded. DataTribe has attracted financial backing from consulting and audit firm Deloitte; Yahoo Japan, a site that combines search, news and e-commerce features; and other unnamed financial investors. Deloitte and Yahoo Japan are the kinds of strategic partners that could become customers or distribution channels for the products created by DataTribe’s startups, Ackerman says. (Verizon, which announced this week it will buy the core business of Sunnyvale, CA-based Yahoo, will not acquire Yahoo’s stake in Yahoo Japan. That stake will be held by an investment company created from Yahoo’s remaining assets.)

DataTribe isn’t alone as it sets up as a feeder system to funnel ideas and experts from government intelligence agencies into the private market.

At Tel Aviv, Israel-based Team8, three co-founders who are former security experts with the Israeli Defense Forces’ Technology & Intelligence Unit 8200 (described as Israel’s NSA) are tapping their networks to form cybersecurity startups. Team8 invested $5 million in Tel Aviv-based startup Illusive Networks, which closed a $25 million Series B fundraising round in May, backed by investors including Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Bessemer Venture Partners, and Cisco Investments.

A new cybersecurity startup incubator, Build Sec Foundry, sprung up last month in San Antonio, Texas, to help ex-military members become new cybersecurity entrepreneurs. San Antonio is home to the Texas branch of the NSA; the FBI’s Cyber Division; and dozens of defense contractors and security companies.

Ackerman says DataTribe won’t confine its reach to U.S. government technology and domestic founding teams, but will look at opportunities in the United Kingdom and other nations.

Ackerman declined to say how much money DataTribe has raised, but says it will have an “appreciable operating budget.”

In February, DataTribe quietly moved into its headquarters in Fulton, MD, near the National Security Agency’s headquarters at Fort Meade, MD, and the I-95 corridor that leads south toward Washington. Its co-headquarters is at Palo Alto, CA-based Allegis Capital, which is a strategic partner of DataTribe’s and a likely investor in the startups it creates. The idea is to connect the technology being generated by government agencies with Silicon Valley expertise and access to capital, Ackerman says.

DataTribe is already working toward the close of its first startup investment: the Maryland company, Dragos, was founded by former NSA intelligence officers to provide cybersecurity for industrial control systems.

Rather than a fund, DataTribe is an “operating company” that will build startups, recruit their executives, and support them with as much as $1.5 million in seed funding, Ackerman says. The plan is to create two to three startups a year, keep them in-house for nine months to a year, and get them ready for a Series A fundraising round. DataTribe would retain significant equity stakes in the companies—a percent that would vary with each startup.

Witt leads an operating team that will consist of about seven or eight full-time members working in either Maryland or California, Ackerman says. DataTribe will also tap into a “brain trust” of executives, drawn from Allegis’s network, who will screen and mentor the startups and serve as directors, he says. Some may be financial investors in the startups.

With DataTribe, Ackerman is trying to capture the same potential financial payoff he once envisioned for Onyara, which was translating technology created for government purposes such as national defense into commercial products suitable for businesses.

Onyara was founded to commercialize data-flow technology called “Niagara Files” or NiFi, which was created at the NSA and released as an open source resource by the agency. What Hortonworks saw in Onyara’s technology was a way to enhance its service to clients, who use its Apache Hadoop software framework to process large amounts of data reliably. Hortonworks said its acquisition of Onyara would help it smooth out the collection of data from clickstreams, server logs, social media feeds, connected devices such as sensors, and other sources, as well as verify and secure these inputs headed for data analysis.

Ackerman sees government agencies such as the NSA as wellsprings of commercially valuable ideas, because they must invent solutions when the needs of government agencies go beyond the capacity of products available from private industry. This is particularly true for defense agencies engaged in collecting and analyzing massive amounts of information to protect the country against cyberattacks and other threats.

“Because of the scale at which they work, they’re seeing limitations before anybody else,’’ Ackerman says. Allegis has invested heavily in cybersecurity since 2000, and NSA veterans are involved in several of its portfolio companies.

“They’re operating five years ahead of everybody else,” Ackerman says. “Ideally, you want somebody who’s seen the future.”

By contrast, private companies don’t tend to invest in research to solve problems five years ahead in the future, he says.

With the input of co-founder Janke, the former Navy SEAL, DataTribe is modeling its competitive strategy on the methods of the elite Navy unit, Ackerman says. Like the SEALs, disruptive young companies can also find ways to succeed even though they deploy “small teams versus larger, better-resourced adversaries,” he says.

“That sounds a lot like a startup,” Ackerman says. “The odds are tipped against you.”

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WSJ | DataTribe Launches To Back Entrepreneurs Leaving Government Roles

  |   Entrepreneur Resources, Portfolio News, The Latest
By: Cat Zakrzewski | July 26, 2016


DataTribe Co-founder Mike Janke, Onyara Co-founder Joe Witt and Synack Co-Founder Jay Kaplan speak at a gathering in Maryland. DataTribe helps scientists and engineers leaving government jobs build startups.  Photo: Yonald Chery 

A venture capitalist, a SEAL Team Six veteran and a CIA alumnus are skipping Silicon Valley’s garages and heading to government labs to groom a new wave of entrepreneurs.

Their studio DataTribe launches in Fulton, Md.. on Tuesday to help engineers working in government agencies, labs or the intelligence community to launch their own cybersecurity and big data companies.

Mike Janke, co-founder of DataTribe , served on the elite SEAL Team Six before serving as Silent Circle chief executive. He said the government spends billions of dollars on research-and-development projects that are ahead of commercial business. However many of the scientists coming out of government don’t have business backgrounds and face a steep learning curve when try out entrepreneurship.

“They’re like, ‘What is a term sheet?’ ” Mr. Janke said. “We actually bring them in and we teach them. Before we even give them a term sheet, we make sure they have an independent counsel, and they go through a class on what term sheets are.”

Backed by Deloitte, Yahoo Japan Corp., Allegis Capital and other strategic investors, DataTribe will provide up to $1.5 million in financing to each startup that participates in its 9-to-12-month program. Though DataTribe participants may have developed engineering chops in government, the program will aim to teach them the ins and outs of running a commercial business.

Mr. Janke, Allegis Capital Managing Director Robert Ackerman andSteve Witt, a former CIA officer and entrepreneur, said they recognized a need to build an “ecosystem” for startups in the Washington area. Some Silicon Valley accelerators take a “spray and pray” approach to building companies, investing small checks in hundreds every year. But Mr. Janke said to build a lasting startup ecosystem on the East Coast, DataTribe borrowed from his military training and instead took a “sniper” approach to pick and choose its targets. The studio will only invest in three to four startups a year and provide them with more resources and funding than a traditional incubator.

DataTribe will provide these entrepreneurs with office space and access to its in-house product management, product development, marketing and sales staff until they’re ready for traditional venture financing.

Although Mr. Janke said there is an excess of technical talent in the Washington area, entrepreneurs inside the Beltway have noted a lack of experienced enterprise sales professionals or marketing professionals. Mr. Janke thinks DataTribe can help companies fill that gap. By pairing them with DataTribe’s experienced marketing and sales professionals early, they can train other employees to help the companies run like traditional Silicon Valley startups.

“You can’t expect to draw all those tiers from [Silicon Valley],” Mr. Janke said. “So what we do is we actually build that ecosystem.”

Mr. Janke said DataTribe won’t limit itself to engineers leaving the U.S. government. They’re also seeking entrepreneurs from similar backgrounds in other nations.

The studio launches as venture funding has flowed to cybersecurity startups in recent years, and with it, former government employees. Several startups that have raised significant funding rounds are led by former intelligence community professionals. Keith Alexander, a former chief of the National Security Agency, launched IronNet. Other companies led by entrepreneurs with military or government ties include Tenable Network Security Inc., Area 1 Security Inc., Endgame Inc., Synack Inc., and Qadium Inc.

Such links have been forged even as tensions have mounted between Washington and technology companies. Much of that stems from confrontations over governmental access to digital communications, but another source of friction is the competition for talent. On a recent trip to California, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnsonsaid that is the government’s chief point of contention with Silicon Valley as people change jobs more frequently and technology companies offer much more competitive salaries.

But Mr. Janke says the DataTribe founders have drawn positive responses to the program from colleagues in government. He said government agencies have encouraged engineers to test their ideas with DataTribe before leaving their current jobs.

“They actually have asked to send entrepreneurs in residence to be in our office now,” Mr. Janke said.

In forming DataTribe, the founders have taken notes from Team8 Labs Ltd., a foundry that builds cybersecurity companies with talent from Israel Defense Forces’ Unit 8200, that country’s equivalent of the National Security Agency. One of its companies, Illusive Networks Ltd., has raised $30 million in funding.

The DataTribe team—which receives no government funding—has already tested their approach with Onyara Inc., which Hortonworks Inc. acquired in 2015. Mr. Witt served as chief executive of the company, which commercialized NSA-developed technology.

Now DataTribe is beginning to work with others. One is Dragos Security, an industrial control center cybersecurity company started by former NSA officers. Dragos CEO Robert Lee said it was important to him to find investors that also shared a government background and were mission-oriented.

“There’s a lot of talent on the East Coast that’s not getting a lot of attention,” Mr. Lee said. “[DataTribe] was a perfect fit.

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Reuters | Investment firm to fuse startup culture with U.S. intelligence complex

  |   Entrepreneur Resources, The Latest



A Silicon Valley venture capitalist, an ex-Navy SEAL and a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer have banded together to form a company to fund and incubate startups that can break ground on cyber security and intelligence gathering.


The company, DataTribe, seeks to fuse aspects of a venture capital firm and startup incubator, with leaders who are well-connected to the nation’s intelligence complex. It was launched on Tuesday, with offices in both Silicon Valley and Maryland, outside the nation’s capital.

While DataTribe is as yet untested, it launches at a critical time. New and more sophisticated attacks continue to threaten businesses and government agencies, but funding for early-stage cyber startups from traditional venture capital sources is challenging.

Finding sufficient cyber security expertise – in both company investors and founders – in Silicon Valley has also been difficult.

DataTribe will license technology created by the national laboratories or government intelligence agencies and build new startups around that technology. It will also provide those startups with an operating team of executives and an initial investment of up to $1.5 million.

According to DataTribe co-founder Robert Ackerman, the federal government has some of the most sophisticated cyber security and intelligence gathering technology, and Washington is home to some of the most skilled cyber experts.

But the startup culture, he said, can do a more efficient job of scaling that technology and selling it for commercial use.

“(Cyber security) is an arms race,” Ackerman said in an interview. “And when you are in an arms race, you are looking for any kind of competitive advantage you can get.”

Ackerman is founder and a managing director of Allegis Capital, a 20-year-old Silicon Valley venture firm that invests in cyber security startups. He cofounded DataTribe with Mike Janke, a former member of the Navy’s SEAL Team Six and co-founder of mobile security company Silent Circle; and Steven Witt, who worked for the CIA and co-founded Onyara, a startup based on technology developed by the National Security Agency.

DataTribe aims to take advantage of technology already developed, tested and used by the government. It will use open-source technology or license it from the national labs, the NSA, law enforcement and even foreign intelligence agencies, Ackerman said.

Among the first to receive funding is Dragos, a cyber security startup comprised of former NSA intelligence officers that offers security solutions for the control systems of critical infrastructure, such as a power grid.


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Allegis Capital, Leading Early Stage Cybersecurity Venture Investor, Becomes a Strategic Partner of DataTribe

  |   Allegis News, The Latest


Venture Firm Catalyzes Development and Growth of DataTribe Startups

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 26, 2016 –  Allegis Capital, a seed and early stage two-decade-old venture capital firm focused on cybersecurity and analytics, announced today that it has become a strategic partner of DataTribe, a unique “startup studio” formed to create and grow technology startups by leveraging the most advanced technologies forged by U.S. government R&D projects.

Robert Ackerman Jr., the founder and a managing director of Allegis, is also one of three co-founders and directors of DataTribe. DataTribe is co-headquartered in Fulton, Md., in the Washington D.C. Beltway, and in Silicon Valley.

DataTribe is drawing upon the Beltway and Silicon Valley to build new companies at the cutting edge of innovation in cybersecurity, data and analytics. The Beltway has 3.5 times as many cybersecurity engineers as the rest of the country combined according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The region has a minimal startup ecosystem, however. Its ties to Allegis Capital and the Silicon Valley venture ecosystem are intended to close that gap.

About DataTribe

DataTribe will co-create, develop the focus and strategy of two to three startups annually, refine their execution and hand-pick their entrepreneurial teams, primarily from the ranks of engineers working on successful government R&D projects. The foundations upon which startups will be based will be sizable government R&D projects, often conducted in national laboratories, which have been implemented, tested and validated.

DataTribe will then license and commercialize this technology, develop it via open source or turn to highly select engineering teams to transform the technology into commercial applications.

In addition, the startups will follow leadership precepts developed by the Navy’s elite Seal Team 6 to develop an intimate understanding of asymmetric engagement with commercial adversaries, enabling them to more effectively overcome the challenges startups typically face.

When DataTribe-backed startups become ready for Series A venture financing, Allegis is likely to become one of their investors.

DataTribe Strategic Partners

Allegis has joined a small team of additional strategic partners, including Deloitte, the prominent financial consulting firm and Yahoo Japan. The partners’ own business demands require operating at the forefront of innovation in cybersecurity, data and analytics. They will work with DataTribe executives to help evaluate potential startup market opportunities and provide “go-to-market” validation and product roadmaps. They will also help startups recruit key executives.

Allegis, in particular, will support all aspects of the development and growth of DataTribe startups.

“DataTribe represents an opportunity for us to leverage our 20 years of start-up expertise, deep market knowledge and extended Silicon Valley networks to leverage world-class expertise resulting from government R&D in its areas of focus to create disruptive start-ups in cybersecurity data and analytics,” said Spencer Tall, Allegis Managing Director. “The breadth and depth of DataTribe’s expertise in select areas of government R&D will be unparalleled.”

DataTribe has three co-founders and directors. In addition to Ackerman, they are Mike Janke, founder and former CEO of Silent Circle, a leading secure communications service, and a former member of Navy Seal Team 6; and Steve Witt, the co-founder and former CEO of Onyara, the commercial developer of the Apache NiFi, a high-level open source project originated at the NSA, and a former CIA information technology officer.


DataTribe is a “startup studio” formed to create and help build technology startups focused on breakthrough innovation in cybersecurity, data and analytics. Co-based in Fulton, Maryland and Silicon Valley, DataTribe operates at the forefront of emerging commercial market needs by leveraging advanced research and applied development efforts from U.S. and aligned government labs in combination with Silicon Valley experience and networks to create cutting-edge startups. The goal of these startups is to define and lead new market segments. For more information, visit

Allegis Capital

Allegis Capital is a seed and early-stage venture capital investor in companies building disruptive and innovative cyber security solutions for the global digital economy. Founded in 1996, the firm has more than $700 million in capital under management and has been active in cyber security investing since 2000. Allegis cybersecurity investments include SYNACK, CyberGRX, Platfora, Shape Security, vArmour and Red Owl, Area 1 Security, E8 Security, Bracket Computing, IronPort Systems and Solera Networks. For more information, visit

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VentureBeat | Workday acquires big data analytics company Platfora

  |   Portfolio News, The Latest


By:  Jordan Novet  |  July 21, 2016

Publicly traded human capital management software company Workday today announced that it has acquired Platfora, a startup that built software for cleaning up and analyzing big data. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Above: Platfora employees participate in a Ragnar Relay Race in 2015.

Image Credit: Platfora

“The acquisition will enable Workday to continually enhance our analytics capabilities — especially areas like managerial reporting and operational analytics where insights are gathered by collecting and connecting multiple data sources (Workday and non-Workday data) to make business decisions,” Workday said in a statement on the deal. “Customers want to drill down to transaction-level data and analyze it across multiple dimensions for calculating profitability, ROI, and other operational metrics.”

Platfora offered companies a way to do business intelligence on top of data stored in the Hadoop open source big data software. Platfora inked partnerships with the Hadoop distribution companies Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR. Competitors include Clearstory Data and Datameer, among others.

The rise of Hadoop over the years caused legacy business intelligence software providers to add support for Hadoop as Platfora and others picked up adoption.

This deal follows Workday’s acquisition of online learning platform Zaption last month.

Last year Platfora founder Ben Werther stepped down as the company’s chief executive; SAP veteran Jason Zintak replaced him.

Platfora’s investors include Allegis Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Cisco, In-Q-Tel, and Sutter Hill Ventures. As of last year Platfora had 130 employees. Customers include Citi, Disney, Sears, and Volkswagen Group. The Platfora team will remain in its headquarters in San Mateo, California.

Workday will provide more information about how it will integrate Platfora’s technology into its existing offerings at the Workday Rising conference in Chicago in September.

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WSJ | CyberGRX Emerges With $9M to Set Standards for Security Risks

  |   Portfolio News, Series A, The Latest

By Deborah Gage  |  July 14, 2016 7:30 a.m. ET


One of the hardest places for companies to protect from cyberattacks is the holes opened by companies closest to them—their partners, customers and vendors.

The most famous case may be Target Corp., which lost data on 40 million debit and credit accounts along with personal information for as many as 70 million customers after hackers penetrated its network in 2013 by stealing the credentials of a Target refrigeration contractor.

Target’s chief executive and its chief information officer resigned, and a proxy adviser, Institutional Shareholder Services, urged that seven of Target’s 10 board members be ousted for failing to protect the company.

In an effort to avoid similar problems and to set an industry standard for assessing security risks, venture capitalists and several large companies—some named and some not—have banded together to form CyberGRX, a startup that has been in the works for more than 18 months. GRX stands for Global Risk Exchange.

The Denver-based company has raised $9 million in a Series A round led by Allegis Capital and includes numerous other investors and advisers.

Some of them—including Aetna Chief Information Security Officer Jim Routh, MassMutual Chief Information Risk Officer Sri Dronamraju and Blackstone Chief Information Security Officer Jay Leek—are helping CyberGRX design a software platform and business processes that will guide companies in assessing their own security risks and the risks of their partners.

“If you’re shopping for a home, you can go to Zillow and there are countless homes, but you’re probably going to hire a home inspector to look at the piping and make sure there are no foundational issues,” said Chief Executive Fred Kneip, who previously headed security for the investment management firm Bridgewater Associates. “So let’s understand how you think about the core components of a cybersecurity program and its levels of maturity and effectiveness.”

Allegis Capital founder Bob Ackerman said he has been thinking about the problem since at least 2014 and couldn’t find companies on the market with a comprehensive enough approach. A Blackstone portfolio company, Optiv Security LLC, is also working on CyberGRX because its customers are concerned about third-party security risks, Mr. Ackerman said.

The challenge with current cybersecurity assessments is that they are labor-intensive, expensive and prone to disagreements over what questions should be asked and how they should be phrased, according to CyberGRX’s founders.


Photo: CyberGRX’s Fred Kneip.

Fortune 500 companies generally have thousands of partners and may only evaluate the most important ones, although “you don’t have to be a big partner to represent a significant cyberrisk,” Mr. Ackerman said.

Companies may be loath to admit they have risks. “If it’s self-reported, no one will say I don’t have [a password rotation policy],” said GV General Partner Karim Faris, an investor, although even asking the question can spark a company to get one.

Mr. Faris said CyberGRX’s success will depend on its ability to figure out the most effective set of questions that will work across a wide range of companies and balance those with on-site visits where inspectors know what to home in on.

Mr. Leek said CyberGRX relies on the strength of its relationships with chief information security officers at global companies who are collaborative, understand security risks and agree with CyberGRX’s approach.

CyberGRX expects to release a product in early 2017. Founders say a standard security assessment could provide a foundation for other industries, like cyber insurance.

Investors who participated in the funding include Blackstone, TenEleven Ventures, Rally Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and MassMutual Ventures along with several individuals and unnamed strategic investors.

Board members include Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Kneip, Mr. Leek, TenEleven Ventures founder Mark Hatfield, ClearSky Power & Technology Fund Managing Director Alex Weiss and Cylance CEO Stuart McClure.Logo_cyberGRX

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Third-Party Cyber Risk Management Platform Company CyberGRX Closes $9M Series A Funding

  |   Portfolio News, Series A, The Latest



Third-Party Cyber Risk Management Platform Company CyberGRX Closes $9M Series A Funding


Allegis Capital Leads Round with Participation from Major Cybersecurity Investors;
Platform Being Developed in Close Collaboration with Early Adopters at Leading Institutions


DENVER – July 14, 2016 – CyberGRX, provider of the most comprehensive third-party cyber risk management platform, today announced that it closed $9M in Series A funding led by Allegis Capital, with participation from Blackstone, TenEleven Ventures, Rally Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), MassMutual Ventures and several other strategic investors. The company will use the funding to deliver the CyberGRX platform to market. The platform is developed in partnership with its early adopters, which include chief security and risk officers from Aetna, Blackstone, MassMutual and several other leading institutions across business sectors.

As enterprises’ dependence on their partner ecosystems grows, so does their exposure to breaches from these key vendors, partners and customers. A recent Ponemon Institute report, “ Data Risk in the Third-Party Ecosystem,” found that nearly half (49 percent) of all organizations had recently reported that they experienced a data breach caused by a vendor, and nearly three out of four (73 percent) enterprises expect third-party related incidents to increase. And the damage, both in terms of reputation and actual dollars and shareholder value lost, is real. A recent survey of 170 large enterprises by consulting firm Deloitte found that 28 percent of respondents had faced major business disruption due to third-party data breaches, and more than one in four (26 percent) organizations suffered reputational damage as a result. An astounding 87 percent of the enterprises surveyed admitted to “disruptive incidents” with third parties in the last 2-3 years. It is evident that boards, CEOs, business leaders, and risk and security managers need a better way to manage this exploding third-party cyber risk.

Despite this growing need, substantial inefficiencies continue to exist on both sides in the current approach. Enterprises focus the vast majority of their time collecting data, rather than performing risk management and mitigation processes to reduce the residual security risk third parties represent. At the same time, vendors and partners spend too much time, energy and money completing questionnaires and hosting on-site security assessments.

“CyberGRX is built by security practitioners who bring a risk-based perspective to security control assessment,” said Fred Kneip, CEO of CyberGRX. “CyberGRX helps enterprises not only automate and standardize the collection of information, but also prioritize, evaluate and remediate risk. Instead of incrementally improving what people do today, CyberGRX fundamentally changes the way organizations address cyber risk in an increasingly interdependent world.”

Commercially available in early 2017, CyberGRX provides the most comprehensive third-party cyber risk management platform, addressing existing inefficiencies and creating benefit for both enterprises and for their partners and vendors. Through its innovative design, automation and advanced analytics, the CyberGRX platform enables enterprises to cost-effectively and collaboratively identify, assess, mitigate and monitor an enterprise’s cyber risk exposure across its entire vendor, partner and customer ecosystem.

About CyberGRX

CyberGRX provides the most comprehensive third-party cyber risk management platform to cost-effectively identify, assess, mitigate and monitor an enterprise’s risk exposure across its entire partner ecosystem. Through automation and advanced analytics, the CyberGRX solution enables enterprises to collaboratively mitigate threats presented from their increasing interdependency on vendors, partners and customers. CyberGRX is based in Denver, CO with offices in McLean, VA. For more information, visit or follow @CyberGRX1 on Twitter.

Ted Weismann
fama PR for CyberGRX
(617) 986-5009

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SV Biz Journals | Funding sea change has pushed startups to new strategies and locations, VCs say

  |   Allegis News, The Latest

Funding sea change has pushed startups to new strategies and locations, VCs say

cromwell By: Cromwell Schubarth | TechFlash Editor – Silicon Valley Business Journal

Jul 7, 2016, 11:26am PDT  Updated Jul 7, 2016, 4:11pm PDT



Bain Capital Ventures partner Indy Guha said most of the companies he invests in don’t have engineering in the Bay Area anymore because it has become too expensive. They are now doing that part of their business in places like Canada, Russia, China, India and less expensive parts of the U.S. like Phoenix.TechFlash Editor Silicon Valley Business Journal

“The latest trend is that sales offices — which is the other big center of gravity for headcount in a hypergrowth company — are not in the Bay Area anymore,” he said at the Pitch event I moderated at Google. “You can get an inside sales rep for 50 grand fully loaded and ready in Phoenix, especially after all the layoffs at Zenefits. Or you can get that person for $120,000 in the Bay Area. Guess what? When you run the math on cost of customer acquisition, that makes a difference.”

The panel came as early data on first half and second quarter startup investments showed activity in the Bay Area continued at six-year lows and most top venture firms have done fewer deals.

Cybersecurity investor Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital said the market is recalibrating and that has forced founders to take a closer look at costs.

“The last few years have been driven by autopilot and momentum and the ‘greater fool theory,’” he said. “People seemed to believe that things only move up and to the right. Everybody tried to index off of the unicorns. It was a totally distorted valuation environment. The bloom is off that rose and everything is recalibrating.”

Companies are going overseas and to other parts of the country, Ackerman said, not because they want to, but because that is where they are finding large pockets of talent at a reasonable price.

“What we don’t find is entrepreneurial DNA or product management DNA. Never heard of it,” he cautioned. “The challenge is that with that lower cost of doing business there are some compensating expenses. There are some things you have to bring to the table to build a viable company.”

Kristina Shen, vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners, said she hadn’t done a funding deal yet this year. Normally she does between two and four.

“We’ve been talking about a downturn for a really long time,” she said. “VCs encouraged entrepreneurs to raise early and make sure they have extra runway and that is what companies have done. Everyone loaded up the cash chest. So now it has been slow.”

The customers of her portfolio companies haven’t cut their spending and are still purchasing software, Shen said. “Nothing significant has changed, but the fear dynamic has set in with founders.”

Sara Thomas, a principal at Maven Ventures, said funding deals are taking longer today than in recent years.

“There are a lot more meetings to get to a yes,” Thomas said. Deals used to go to a full partner meeting after a couple of preliminary meetings.

“That’s not what is happening any more,” she said. “It is more and more conversations and due diligence before taking it to a partner meeting. It has taken longer to get to a Series A round and because of that we have been reflective of the number of seeds we have invested in.”

Bain Capital Venture’s Guha saw an upside to the new funding climate.

“With growth equity investing and others slowing down a bit, probably for the first time in two years traditional venture capital investors can take a look at doing Series C and Series D rounds. We are quite excited about being able to go back to being stage agnostic,” he said.

“For the better part of the last two years we were pretty much only looking at doing Series A and Series B. Beyond that point, the second a company started to get momentum, the valuations were really high,” he said. “During the last two years anytime somebody had a good idea, you had eight copycat companies that got funded by venture firms that missed out on the first company. That sounds like it is fine when capital is cheap but it prolongs the pain. It makes hiring harder, it makes finding office space harder and salaries go way out of line.”

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PredictionCX Uses Big Data to Predict Customer Actions, Now Available from MaritzCX |

  |   Portfolio News, The Latest

GlobeNewswire | Thursday, 30 June 2016 10:13 (EST)

SALT LAKE CITY, June 30, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MaritzCX, a global customer experience (CX) software and services company, today announced the availability of PredictionCX™, the first-of-its-kind solution to help businesses grow by analyzing known customer information and using it to predict customer behavior and take action to improve CX for individual customers. Businesses can use PredictionCX to take information provided by the few customers who respond to customer surveys and apply that knowledge to the silent, unreachable majority who hold the largest wallet share. For example, sales and customer teams can know specifically who is going to leave and then act to save them.


PredictionCX puts to work the mountains of underutilized big data most companies are sitting on to reveal what customers want and need, from the collective whole down to the individual transaction. Unlike competitive offerings, PredictionCX is the first technology solution that leverages customer data from virtually any source and applies it back to CX data set at the individual level. This process enables organizations to use their resources in a highly targeted fashion to increase customer retention and drive growth.

“Customers are telling businesses much more than they realize. If you’re not leveraging this customer data, you’re leaving opportunity and money on the table,” said Carine Clark, president and CEO of MaritzCX. “Organizations that combine survey results with organic sources of customer data will be able to predict what customers need — without having to ask.”

Using predictive modeling, PredictionCX extrapolates survey data across large customer populations, leveraging all the objective attributes stored in enterprise systems about each one. This data holds the key to breakthrough insights that can be used to prioritize the deployment of customer-facing resources and drive retention, recovery, growth, and program ROI in the short term. Proactively addressing customer needs is also a long-term differentiator that will generate ongoing loyalty during an era in which consumer choice reigns supreme.

MaritzCX is partnering with PurePredictive™, an advanced analytics technology provider with patented technology that uses artificial intelligence to automate the building of complex predictive models using machine learning, to deliver part of the PredictionCX solution. PredictionCX is integrated into MaritzCX dashboards and case management to provide a strong customer recovery system through a closed-loop process. MaritzCX also provides the expert services to build predictive models with a high degree of accuracy, which is critical to ensuring sound CX investments and concrete program ROI.


About MaritzCX
MaritzCX® software and services help organizations see, sense and act on the experiences and desires of every customer to increase retention, conversion and lifetime value. With an unmatched combination of customer experience (CX) software, research science, vertical market expertise and managed program services, MaritzCX ingrains CX intelligence and action systems into the DNA of business operations through its 12-point CXEvolution process. To take the complimentary CX assessment, visit

For more information about MaritzCX, visit

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