Portfolio News

vArmour Continues to Drive Data Center and Multi-Cloud Security Innovation through Tripling its Product Patent Portfolio

  |   Portfolio News, The Latest









Recently awarded patents will serve the growing security needs of the modern data center environment


Marketwired | Oct 26, 2016 | 9:00 ET


MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – vArmour, the leading data center and cloud security company, today announced innovative additions to its patent portfolio issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newly awarded patents focus on segmentation and service chaining in the modern data center.

In its quest to expand data center security for the multi-cloud world, vArmour has aggressively tripled its patent portfolio over the course of the year, from 4 issued and 11 pending in 2015 to 13 issued and 24 pending U.S. patents. The recently awarded and pending patents put further emphasis on service chaining, context aware micro-segmentation and enforcement inside multi-clouds. These innovations help organizations benefit from segmentation and micro-segmentation by reducing attack surfaces, improving compliance, and increasing infrastructure utilization. vArmour’s all-software, subscription model allows customers to integrate new, patented capabilities as soon as they become available, unlike hardware-centric security scenarios where new capabilities can only be realized by buying or refreshing expensive hardware.

“Having spent a career understanding the challenges of securing mission critical data center environments, it has been incredibly exciting to be part of a world class team solving the hard problems in new and completely innovative ways,” said Marc Woolward, CTO at vArmour and a former CTO of Goldman Sachs. From simplifying and scaling security within the cloud to developing cutting-edge ways of service processing on network gateways, our patent work reflects the ingenuity within our team and our determination to protect our intellectual property on behalf of our customers.”

vArmour’s mission is to ensure that data center cloud security is simple, scalable and cost-effective. The awarded patents will serve as strategic components in addressing this mission. As a result, the expanded portfolio will cover:

  • Service chaining – distributed service processing of network gateways using virtual machines
  • Dynamic security insertions into virtualized networks (application of security to network virtualization)
  • Context aware micro-segmentation

“vArmour is an industry-leading innovator with a proven track record in developing flexible, software-driven solutions to meet the needs of today’s enterprise organization,” said John Ferrell, Attorney at Carr & Ferrell, LLP. “With these newly issued patents, vArmour is equipped with the ability to drastically impact the security marketplace and drive strategic change in data center and cloud environments.”

“vArmour operates in a market space undergoing disruptive change in multiple dimensions,” said Peter Christy, Research Director with 451 Research. “First, data center security is replacing the traditional perimeter model to include much needed internal security; second, software-defined overlay networking is being adapted to provide fine-grained micro-segmentation of the data center network, to provide a platform for internal security; and finally, the scale and complexity of modern data centers is dictating that this be architected and implemented as cloud-native technology rather than adapting and reimplementing old software and system architectures. Thus it is likely that innovation and intellectual property will play a key role in this important emerging market.”

About vArmour
vArmour, the data center and cloud security company, delivers software-based segmentation and micro-segmentation to protect critical applications and workloads with the industry’s first distributed security system. Based in Mountain View, CA, the company was founded in 2011 and is backed by top investors including Highland Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Work-Bench Ventures, Allegis Capital, Redline Capital, and Telstra. The vArmour DSS Distributed Security System is deployed across the world’s largest banks, telecom service providers, government agencies, healthcare providers, and retailers. Partnering with companies including AWS, Cisco, HPE and VMware, vArmour builds security into modern infrastructures with a simple and scalable approach that drives unparalleled agility and operational efficiency. Learn more at www.varmour.com

Article found here: marketwired.com | October 26, 2016

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Jay Kaplan: DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series

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Standford | Events

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

4:30 pm

NVIDIA Auditorium, Huang Engineering Center

Sponsored by:
Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students



Jay Kaplan is co-founder and CEO of Synack, a venture capital-backed startup focused on helping enterprises gain a “hacker” perspective of their technology footprint. Synack was ranked No. 20 on CNBC’s annual list of the “50 Most Disruptive Companies” for the second year in a row.

Prior to Synack, Kaplan served in multiple cyber-related capacities at the Department of Defense, including the agency’s Incident Response and Red Team. Most recently, he was senior analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA), where he supported cyber intelligence operations and received multiple accolades for classified work conducted at the agency.

Selected as one of Forbes‘ “30 Under 30” in enterprise technology, Kaplan holds a B.S. and M.S. from George Washington University studying under a NSA-funded fellowship program, in addition to a number of industry certifications.

The DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar series is generously supported by the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
NVIDIA Auditorium, Huang Engineering Center Map
Free and open to the public.

Find Article here: events.stanford.edu

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tCell Closes $9.4M Series A to Secure Cloud-First Organizations Limited By Traditional Network-based Security

  |   Portfolio News, Series A, The Latest

SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2016 | PRNewswire | Today, at the AppSecUSA conference, tCell announced that it has closed a $9.4M Series A round of financing from Menlo Ventures, A Capital, Allegis Capital, Webb Investment Network, CrunchFund, and SV Angel.

Cloud infrastructures force organizations to re-architect how they do security. Traditionally, security is part of the network (e.g., firewalls, web application firewalls, intrusion prevention systems), and any cloud comes with its own built-in security. The customer’s security has to go into the one thing they own – the app.

tCell enables customers to deploy self-defending apps – giving organizations application visibility and protection, with a simple deployment that embraces DevOps and is completely agnostic to infrastructure – whether it be virtualized, public/private cloud, containers, or anything else.

“We see DevOps and cloud infrastructure impacting everything in IT – including security,” said Mark Siegel, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures. “We believe the information security market is on the cusp of significant change – with value moving from networks to software, and we are acting accordingly.”

tCell also named Steve Mullaney to the board as an independent director, gaining access to Steve’s experience moving infrastructure and security markets from hardware to software at Palo Alto Networks, Nicira, and VMware. “Many of the traditional approaches to security are limited in this new world – faster application deployments, more dynamic applications, and the loss of many of the places we used to put security – like the network,” said Steve Mullaney, director at tCell. “Applications that defend themselves will become the new normal.”

tCell was founded in late 2014 by Michael Feiertag and Boris Chen. Previously, Michael ran products at Blue Coat and Okta, and Boris was VP of Engineering at Splunk.

About tCell:

tCell moves application security out of the network for cloud-first organizations. Using in-application instrumentation and cloud-based analytics, tCell secures production applications, enabling organizations to assess, monitor, and defend their application – without code or network changes. Whether an organizations’ applications are on-premises or cloud-based, tCell’s unique approach makes application security easy.  Learn more at tcell.io


Article found here:  PRNewswire

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E8 Security, Innovator of Behavior Intelligence for Cybersecurity, Raises $12 Million in Series B Round to Transform Effectiveness of Security Operations

  |   Portfolio News, The Latest


Redwood City, Calif. | October 11, 2016 | 8:00pm E.T. | E8 Security, an innovator of behavioral intelligence for cybersecurity, today announced that it has closed a $12 million Series B funding round. Strategic Cyber Ventures led the round, bringing total funding to date to $21.8 million. All three Series A investors – March Capital Partners, Allegis Capital, and The Hive – also participated in the round. The new funding will be used for continued innovation of the E8 Security Behavioral Intelligence Platform, as well as to fuel go-to-market and sales execution efforts to support the accelerated demand for the platform’s ability to detect the early warning signs associated with potential compromise or unknown security threats.

“Strategic Cyber Ventures is thrilled to add E8 Security to our growing portfolio of disruptive cybersecurity companies,” said Hank Thomas, Chief Operating Officer at Strategic Cyber Ventures. “Based on our many discussions with E8’s executives and customers and hands-on evaluation of their technology, we’re confident E8 will quickly replace a number of cybersecurity controls currently on the market and enhance others that established security teams rely on today. Strategic Cyber Ventures is honored this group of cybersecurity entrepreneurs, with a product that will revolutionize the industry, chose to join our growing portfolio and partner with our team of experts.”

Adversary success rates, and the vast operational damage ripple-effect, continue to soar at all-time highs across all industries and business types. Organizations have come to the stark realization that the significant shortage of skilled IT security professionals, coupled with reliance upon largely siloed, signature-based methods of threat detection, is no longer acceptable. They are now embracing different approaches that incorporate advances in machine learning for cybersecurity and the significant automation benefits that these technologies create and enable.

Indicative of this growing trend, Gartner’s April 2016 “Market Trends: User and Entity Behavior Analytics Expand Their Market Reach”, authored by Eric Ahlm and Avivah Litan, is summarized as “Using analytic sciences to detect a threat is a common theme rippling through various security markets.” In the research note, “Gartner predicts that by 2020, 60% of enterprise information security budgets will be allocated for rapid detection and response approaches, up from less than 20% in 2015.” In addition, “Gartner predicts that the expansion in use cases for UEBA and the need to better respond to found events will both be critical drivers in UEBA market expansion and market collision. Both of these driving forces will follow the model for advanced analytics, specifically along the two analysis functions: descriptive and prescriptive.”

The E8 Security Behavioral Intelligence Platform takes an ‘inside-to-outside’ view, with lateral movement modeling of user and endpoint activities; in addition to network traffic patterns originating from within an organization’s perimeter, in order to identify the various stages of threat activity inside the network. Its self-learning, multi-dimensional behavioral analytics examines all user, endpoint and network activities, and provides a comprehensive view of unknown threat indicators within the organization to eliminate the siloed view of an organization’s security posture.

“As a result of demonstrated motivation, the level of persistence and sophistication, and the unfortunate success rates that the adversaries continue to exhibit in their ongoing efforts to steal a company’s coveted digital assets or disrupt operations, we have hit an inflection point where companies can no longer afford to take the same static approach with regard to detecting threats inside of their networks,” said Bob Ackerman, Founder and Managing Director, Allegis Capital. “We are in complete alignment with E8 Security in our belief that behavioral intelligence must become an integral part of security operations, and that identifying unknown threat indicators through automation and machine learning is the way of the future. We are both excited and proud to extend our commitment to E8 Security.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Strategic Cyber Ventures to the E8 Security family as an investor who joins in our mission of making existing enterprise cybersecurity functions smarter by using behavior intelligence and context to strengthen an organization’s overall security posture,” said Matt Jones, CEO, E8 Security. “We would also like to thank all of our existing investors who continue to embrace our vision and demonstrate it through their expanded commitments in this round of funding.”

For additional information regarding the funding, please visit the E8 Security blog, as well as the Strategic Cyber Ventures blog.

About E8 Security

E8 Security is transforming security operations by dramatically reducing the amount of time it takes to identify unknown cyber threats inside the network. Most organizations spend too much time, and money, investigating alerts that are scattered across multiple management systems, missing the patterns of compromise. Our behavioral intelligence platform can measure an organization’s risk to a data breach and identify the early warnings signs when critical resources are being targeted. In short, we are helping security teams to detect, hunt, and respond by recognizing what is normal in their network so they can quickly respond to what is not. E8 Security is headquartered in Silicon Valley and is funded by Strategic Cyber Ventures, March Capital Partners, Allegis Capital, and The Hive.

For more information, please visit E8 Security and follow E8 Security on LinkedIn, Twitter or visit the company blog.

Article Found Here: marketwired.com 

Doug De Orchis
Voce Communications for E8 Security P: (617) 897-8259
E: ddeorchis@vocecomm.com

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Signifyd racks up $19 mln

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By Iris Dorbian  |  September 8, 2016  |  PE Hub Network



San Jose, California-based Signifyd, a provider of fraud protection for ecommerce businesses, has raised $19 million in funding. The investors were Menlo Ventures, TriplePoint Capital and American Express Ventures.
San Jose, Calif. – September 02, 2016 – Signifyd, the fastest-growing provider of fraud protection for e-commerce businesses, today announced it has secured $19 million in capital from Menlo Ventures, TriplePoint Capital and American Express Ventures. This announcement comes on the heels of Signifyd’s $20 million Series B round in February 2016, which included funding from Menlo Ventures, Allegis Capital, IA Ventures, QED Investors, Bill McKiernan and Tim Eades. This latest investment allows Signifyd to scale its infrastructure and further optimize its best-in-class machine learning technology.

E-commerce businesses do not have the time and resources to effectively combat fraud on their own, resulting in lower margins from chargebacks, people costs and declined orders from legitimate customers. Signifyd’s unique 100 percent financial guarantee against fraud allows merchants to see up to 20% increases in margins. Under Signifyd’s guarantee, Signifyd will pay for any fraud costs stemming from a transaction if Signifyd approved the transaction. Merchants of any size can use Signifyd to drive cash flow predictability by completely eliminating fraud losses.

Existing solutions only provide retailers with a cryptic score based on rules, and rely on human expertise to ultimately decide whether or not to accept a transaction. Signifyd has created a new class of risk-assessment technology, using cutting-edge machine learning algorithms that leverages the data of the programmable web. Signifyd simply tells merchants whether or not a purchase is legitimate and if they should ship the product, while guaranteeing every transaction it approves.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Menlo Ventures and American Express,” said Raj Ramanand, CEO and Co-founder of Signifyd. “They are pioneers in financial innovation, enhancing core capabilities and accelerating digital commerce. Our unique approach to delivering a 100% financial guarantee is disrupting digital commerce by driving cash flow predictability to businesses. This was previously not possible and our growth validates the appetite in the market.”

“Merchants of all sizes have a growing need for fraud-management solutions as more consumers shop online,” said Rohit Bodas, Partner, American Express Ventures. “By leveraging machine learning and providing a 100% guarantee, Signifyd is making it possible for even the smallest merchants to combat fraud and achieve measurable cost savings in the process.”

Signifyd was founded by ex-PayPal fraud and risk experts, Raj Ramanand and Mike Liberty. At the end of 2015, the company announced that it had increased to a run rate of $5.6 billion in transaction volume, with an 8x year-over-year revenue growth, and tripled its number of employees. Signifyd now serves over 5,000 e-commerce companies, including several Fortune 1000 retailers such as Jet.com, Lacoste, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

For more information about Signifyd, please visit www.signifyd.com.

About Signifyd

Signifyd was founded on the belief that e-commerce businesses should be able to grow without the fear of fraud. Signifyd solves the challenges that growing e-commerce businesses persistently face: billions of dollars lost in chargebacks, customer dissatisfaction from mistaken declines, and operational costs due to tedious, manual transaction investigation. E-Commerce Assurance, Signifyd’s financial guarantee protecting online retailers in the case of chargebacks, is supported by a full-service machine learning platform that automates fraud prevention allowing businesses to increase sales and open new markets while reducing risk. Signifyd is in use by companies on the Fortune 1000 and Internet Retailer Top 500 list. Signifyd is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

News distributed by PE Hub Network

Article found here https://www.pehub.com


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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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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 www.cybergrx.com or follow @CyberGRX1 on Twitter.

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

Find more @ https://www.cybergrx.com/press.html

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