Security Startup Raises $2.3M, Looks to Launch Channel Program

Cybersecurity startup has parlayed its intelligence expertise into $2.3 million of seed funding and plans to announce its first channel partners next quarter.

The San Diego-based vendor said it plans to use the money from Trinity Ventures to make its product more scalable for large enterprises, improve its artificial intelligence algorithm and bring more experience to its staff.

"Our goal is to stop the attack before data can be stolen," Alexander Watson, founder and CEO of, told CRN in an interview. "In this way, I think we're a little ahead of the curve."

[RELATED: Intel Security Global Channel SVP Transitions To New Internal APAC President Role] was founded in August and uses artificial intelligence to determine what content advanced attackers are most likely to target, said Watson, who spent seven years as a field operations officer for the National Security Agency.

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The vendor -- which was previously known as 405labs -- has three customers so far, Watson said, and expects to see most customer interest come from businesses with lots of intellectual property in verticals, such as pharmaceuticals, high-tech and health care. has relied solely on direct relationships with its clients so far to maximize user feedback, but hopes to eventually derive at least half of its revenue from solution providers, according to Jenny Brinkley, vice president of business development, who oversaw Apple and Dell channel operations for many years at Nanonation.

Brinkley said is having discussions with a few potential channel partners right now, and believes her company's offering could complement products already carried by solution providers related to behavioral analytics and data analysis.

"I'm a big believer in the channel," Brinkley said. can serve companies with as many as 15,000 employees, Watson said, but in response to interest from a Fortune 100 business, it is refining its product to function effectively in workplaces where more than 100,000 user deployments would be needed.

Watson expects to be most disruptive to security vendors with strong data-loss protection operations, such as Symantec, McAfee -- now a subdivision of Intel Security -- and Websense. Data-loss prevention technology also leverages artificial intelligence, Watson said, but often ends up generating lots of false positives and confusing customers.

Although other security vendors have focused on metadata and behavioral analytics, Watson said, is "almost alone" in attempting to determine which types of content hackers are most likely going to attempt to pry from the client's network.

"That's something most security deployments have very little insight into," said Watson, noting that many end users don't realize that there's technology out there to help them identity and secure their most valuable data. is bringing some more experienced hands on board with the intent of growing its staff from six to 10, Watson said. The vendor plans to launch its next round of funding -- known as Series A -- during the summer to fuel aggressive growth, he said.

The company is most interested in channel partners that have existing capabilities around cloud services and experience working across the C-suite, and are comfortable operating primarily as consultants in a manner similar to Accenture or Deloitte, Brinkley said.

Solution providers may see some initial hands-on work around fine-tuning the analytics based on customer needs, but most of their work will come in a support or services capacity. is open to working with partners of all sizes, Brinkley said, so long as they have experience assisting customers around cloud-based systems such as Dropbox or Google for Work.