On Monday, RedOwl Analytics, a cybersecurity startup, announced it raising $17 million in Series B funding led by Allegis Capital. Other investors include Blackstone as an investor and previous angel investors – Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. As part of the funding round, Robert Ackerman, founder and managing director of Allegis Capital has been added to RedOwl’s board of directors.
Founded in 2013 in Maryland, the startup RedOwl is a leader in insider risk management and security analytics. Conventional cybersecurity companies focus on keeping cybercriminals out, padlocking the entry points that an outside hacker could crawl in. However, RedOwl works on the principle of putting together pieces of different sources of data to ‘visualize what is happening at the human layer of the business,’ looking for the internal dangers. The software observes almost everything an employee does on a computer, which includes searching for emails for keywords that are risky and monitoring informal communications sent by instant message.
The funding for the company has happened following the exceptional growth of RedOwl in a year. In the year, the startup almost doubled its team by hiring new data scientists and security engineers and expanded internationally into London. The startup plans to use its new fund to hire more people. It is planning to take in 30 or 40 more people in the next two years adding on to the 36 current employees. “They have got a tremendous amount of interest from customers and they need to scale their sales and support organization to catch up with demand,” said Ackerman.
According to Ackerman, RedOwl is the one among the few companies branching into ‘insider risk software’ that allows companies to follow what is happening within their company. “So much time in cyber security is spent trying to identify the bad guys and make it hard for them to get it, but between 70 and 80 percent of cyberattacks have an internal component. That internal element could be malevolent or it could just be carelessness. But either way, it tells you your biggest concern is what’s going on inside your network. We think RedOwl is really at the center of that thinking.”
“In 2014, as part of Blackstone’s overall security strategy, we set out to tackle the growing concern around insider threats. We reviewed over 15 different insider threat vendors and ultimately landed on RedOwl for many reasons; most importantly, the company was able to monitor disparate and multiple sets of unstructured data that were being overlooked by other insider threat solutions,” said Jay Leek, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Blackstone. “After bringing them on board to help secure Blackstone we realized that they provided many insights and had a unique value proposition which quickly led us to become a customer, followed shortly by us pursuing an investment in their organization. RedOwl has the potential to truly change the way we think about insider threats and security, focused on moving beyond the perimeter to securing the human-side of an organization.”