The world changed for all us in March 2020, as COVID-19 started to spread uncontrollably across the world. Economies stalled, schools closed, families sheltered at home, and companies across the globe went remote.
COVID-19 dramatically altered the way many of us work and collaborate with our co-workers, partners and customers. Many of us are still not yet fully back in the office (goodbye morning commute!) and are instead spending our days switching between video meetings (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, RingCentral), chat windows (such as Slack or Teams) and email. It’s been a big change, but we have adapted.
But even as we have adapted to this new world, this has created a new set of security, compliance and regulatory challenges for our employers.
Historically, companies and their data have been secured via a set of tools to monitor networks, endpoints and email. But, as more and more of us are communicating and interacting over real-time channels (as opposed to email), we have created a new set of data loss and compliance risks.
Maliciously or mistakenly, employees are sharing sensitive information, such as social security numbers or corporate data over these new communication channels. Employees are screen sharing applications and slide decks via Zoom, WebEx, Teams, and today, there is no way to know whether this is within corporate policy. And, in many cases, sensitive data is there for everyone to see on the white board that’s behind an employee.
Theta Lake was built, from the ground up, to solve the security, risk and compliance issues associated with real-time video, chat and audio communications. Designed by industry experts in AI, security and data loss prevention, Theta Lake is uniquely positioned to solve the modern communication security challenges that enterprises face in the wake of COVID-19.
Today, Lightspeed is excited to announce that we are leading Theta Lake’s $12.7M Series A financing, with participation from Cisco and previous investors Neotribe Ventures, Firebolt Ventures, and Westwave Capital.
Theta Lake is led by Devin Redmond (CEO) and Rich Sutton (CTO), who are repeat entrepreneurs and veterans of the security industry. Their careers have spanned leadership positions at Check Point, Websense, and Proofpoint and they have shipped multiple generations of products that have kept their customers safe from compliance, regulatory and data loss risk.
Devin and Rich are true visionaries. Even before all of us were spending all of our time in video calls, they saw the potential security challenges that a video and chat first world would create. They co-founded Theta Lake three years ago to build, from the ground up, a true AI platform that can monitor, compliantly archive and understand real time video, audio and chat communications for regulatory issues or data leakage challenges. It’s not an easy product to build since it integrates a complicated stack of ML, NLP, deep learning and workflows, combined with deep domain understanding of regulations, security, and compliance best practices.
But, the team had a fully built product, just in time for the pandemic to hit. The Theta Lake platform is built to analyze and detect communications events that could leak corporate data, create regulatory violations, or cause corporate compliance issues. It’s a ground breaking product. But don’t take our word for it — a number of large customers have already adopted the product to secure their real time communications. And even better, the company’s demo speaks for itself.
It takes an ambitious and visionary founding team to recognize a market shift and build a product from the ground up to address the challenges associated with this market shift. The Theta Lake team have done just this and are solving a problem that has accelerated due to the pandemic. At Lightspeed, we are excited to partner with Devin and Rich in their journey to combine AI and workflows to solve the modern security and compliance challenges that enterprises are facing today.
Arif Janmohamed is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. He focuses on investments in enterprise IT, Security and SaaS and sits on the boards of a number of rapidly scaling companies, including Netskope, TripActions, Appzen, Moveworks, and CyCognito. In his free time, Arif plays ice hockey with his wife, who yells at him for never passing the puck to her.
Lightspeed is a multi-stage VC firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the enterprise and consumer sectors. Lightspeed has backed 350+ companies globally in the past two decades including Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, Snap and Nest.