Startups

Concentric AI lands $14.5 million in Series A funding to autonomously secure business-critical data


Data is the lifeblood of every business. Today’s organizations are awash in business-critical data that they can’t protect. With tech headlines filled with daily news of data breaches, threats against business-critical data are growing at an astronomical rate. The problem is further exacerbated as organizations struggle with the challenges of the hybrid workforce and business-critical data in the cloud.

One company that knows this problem all too well is Concentric AI, a San Jose, California-based tech startup that solves one of the most pressing data security challenges facing the modern enterprise of identifying and securing business-critical data within unstructured data.

We covered Concentric before the pandemic began when the four-year-old emerged from stealth with $7.5 million in funding to stop threats and protect sensitive enterprise data with AI. Concentric is the first company to utilize AI and Deep Learning to uncover the business criticality and risk to millions of documents dispersed across the enterprise that are vulnerable to abuse by hundreds or thousands of employees. Now, Concentric wants to continue to target the $19B market for data security, access governance, and loss prevention.

Today, Concentric announced it has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding led by Ballistic Ventures to grow its existing roster of corporate customers through expanded sales and marketing efforts and extend its solution to protect an expanding menu of content, locations, and use cases

This latest round roughly doubled its previous round of $7.5 million in January 2020. Other backers in this round include Citi Ventures as a strategic investment, as did current investors Core Ventures Group, Engineering Capital, and Clear Ventures.

Ballistic Ventures, a new VC firm solely dedicated to advising and funding early-stage cybersecurity startups, has made Concentric one of its first investments. As a result, Ballistic Ventures’ Barmak Meftah will join Concentric’s Board of Directors.

Founded in 2018 by Karthik Krishnan, the San Jose, California-based Concentric solves one of the most pressing data security challenges facing the modern enterprise of identifying and securing business-critical data within unstructured data.

“Data security and access governance – especially for information hidden in unstructured content – is an enormous unaddressed market,” said Mr. Meftah. “Concentric has the right technology and team to deliver tremendous customer value and take data security to the next level. With the help of Ballistic’s expertise and our extensive network of security contacts, their growth potential is virtually unlimited.”

Concentric serves organizations awash in business-critical data that they can’t protect. Using the company’s autonomous data security solution, security professionals can now discover, evaluate, and remediate security issues without resorting to armies of analysts or asking end-users for help. Automation is a highly effective cybersecurity strategy: According to the 2021 “Cost of a Data Breach” report from IBM, the cost of a data breach continues to climb up 10 percent YOY to $4.24M in 2021, with remote work contributing $1M more in average cost per data breach. However, adopting security AI/automation drove breach costs down by 84.4 percent (from an average per-breach cost of $6.71M to $2.90M). Out of the 26 cost factors evaluated in the report, automation drove the biggest savings.

Citi Ventures’ Vibhor Rastogi, Global Director, AI/ML Investments also sees automation’s potential: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to transform how large global financial institutions can protect their most important asset, their data. Data security professionals face the twin threats of sophisticated cybercriminals and a cybersecurity staff shortage. Concentric has the team and solution needed to capitalize on the need for autonomous data security for better protection with lower costs, and we look forward to supporting them on this journey of continued growth.”

“Our mission is simple: We are remaking the multi-billion dollar data security market with an autonomous solution capable of discovering, evaluating, and protecting structured and unstructured content across the entire cloud and on-premises landscape,” said Krishnan. “The teams at Ballistic and Citi Ventures are packed with high-powered cybersecurity creators and industry luminaries who see our potential and share our vision. Together we’ll establish Concentric as one of the industry’s leading cybersecurity players.”

 

 




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