SAN JOSE — Concentric Inc., a vendor of intelligent AI-based solutions for protecting business-critical data, has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. Led by Ballistic Ventures, a new VC firm solely dedicated to advising and funding early-stage cybersecurity startups, this investment targets the $19 billion market for data security, access governance, and loss prevention. Citi Ventures also participated in the round as a strategic investment, as did current investors Core Ventures Group, Engineering Capital, and Clear Ventures.
Ballistic Ventures’ Barmak Meftah will join Concentric’s Board of Directors. Recognized as one of the most successful business leaders in enterprise software and cybersecurity, Mr. Meftah served as the President of AT&T Cybersecurity, a role assumed after the successful acquisition of AlienVault, where he led the company for six years as CEO. Under Mr. Meftah’s leadership, AT&T established itself as a cybersecurity leader and one of the world’s top-five largest managed security services providers (MSSPs).
“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.”
Concentric co-founders Karthik Krishnan (CEO), Madhu Shashanka (Chief Data Scientist), and Shankar Subramaniam (CTO and VP, Engineering) believe emerging deep learning technologies are the answer. Their pioneering Semantic Intelligence™ solution includes patented capabilities such as Risk Distance™ analysis for autonomous risk assessment and Concentric MIND for an AI-assisted deep learning model and policy management/curation. Customers use Semantic Intelligence to meet regulatory requirements, protect sensitive client information, control internal data flows, and more.
“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.”