SAN JOSE, Calif., May 11, 2022 — Concentric Inc., a leading vendor of intelligent AI-based solutions for protecting business-critical data, announced today it 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 $19B 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.
As a result of the investment, Ballistic Ventures’ Barmak Meftah will join Concentric’s Board of Directors. Recognized globally 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, 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. Learn more about Concentric’s solutions here.
“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.”
With these investments, the company will 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.
About Ballistic Ventures
Ballistic Ventures is solely dedicated to early-stage cybersecurity and cyber-related companies. Our partners have spent their entire careers defending against every cyber threat conceivable. Members of the firm have founded, operated, or funded over 90 successful cybersecurity firms, led over ten thousand security professionals globally, and have 40+ years of experience in venture capital. Our experience provides entrepreneurs impactful support from people focused on the same mission. Our networks and relationships open doors for our founders.
Learn more at ballisticventures.com.
Ballistic features a slate of heavyweight co-founders and general partners, including Ted Schlein (Kleiner Perkins, Fortify), Barmak Meftah (AlienVault, AT&T Cybersecurity, Fortify), Jake Seid (Lightspeed Venture Partners), Derek Smith (Oakley Networks, Shape Security) and Roger Thornton, (AlienVault, AT&T Cybersecurity, Fortify).
About Citi Ventures
Citi Ventures harnesses the power of Citi to help people, businesses, and communities thrive in a world of technological change. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York, London, Palo Alto, Tel Aviv, and Singapore, Citi Ventures accelerates discovery of new sources of value by exploring, incubating, and investing in new ideas, in partnership with Citi colleagues, clients, and the innovation ecosystem.
About Concentric AI
With Concentric, organizations can finally address their unmet data security needs by discovering and protecting business-critical content. Concentric protects intellectual property, financial documents, PII/PCI content, customer data, business confidential data and more, across on-premises and cloud-based data stores. The Concentric Semantic Intelligence™ Data Access Governance solution uses deep learning and Risk Distance™ analysis to accurately categorize data, assess risk, and remediate security issues – without relying on upfront rules or complex configuration. Concentric is venture-backed by leading Silicon Valley VCs and is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. For more information, see https://www.concentric.ai.