Why we invested in SeeMetrics: One view to rule them all
AGP invests in Israeli founders and helps accelerate their growth in the United States. Our approach has been described as a "pull" strategy: We spend hundreds of hours with our U.S. corporate partners to understand their technology needs, which drives and derisks our deployment of capital.
During our conversations with large enterprises — including hospitals, banks, retailers, and insurance companies — we consistently heard two interesting themes:
1. The unintended consequences of cyber solutions
As companies deployed myriad cyber solutions over the last two decades, there have been several unintended consequences.
One of them regards the creation of information silos, and the lack of a holistic view of risk. “We have 65 cyber solutions deployed in the U.S. alone,” one executive at a mid-sized financial-services firm told us. “Lots of segmented consoles means no strategic view.” An executive at a $15 billion healthcare company echoed the same challenge: “We have 37 [cyber] solutions, many of which we inherited via M&A.” That situation has created an absence of a consolidated view for executives; there’s no holistic, strategic view of risk, and no opportunity to benchmark or optimize the stack intelligently.
The second unintended consequence: Additional labor required to understand the big picture. “I now have a large group of analysts retrieving data to get a consolidated view,” one executive told us. “My SecOps team now does nothing but manually retrieve data,” said another.
2. Cyber data not available to price risk
A second cyber theme we regularly heard, interestingly, had little to do with CISOs and enterprise security; rather, it had to do with the pricing of risk.
Specifically, it was clear from our conversations with corporate executives that there was unserviced demand for the quantification of cyber risks for insurance, financial-services and asset management firms.
Cyber risk, for example, is an increasingly important element of any meaningful underwriting — be it for M&A, equity, debt or simply insurance. However, most cyber risk assessment is collected via questionnaires and manual processes; it’s a subjective, annual exercise, rather than a real-time data-driven process.
Our research and these corporate insights, gleaned from first-person conversations with dozens of executives at the largest companies in America, coalesced perfectly with the knowledge, vision and experience of Shirley Salzman, founder and CEO of SeeMetrics.
A veteran of successful high-tech enterprises, Shirley had built a remarkable team that includes cybersecurity veteran and former CISO Mike Admon; and “Mamram” graduate and cybersecurity expert Shay Haluba, who served his military career developing cyber solutions for the technology arm of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.
Shirley and her team had developed a remarkable product that provided a holistic, real-time view into the cybersecurity stack. By seamlessly integrating into dozens of point solutions — from IBM, Cisco, CyberArk, Barracuda, Iron Scales, Symantec, CloudFlare, CrowdStrike, Microsoft, Okta, and literally dozens of others — Shirley’s team could provide “one view to rule them all”: A consolidated, holistic, single truth across the enterprise, which quickly became irreplaceable for customers and a gateway to more intelligent analysis on risk, cost optimization, benchmarking, and maturity.
More importantly, Shirley shared our long-term vision of the importance of cyber data, and the possibilities for leveraging her data asset for real-time risk pricing in the financial services and insurance markets.
Conclusion: Direct match with our corporate relationships
There was much to like about SeeMetrics when we invested: An extraordinary leader, a passionate team, a well-received platform, a visionary product roadmap, and an enthusiastic market eager to deploy.
But SeeMetrics’ intersection with the needs of our corporate financial partners in the U.S. market made the investment even more clear. AGP was able to quickly validate the opportunity with executives at large insurance firms and banks, and it became readily apparent that our network in the U.S. could be an asset to SeeMetrics as the importance of cyber data became a market reality — in other words, we could help.