The Lead Investor in the Company
The security startup business is positioned to expand fast thanks to new funding. ForgePoint Capital, a venture capital investor focused on cybersecurity, led the Series A funding round in the business.
Following the investment, Don Dixon and Will Lin, from ForePoint Capital, have joined SPHERE's board of directors. "Don and I are excited to lead SPHERE's first financing and to have met SPHERE via the ForgePoint advisory network," said Will Lin, Managing Director at ForgePoint Capital, in a press release. ForgePoint Capital has more than $700 million in assets under management. ForePoint Capital’s portfolio includes Accertify (a startup business acquired by global credit card company American Express) and Alien Vault (a startup business acquired by telecom company AT&T).
Protecting Business Users in Financial Services
The startup company has achieved some early successes in the financial industry. “Our customers include Goldman Sachs, RBC, Social Security Administration, Fannie Mac, and Jeffries,” SPHERE CEO and founder Rita Gurevich said in an interview with Startup Savant. Goldman Sachs (stock ticker NYSE: GS) is a multi-billion dollar financial company based in New York. RBC (TSE: RY) is a Canadian business with more than 80,000 employees.
The focus on financial services cybersecurity is a good business choice because the industry has large security budgets. Bloomberg reported that financial firms increased cybersecurity spending by 15% in 2020. In dollar terms, financial firms spend more than $2,000 per employee on cybersecurity expenses. This estimate suggests that banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup spend more than $600 million annually on cybersecurity.
Focus on Microsoft Technology
Beyond a focus on financial services, SPHERE has a technical focus on Microsoft products. For example, the startup company offers SPHEREboard for O365controls to improve Office 365 security and configuration. According to one estimate, one million companies are using Office 365 as of November 2020. Also, the startup company helps companies with ActiveDirectory, a Microsoft directory service.
Hiring and Product Goals for 2021
Expansion is a crucial business priority for SPHERE. “We are very excited about our work in data analysis and the benefits it will provide our clients. By leveraging metadata with AI and machine learning, we will be able to provide advanced behavior analytics to uncover insights and provide proactive protection to potential access management issues,” explained SPHERE's CEO and Founder, Rita Gurevich, in an interview with Startup Savant.
The company also plans on hiring. “For hiring, we are focused on adding new Subject Matter Experts expanding our advisory and service teams,” Gurevich explained. SPHERE offers cybersecurity services in several areas, including unstructured data management, identity, access management, and Active Directory governance.
About the Author
Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.