kintent, a startup providing enterprise compliance and security solutions, announced today that it has raised $18 million in a Series A round led by OpenView with Tola Capital at a $64 million valuation. This generated a total of $22 million for the company, which founder and CEO Sravish Sridhar said will be used to hire sales and product staff, expand products, and support new compliance standards.
Compliance, which deals with issues such as regulatory reporting and trade supervision, there was no easy recovery before the pandemic. Organizations lose an average of $4 million in revenue due to a single instance of non-compliance. according in GlobalSkype. But the pandemic has brought with it additional challenges as companies have embraced digital technology. Seventy percent of organizations responding to a 2021 Thomson Reuters report say the pandemic has increased their reliance on software to improve decision-making, performance monitoring and risk management.
“Zero trust [in the compliance industry]. Why? Because no one believes what the sellers tell them. Compliance is a charade,” Sridhar told TechCrunch in an email interview. “The entire software-as-a-service industry needs a kick in the ass when it comes to security and compliance questionnaires. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) need a programmatic way to truthfully assess and obtain information about vendor security and compliance.”
Sridhar, unsurprisingly, sees Kintent as such. He founded the company in 2019 after co-founding IT consulting firm Seven Numerals and backend-as-a-service startup Kinvey, which was acquired by Progress in 2017 for $49 million.
The compliance software segment is a crowded space, something Sridhar is well aware of. Guy, Drata, jokes, Safe Frame and Osano are just a few of the vendors offering products that promise to simplify various compliance processes. Polaris market research predicts that by 2028 the corporate governance, risk management and compliance software market will be worth $96.98 billion.
But Sridhar says the launch of Kintent was motivated by a desire to offer a more thorough solution than those already on the market.
“I started Kintent becauseA software-as-a-service company must prove that it has a strong security and compliance program in place in order to transact with businesses. This is done by obtaining official certifications or attestations to standards such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, etc., as well as answering tedious and lengthy security questionnaires that the supplier receives as part of every sales process,” he said. . “Most companies do the bare minimum… Every sales team tries to skate. [sic] through the safety questionnaire process by providing answers that reflect what they think corporate client wants to see… We must transform the status quo from compliance with established rules to trust. To do this, we need a future where suppliers and customers … share safety and compliance information honestly with each other.”
Kintent is taking steps in this direction with automation. One of the company’s products, TrustShare, provides customers with privacy and security information through a live, auto-generated portal. The other, TrustOps, is designed to make it easier to comply with regulations, including the California Consumer Privacy Act and the General Data Protection Regulation.
Kintent also developed the Respond artificial intelligence engine to read questions on security questionnaires and get “truthful” answers. Trained on security questionnaires from “enterprises from all over the world”, Respond draws answers from the company’s security and compliance program.
“A big problem that companies face in every sales process is that they manually respond to lengthy security assessments before they can win a deal. Each questionnaire contains 200 to 300 questions, and companies receive five to ten questionnaires per month,” Sridhar said. “Sales and security teams want to bang their heads against the wall when they receive a security questionnaire.”
Can automation like this alone help companies achieve compliance? Unlikely – but they can’t hurt. Recent Gartner poll showed that compliance teams that do not build their controls into employee processes experience significantly higher levels of non-compliance. Thirty-two percent of the employees surveyed said they couldn’t find the information they needed when they weren’t meeting their compliance obligations, and another 20% didn’t acknowledge that the information was needed at all.
However, heavy use of automation proved to be a winning business strategy for Kintent, which increased its annual recurring revenue to over $1 million in 12 months. The company’s client base now includes more than 80 organizations, including Evisort, Jeeves, Synk, Notarize and DataRobot. By the end of the year, it is planned to increase the staff of Kintent from 25 to 50 and 60 people.
“Enterprise CIS is using Kintent to transform their security and compliance program from a cost center into a trust and revenue center for enterprises,” said Sridhar. “Kintent provides transparent, measurable trust where the trust in the business is constantly verified programmatically.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /