Q&A: Syed Abdur of Brinqa Details Funding, Risk-based Cybersecurity and TrendsJune 10, 2021
CloudCow: We haven’t spoken for quite some time, can you please provide a brief update on what’s been happening at Brinqa?
Syed Abdur: Brinqa has had a busy past 12 months. We have been growing rapidly in terms of customer acquisition, revenue and employee numbers. We have seen a big increase in the demand for our solutions during this time. And…earlier this week we completed a deal to secure our first-ever institutional funding round.
CloudCow: Thanks for that update. And can you please tell us more about the funding round you just mentioned?
Syed Abdur: Brinqa has received $110 Million in growth capital from leading global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners. This is our first institutional investment and represents a significant milestone for the company. Brinqa was bootstrapped in 2009 and remained founder-backed as we shaped the Cyber Risk Management space, achieved strong organic growth and profitability, and acquired some of the biggest brand names in the world as customers. I mentioned profitability, we’ve been profitable since 2017. This new injection of funds combined with Insight Partners’ ScaleUp expertise will fuel the next stage of our growth and accelerate ongoing efforts to make Brinqa an essential, unifying component of every enterprise cybersecurity ecosystem.
CloudCow: Brinqa was founded in 2009, but this is your first external funding round. Can you explain?
Syed Abdur: We were not actively looking for outside investment. We had decided to grow the company organically up until this point and chose to stay founder-backed as we achieved strong organic growth and profitability, and acquired some of the biggest brand names in the world as customers. With this success, the company attracted the attention of the investor community and for the past few years we have been fielding calls and inquiries from potential investors looking to know more about Brinqa.
Once we were convinced that we had identified the right partner for us, the timing was a little easier to decide on. We could have continued to grow organically. The question really was whether we could achieve our long-term goals and reach our full potential better and faster by ourselves or with a partner. The decision to take this step now and accept an institutional investment was really based on a combination of these factors — partner fit, market and product maturity, rapid growth in demand, and the best route to achieve our full potential.
CloudCow: Why did Brinqa choose Insight Partners to take this step with?
Syed Abdur: What made Insight Partners stand out from other investors is how aligned they are with our vision for Brinqa and the priority of long-term and short-term goals. Over the past year, we have stayed in touch and communicated frequently over a variety of topics. Insight Partners is unique in their experience and expertise with ScaleUp companies focused on rapid growth and operational excellence. They also have an impressive portfolio and track record of investing in successful cybersecurity companies. As they drew on this experience to offer us invaluable advice on a variety of topics, we realized that Insight Partners is the ideal investor for our first-ever institutional funding deal.
CloudCow: What is the vision for Brinqa’s future? How will this funding be used to achieve that vision?
Syed Abdur: We firmly believe that Brinqa is an essential platform for all enterprise cybersecurity organizations. As digital transformation proliferates across industries and saturates every aspect of business, the IT infrastructure to enable and the security ecosystem to protect become larger and more complex. Imagine a scenario where there are hundreds of different teams, systems, and programs — each focused on a task so complex and technical that it requires specialized skills and tools — working towards the same overarching goal but rarely communicating with each other. This is often the reality for most organizations. For cybersecurity to be effective and a true contributor towards business success, it must function as ONE TEAM — always aligned in purpose, connected in data, and transparent in communication.
This is the vision that Brinqa helps our customers achieve through our risk-based cybersecurity solutions. We know that this is possible because we have proven it at some of the largest and most complex enterprise IT environments in the world. We are fortunate to count among our customers three out of the five largest retail companies in the world, the largest healthcare providers in the US, and the most prominent global brands in technology, financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, aviation, and critical infrastructure. This partnership will help us bring this vision to cybersecurity practitioners and organizations everywhere.
CloudCow: Can you tell us more about risk-based cybersecurity? What does it mean and how can organizations apply it to their programs and processes?
Syed Abdur: Risk-based cybersecurity is a methodology to build cybersecurity programs and practices that puts an emphasis on quantifying risk based on data collected and collated from all relevant security systems, programs, teams, and stakeholders. The quantified risk is then used as a primary driver for cybersecurity decision making. Risk-based programs automatically incorporate line-of-business priorities and all relevant stakeholders into the cybersecurity decision chain.
To implement risk-based cybersecurity programs, organizations must recognize that the risks that are most relevant to them are unique to who they are as a business. Organizations must seek to identify these unique risk factors and incorporate the underlying data into their risk models.
CloudCow: And what major trends do you expect in this area for the second half of 2021?
Syed Abdur: A key aspect of risk-based cybersecurity is its ability to incorporate businesses’ unique risk factors into their security solutions. This means that cookie-cutter solutions that work one way for all IT and security environments are not suitable for this model. In the past, the only alternative for organizations was to develop their own solutions. Low-code Application Development (LCAD) offers the best of both worlds. We see this trend making a big impact in cybersecurity in the coming days. With LCAD, cybersecurity teams can take advantage of high-performance, optimized, standard platform features alongside secure, highly controlled customizations to achieve solutions that address the unique risk profiles and attack surfaces of each individual business, at a fraction of the time, money, and resources required to build such solutions in-house.
We also see cybersecurity ecosystems becoming more and more integrated and tightly connected. For cybersecurity to be effective, it must function together as one team. This also applies to the technology infrastructure and tooling. Towards this end, we have been working to make our APIs more interactive and dynamic. We have moved to GraphQL as the standard for our API framework and expect more cybersecurity companies and products to adopt similar approaches. We have also been working hard to make our integration system more transparent and easier to use — both for our customers as well as our technology partners. Along the same lines, we see orchestration capabilities becoming more comprehensive and mature across the cybersecurity industry.
CloudCow: And finally, what can we expect to see from Brinqa later this year, especially with all this funding?
Syed Abdur: The capital infusion will be used to grow our workforce, accelerate sales and marketing initiatives, enhance customer experience and community building, and strengthen partner and channel ecosystems. We’re looking to expand every team and every department, Sales and Marketing being the top priorities.
As mentioned, an area of focus where we are looking to accelerate our efforts is customer experience. This entails reinforcing our customer success team; enhancing product deployment, delivery, and training; and amplifying the focus on end-user experience and community building.
We also plan to extend our platform to enhance our low-code application development, automation, and orchestration features on the product side.