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Every technology vendor must pass client security scrutiny, which is generally a time-consuming process involving exhaustive questionnaires. Kintent, a fast-growing startup that has automated this process, has announced a series A funding of $18 million, led by OpenView, with Tola Capital as a follow-on investor. Kintent will use the funds to expand its sales and product teams to serve its expanding customer base and surplus lead flow.
Kintent is an all-in-one revenue-accelerating compliance platform. The company automates security compliance audit preparation, using natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to auto-suggest answers to security questionnaires. It then creates a live, attractive website and API that allows businesses to share and show compliance with their customers.
Kintent’s main priority is to simplify how a customer and supplier of software develop trust between one another, particularly in the areas of security and data privacy compliance. The latest funding suggests the company has honed its business model and has demonstrated its path to profitability. For every company, especially startups, the series A stage is typically about expansion and developing a viable business model that can scale upwards with future rounds of funding.
This announcement is crucial to technical decision-makers, because it eliminates the need for them to make assumptions, including the legitimacy of a company’s marketing and sales materials.
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The most recent funding serves to provethat the company’s core product or service can be produced, will work as expected and has a market.
Streamlining compliance, enabling revenue
Kintent was cofounded by Sravish Sridhar in 2020 (after the onset of COVID-19), alongside six other persons with whom he worked in his last company, Kinvey, which was acquired in 2017. Kintent was created with a goal of providing a system of record for trust, with the first use case being for information security and data privacy compliance.
The tool that could be specifically important for software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses that store customer data or personal health information (PHI). This is currently achieved by obtaining official compliance certifications or attestations to standards such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR and others, as well as completing exhaustive security questionnaires as part of the sales process.
The company’s product is called Trust Cloud. This tool makes it easier to figure out how to become compliant with a given standard, measure the current state of compliance and get recommendations on how to improve.
Kintent’s Trust Cloud begins by assessing the state of your technology’s systemsm types of data being collected and stored and compatibility of each system with the standards the company is attempting to meet. The Trust Cloud then generates a list of best practices to stay in compliance with your chosen standard depending on how you categorizecategorize your data and ultimately, it gives the means to continue testing to validate what you’ve done and that you’re still in compliance.
“When it comes to security questionnaires and compliance, I feel the entire SaaS sector needs a kick in the pants. Currently, the entire procedure is a hilarious absurdity. The majority of businesses perform the necessities to simply tick this box and obtain compliance certifications,” Sridhar said. “Every sales team strives to go through the security questionnaire process as quickly as possible by answering questions that reflect what they believe the business customer wants to see as against the truth. Compliance is just not truthful today,”
CISOs can use Kintent to objectively assess and receive vendor security and compliance data. The Trust Cloud tool is used by CISOs in businesses to turn their security and compliance programs from a cost center to a revenue enabler. As a result, rather than zero-trust, Kintent offers explicit, tangible trust, in which business trust is constantly confirmed programmatically.
Mackey Craven, a partner at OpenView, said it’s rare to come across a firm that’s so well-positioned to transform such a large industry as governance, risk and compliance (GRC).
“By transforming check-the-box compliance from a cost center into a revenue-generating function, Kintent is directly enabling the growth of their customers and experiencing great acceptance in the industry, while also building a more trusted community in which to do business,” Craven added.
Additionally, a partner at Tola Capital, Akshay Bhushan affirmed his firsthand experience of Kintent’s ability to help high-growth companies across several industries execute enterprise acquisitions faster.
“The platform provides sales and operational leaders with the tools they need to deal with IT and security objections ahead of time, or else sales will be delayed by months. Sales teams use Kintent to win business agreements by turning around questionnaires in hours. We’re ecstatic to support the Kintent team in their effort to establish the Trust Cloud,” Bhushan stated.
The ‘compliance-as-a-service’ landscape
Kintent currently employs roughly 25 people and is totally remote and evenly dispersed. However, by the end of the year, the company aims to have grown to 50-60 employees. Kintent has a diverse set of customers, including several fast-growing, security-conscious businesses across a variety of industries. AtScale, BitSight, ChaosSearch, DataRobot, DesktopMetal, Evisort, Jeeves, Notarize and Snyk are among the sets of Kintent’s customers.
“We needed the means to automate security assessments, provide transparency to our customers and partners about our security program and empower our business divisions to achieve and maintain compliance with ease. Kintent’s AI and API-based automation combines sales and security procedures into one platform, allowing us to speed sales and maintain client confidence,” said Andrew Smeaton, CISO of DataRobot.
There are several companies that are usually in competitive situations with Kintent. However, Kintent has won 87% of all competing offers in the last 12 months. Other competitive companies seem to be marketing “check-the-box” compliance. Their proposition appears to be to put compliance on autopilot and to use automation to collect the bare minimum of proof needed to obtain a compliance certification speedily.
“One of our customers who checked out some of our competitors jokingly called them ‘SOC-in-a-Box’ It’s also fascinating to see them compete in the market, using their venture capital funding to cannibalize one another’s sales by cutting prices every quarter. Even while Kintent costs more than our competitors, we still win because our customers prefer revenue-generating compliance that leads to sales over check-the-box compliance that only obtains a certification,” said Sridhar.
Kintent aspires to transform the existing state of affairs from check-the-box compliance to trust. A foundation of trust built on truthful, transparent and systematic compliance verification. The company is working to create a future where suppliers and customers may communicate security and compliance information with each other using APIs. As a result, instead of zero-trust, Kintent will establish a world of transparent, measurable trust, where business trust is constantly confirmed programmatically.
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