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Respond Software: Pioneering AI-Based Cybersecurity

Originally published by Max Gazor at CRV on Medium, August 18, 2017

It’s no secret that cybersecurity spend is climbing, which has drawn hundreds of startups and solutions vying for market share. Most of these companies are taking incremental approaches to security, competing in well defined markets with slightly better products. In a market as hot as cybersecurity, even modestly better solutions have been known to get traction.

As early stage investors, CRV has developed a deep perspective on many of these investment sectors. In the world of incident response software, for example, the modestly better solutions involve solving what’s called the “inbox overflow” problem, by reducing the volume of reported incidents, or offering runbooks to orchestrate responses. Valuable, yes. Revolutionary, no.

What we truly wanted to see was a company focused on the multi-$billion opportunity around revolutionizing the Security Operations Center (SOC), by making it fully autonomous. But to find and pursue the most revolutionary ideas, a dream team with deep conviction and domain experience is essential to tackle such an ambitious vision. The team required to pull off such an opportunity can be nothing short of world class.

Which is why when Mike Armistead, Robert Hipps, and Chris Calvert pitched us their vision in early 2016 to become the AI-based judgment engine that would not simply reduce alert volume, but ultimately automate the complex processes around resolution, we immediately knew this is a team and idea that we must invest behind.

Mike Armistead is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Fortify Software, the pioneering company in application security subsequently acquired by HP. At HP, Mike was the VP/GM for the Fortify and ArcSight businesses, and assembled an incredible team while there that would ultimately leave with him to start Respond Software. Robert Hipps, VP Engineering at Respond, was formerly a VP Engineering at HP Security, Informatica, and Oracle. Chris Calvert, VP of Strategy at Respond, has stood up some of the largest SOCs in the world, including numerous Fortune 100 companies. Steve Dyer, CTO at Respond, was formerly the CTO for HP Security.

…And dozens more behind them make this one of the most talented and concentrated pools of security talent I’ve seen at a startup at this stage.

CRV is proud to announce Respond Software Inc. coming out of stealth with $15m raised to build the Self-Driving SOC™. We are also thrilled to work with our friends at Foundation Capital, as well as independent board member John Jack (CEO of Fortify Software), and numerous industry advisors including Gerhard Eschelback (VP Security Engineering at Google), Richard Seiersen (CISO at Twilio), and many others.

Respond Software is pioneering the path in AI-based cybersecurity, and CRV is the proud founding investor in the company.

-Max Gazor