Contrast Security raises $16M Series B, looks to grow in Natty Boh Tower - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Sep. 28, 2016 10:43 am

Contrast Security raises $16M Series B, looks to grow in Natty Boh Tower

“For cyber, this is the place to be,” said VP of Engineering Steve Feldman.

Contrast Security founders Arshan Dabirsiaghi and Jeff Williams.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

A Palo Alto-based startup with an office in Canton announced $16 million in new funding on Wednesday.

The Series B round for Contrast Security was led by General Catalyst Partners, accompanied by Acero Capital. Tenable Network Security founder Ron Gula, former Akamai Technologies CEO Paul Sagan and Microsoft board chairman John W. Thompson also participated.

"We're trying to get every developer in the world the support they need to produce secure code."
Jeff Williams, Contrast Security

Founded in 2013 by former Aspect Security leaders Jeff Williams and Arshan Dabirsiaghi, the company focuses on the security of software applications. Big companies are increasingly building and relying on agile development and DevOps for software apps. But companies are still using older tools like firewalls, which weren’t designed to protect these faster new processes, Williams said.

Contrast Security built a pair of tools using software instrumentation that can test for threats at the code level, and makes the apps self-protecting. Previously, application security had been done manually by consultants (like the firm Williams and Dabirsiaghi formerly worked at).

“What we’re trying to do is explode that market and get every developer in the world the support they need to produce secure code,” Williams said.

They face competition from big companies like HP and IBM, but they are not taking the same approach, Williams said.

The company moved into an office in Natty Boh Tower last year. That’s where Dabirsiaghi, Williams and VP of Engineering Steve Feldman are based, making it the center of the company’s development arm. Many of the employees there are relatively new, and the Baltimore office is set to expand to about 25 employees with the new funding, Feldman said.

While proximity to the tech companies on the West Coast is important, it’s not where they’re finding engineering talent. Williams has long been based in the Baltimore area, and the company wants to locate here due to the amount of talent in the region.

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“For cyber, this is the place to be,” Feldman said.

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