Cybersecurity startup Sicura announced yesterday the close of its seed funding round. The money raised will support the Baltimore-based company’s plans to grow its sales, business development and marketing operations through 2022.
Sicura declined to specify the amount raised in this round, which was led by fellow Baltimore denizen Squadra Ventures. Inner Loop Capital, BlueWing Ventures, and CoFactor Ventures also participated. Squadra Ventures has been supporting Sicura since its spinout from Hanover, Maryland-based Onyx Point, which works on IT infrastructure and security for government entities.
The company additionally intends to name its full advisory board in the coming weeks. That group includes leaders from some of this round’s investors, several of whom have experience leading and scaling successful startups. For instance, Squadra Ventures’ managing partner Guy Filippelli led cybersecurity company RedOwl before its $54 million acquisition Red Owl by Forcepoint. Another board member, CoFactor Ventures’ managing partner Bill Karpovich, remains CEO of frontline services-focused mobile services platform Youreka Labs, a 2022 RealLIST Startups honoree that raised $8.5 million in its Series A.
“The hardest thing about being an early-stage startup is you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Arianne Price, Sicura’s chief operating officer, to Technical.ly. “We’ve never done this before, so it’s very helpful to have folks that have done it who know what mistakes to look out for, what unforced errors they can help us avoid and how to set things up right from the get-go, so that we’re able to hit the ground running and scale quickly.”
The less-than-a-year-old company automates security compliance in devops workflows by helping identify which of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (based in Gaithersburg) and the Center for Internet Security‘s guidelines map to configurations in a company’s systems. It then offers automated remediation and helps prevent misconfigurations as companies add new systems and expand.
The company has added four senior engineers, bringing the team’s headcount to 15. With the funds, the company also expanded its product to include automated security compliance for cloud and hybrid environments like Amazon Linux. Before the year ends, CEO Lisa Umberger expects to move Sicura out of Squadra Ventures’ offices and into its own. Although the company uses a hybrid work model, she feels that an in-person element is invaluable to building a workplace culture, scaling the company and solidifying local ties to Baltimore.
“It’s great to have the flexibility [of remote work], and I think we’ll always have to have that,” Umberger explained. “But it’s really critical, especially as a startup really building that culture, for us to be together as much as we can.”Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
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