Former executives from US-CERT, Trend Micro, and Booz-Allen Hamilton have teamed up to form a new venture to back cybersecurity startups.
Washington, DC-based Strategic Cyber Ventures (SCV) LLC, is looking to invest in companies that have built next-generation security technology that better defends against advanced attackers than existing products and technologies, according to its founders.
“We’re not an incubator or a VC. We’re more of an accelerator,” says Tom Kellermann, co-founder and CEO of SCV. Kellermann, the former chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro, says SCV has a major benefactor behind it, Hudson Bay Capital.
Aside from funding, SCV will offer strategic advisory services in business development, product roadmap, partnerships, government relations, marketing, and public relations.
“We trying to identify what we consider significant gaps” in security and backing companies who fill those gaps, he says. The three-member SCV team's cybersecurity experience and knowledge is something many venture capital firms lack, he says.
“Our differentiator is that we are actually in this space and know what we don’t know,” Kellermann says of the SCV team.
SCV’s chief technology officer is Ann Barron-DiCamillo, who recently left her post as director of the US-CERT.
Hank Thomas, former principal director at Booz Allen Hamilton, has worked in incident response investigations and says he’s seen plenty of companies with multiple security products that fail to solve their security problems. “They have bells and whistles going off, and they can occasionally connect the dots, but more often, it’s just chaos,” says Thomas, who is chief operating officer of SCV.
The goal is to find companies that solve problems rather than create new ones with their latest technology, he says. Thomas says he’s looking for companies that provide “actionable intelligence” that allows an organization to be proactive rather than reactive to attacks and threats
Among the technologies Kellermann says he’s interested in are intrusion deception, mobile app security, and next-generation authentication.
The company plans to make its first investments by this summer.