Boston cybersecurity startup Kintent has raised $18 million to build out its cloud software platform for judging the safety and compliance of other tech companies.
Kintent got off the ground two years ago when founder Sravish Sridhar saw a gap in the security ecosystem.
“Companies claim that they should be trustworthy,” he said. “If Google says ‘trust me,’ we’re supposed to take it at face value. [Kintent] allows companies to transparently showcase all of their trust obligations and prove to you that they’re adhering to those obligations.”
Kintent’s customer companies, including big local players like DataRobot and Snyk, use the startup’s rating system to reassure their customers that they are treating data safely and securely. For example, if a company is promising not to share customer data with third parties, Kintent’s system can confirm that’s the case.
The fund-raising round was led by OpenView Ventures in Boston, but Sridhar was still operating in pandemic mode as the deal came together this spring.
“Even though they’re based in Boston, I’m based in Boston, and the pandemic is technically over, the whole process was still remote,” he said. “I only met them after we closed in person.”
Kintent had multiple term sheets to consider for its deal, but the weaker economy and tighter funding environment were still evident. “The fund-raising climate is changing, people are getting a little bit more conservative,” Sridhar said.
Cybersecurity has remained a growth sector even as overall venture capital deals have declined in 2022 from the heady pace of the previous two years. Silverfort raised $62 million in April, Veracode got a big (though undisclosed) infusion from TA Associates in March, and Sayata raised $52 million in January.
Kintent plans at least to double its workforce of 25 by year-end.
Sridhar first caught the startup bug after graduating from college, when he joined distributed computing company United Devices in Austin. It was acquired in 2007. After moving to Boston and going through the Techstars accelerator program, Sridhar led the software company Kinvey, which was acquired in 2017. But he couldn’t stay idle for long, starting Kintent just as the COVID pandemic hit.
“What better thing to do than start a company when you’re stuck in your basement,” he said.
Aaron Pressman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman.