Eleven-year-old bootstrapped cybersecurity company SPHERE received its first venture funding, closing a $10 million Series A that also included a $4 million in debt facility.
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The round was led by ForgePoint Capital with participation from other individuals in the cybersecurity space.
The Hoboken, New Jersey-based company had been bootstrapped until taking in the new round, which happened after casual conversations with ForgePoint as the company was not actively fundraising, said founder and CEO Rita Gurevich.
“For me to achieve what I want to achieve is hard to do alone,” Gurevich said. “I didn’t want to wait ten years for the next milestone.”
Solving a problem
SPHERE helps companies secure their sensitive data and create the governance framework to control access to systems and assets. With the new infusion of cash, the company is adding to its managed service operations and combining its automation platform with consulting services to create what it’s calling SPHEREsoftserve.
Will Lin, managing director at ForgePoint Capital, said the investment was enticing since so many large companies in spaces such as financial services, healthcare and retail have issues with granting privileges, governance and regulation compliance.
“This is a problem every company has beyond a certain scale,” he said. “These companies have so many employees who need access, but they can’t lose data.”
The 65-person company will look to approximately double sales this year after the raise, Gurevich said. While the company does not give a customer total, Lin said it works with large enterprise customers where contracts are in the six-figures.
Lin said he can envision SPHERE growing to a large independent company. The space already has produced large companies such as publicly-traded Varonis, although SPHERE has a more robust platform, Lin said.
Gurevich added some of the company’s services also would compete with consulting firms such as PwC.
The company will focus on growth for the next handful of years — adding products and services, especially in the cloud — and see where that can take SPHERE, she said.
However, the company has no predetermined exit.
“Time will tell,” she said. “M&A is very dynamic in the industry.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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