StackHawk raises $2.1M seed funding to help developers catch security issues

by Brian Nordli
July 24, 2019
Klippert photo
Photo via stackhawk

Development cycles for software developers are only getting faster, which is a problem when it comes to implementing security measures.

Building secure code into software requires not only time for testing but also a dedicated security team to solve any issues that may crop up. But most companies consider security an afterthought and tackle it far too late in the development cycle. That can lead either to massive delays to patch issues or a vulnerable product.

We want to empower engineers to know when they’re writing vulnerabilities into their software, so they can fix them now rather than months later.”

StackHawk hopes to fill that gap in the market. Based in Denver, StackHawk is developing security software that will work alongside developers to identify and address vulnerabilities at each stage of the development cycle. Rather than add to their workload, StackHawk co-founder and CEO Joni Klippert told Built In that their goal is to make software that lightens it in the long run. 

“We want to empower engineers to know when they’re writing vulnerabilities into their software, so they can fix them now rather than months later,” Klippert said. “This has been a broken piece of the DevOps process.” 

The company is still in the pre-product stage, but it has already generated the interest of investors. StackHawk announced today that it has raised $2.1 million in seed funding that it will use to add to its engineering team and build its product. 

Foundry Group led the round, along with investments from Costanoa Ventures, Flybridge and Matchstick Ventures. Klippert’s former boss, VictorOps founder and CEO Todd Vernon, also joined as an angel investor. The round served as confirmation to Klippert that this was an issue in need of a solution. 

“They get pitched all day everyday,” Klippert said. “Seeing how much they believe in this market and opportunity is exciting for me. Their response was that every one of their portfolio companies could use this product. So I feel very fortunate and excited that they are willing to bet on this team and market.”

Klippert and CSO Scott Gerlach started StackHawk in June. Klippert left her position as head of product at VictorOps in March knowing that she wanted to start a business. It didn’t take her long to identify security as one of the biggest problems when building software. Gerlach, meanwhile, had worked as a CSO at SendGrid and had even built an internal tooling and systems to solve this problem.

The duo decided to combine their experience to provide a market solution. 

“Companies are out there trying to build their own tool, but there isn’t one that exists for everyone,” Klippert said.

With this round, the company aims to hire five or six engineers to build the product. Those roles include full stack engineer, an infrastructure developer, a web developer and a UI/UX team member. 

Klippert knows just how crucial these new team members will be. She joined at the early stages of VictorOps and helped it grow into a large company. Now, she’s excited to build her own team to do the same at StackHawk.

“That feeling of a handful of people sitting in a room collaborating and solving a problem from scratch is so much fun. It’s the most special time in a company,” Klippert said. “These hires are critical for us because we want people who know what it feels like and are motivated by being a part of that vision.”

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