Cobalt.io wins $ 29 million Series B to continue developing its pentesting platform – TechCrunch
The promise of SaaS has always been to take tedious and expensive manual tasks and find a way to create a platform to automate them. Cobalt.io does this with pentesting, the process of testing an application for security vulnerabilities before it exits the door. Today, the startup announced a $ 29 million Series B led by Highland Europe.
The company’s platform offers a way to go beyond traditional pentesting consultations to connect pentesting professionals with businesses that need their services. In addition to being a simple connection platform for jobs, the reports generated by these professionals and the problems to be solved are integrated with the tools that developers use, like Jira, to solve them in their existing workflow.
Cobalt CEO Jacob Hansen said the company started fundraising earlier this year, just as the pandemic was starting to take hold in Europe. He saw a lot of those talks wither as some companies just stopped investing, but he eventually connected to Highland Europe after a strong Q1 and Q2 where the company actually turned into positive cash flow, an unusual achievement. for a startup at this point.
The company also has 600 customers on the platform and Hansen expects it to reach 900 by the end of the year. These customers purchase a number of pentest credits on a subscription basis, depending on the number of programs to be tested and the pace of their testing. So, for example, a company with four applications could buy eight credits to test twice a year.
Hansen says the company’s retention figures are comparable to those of other SaaS companies. “If you’re a mid-size or corporate client, we have about 120% net retention of the dollar. And if it’s an SME with less than a few hundred employees, then we’re just under 100%, ”he said. He pointed out that small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, which has likely impacted that number.
The company started the year with 100 employees. Today he has 105, choosing to stay lean until he sees how COVID would affect the business, but the plan is to ramp up now with the new capital rising to 150 this year and 200 the next year.
When it comes to building a diverse workforce, Hansen says Chief Strategy Officer Caroline Wong is in charge of the company’s diversity efforts. He admits that there is no formula for success, but obviously you know when your business isn’t diverse.
“It’s hard to measure what success is other than you don’t want everyone to be the same, but one thing I’ve tried to do is build a leadership team with people who have a lot from different perspectives, ”he mentioned. The other thing he says is that he tries to make decisions with the understanding of his own privilege through his upbringing in Denmark.
As the business grows, he wants to devote more resources to engineering in an effort to further simplify the process of signing up, obtaining a subscription and using the service. Hansen also hopes to create many more integrations in the platform with the larger application security ecosystem.
The company was founded in 2013 and raised $ 37 million with today’s investment, according to data from Crunchbase. Under the terms of this agreement, Gajan Rajanathan of Highland will join the board of directors.