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OUR INVESTMENT IN LACEWORK: Making the World a Safer Place

  • November 18, 2021
  • by The General Catalyst Endurance Team

Making the digital world a safer place has long been a noble yet elusive goal.

 

Data security can sometimes seem like a “whack-a-mole” exercise–with sophisticated and organized hackers finding new ways and new places to test old security systems that were often built for a pre-cloud world.  As data becomes more strategically essential to nearly every function at nearly every enterprise and therefore more widely accessible, distributed and fluid — the need for next generation enterprise security has become a mission critical (even existential) concern for companies everywhere.  

 

Lacework is a cloud security company with a modern data driven approach.  At its core, Lacework figures out how a customer’s cloud environment is supposed to run and can sense when the environment deviates from the norm — without using traditional rules-based approaches.  They have built a sophisticated next generation security platform for the new world of fluid data that we believe will allow them to capture a significant portion of the growing enterprise security marketplace.  Lacework is thinking about security in a far more systematic way — not just trying to manage acute vulnerabilities but rather tackling the issue of security as a fundamental, underlying business problem.  

 

We’ve written recently about the new stakeholder aligned enterprise — and how new cohorts of highly empowered employees within large scale enterprises will pose new challenges and exert new demands for evolved systems, platforms and tools.  This is especially true in the security space.   As workloads continue to transition to the cloud, the amount of data and degree of complexity to patrol and protect it necessitates a solution like Lacework – security teams no longer have visibility without it. In addition, new development models (i.e. DevOps) will require smaller but much more frequent software updates by lean teams of highly empowered developers. An organization’s attack surface evolves as quickly as new code is introduced, and with more empowered developers comes potential misconfigurations and identity/access control issues that can heighten the risk of threats.

 

While traditional endpoint security platforms protect static on-premises environments well by focusing on perimeter protection, the emergence of cloud infrastructure and DevOps requires a new approach to security, regardless of whether an organization is cloud-native or migrating to the cloud.  We think Lacework is ideally positioned to become the de-facto cloud security platform that other developers will build on top of, creating a powerful flywheel effect.

 

A company like Lacework fits the definition of what we look for in enduring companies.  Despite scale across operations, financials, and valuation, it still has an enormous opportunity ahead of it to unlock venture-like value for all stakeholders.  In fact, the cloud security marketplace is one of the largest TAMs that can be addressed and is seemingly infinite in its ability to scale–given the digital transformation and new data reliance happening within nearly every industry.  

 

Nowhere is this more true (or more important) than the healthcare space–where GC has been among the most active venture firms.  We believe there is real alchemy between Lacework’s enterprise security offering and our health assurance thesis–as we’ve been investing in and building the platforms to make seamless physical and virtual care a reality.  Lacework can provide the essential security layer necessary as we move to a world where patients carry their medical data with them. We think this is just one of many entry points for Lacework into GC’s ecosystem.

 

We are very excited to be part of Lacework’s historic Series D, joining as the largest traditional VC investor outside the seed round alongside several other investors who share our view of Lacework as a category defining business.

 

The Lacework management team is one of the best we’ve seen.  Our enterprise team has known and admired co-CEOs Jay and David for many years. Along with Hat, Vikram, Dan and Andy, the team represents some of the best technical, business development and operational credentials in this space.  We are excited to add our voice to the chorus of terrific board members and advisors as Lacework continues its amazing journey.

 

We think Lacework will be a market-defining company for a more secure world.

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