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Technology

Cybersecurity Firm Ramps Up

By Johanna Cano, posted Oct 21, 2022
SaaS Alerts representatives show the company’s cybersecurity services at industry events. The startup recently raised $22 million. (Photo c/o SaaS Alerts)
Armed with a recent $22 million investment, Wilmington-based SaaS Alerts plans to foster its growth by investing in R&D and its sales efforts.
 
In September, the cybersecurity startup announced the private equity firm Insight Partners, which focuses on investing in growth-stage tech, software and internet businesses, had funded the company with goals of accelerating growth.
 
This is the largest funding the company has received since its start in 2020, having raised $3.48 million in 2020 and 2021, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
SaaS Alerts provides cybersecurity software services for MSPs, Managed Service Providers, that remotely manage customer’s information technology. The software is built to protect software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications including Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Slack and Dropbox. 
 
The company was co-founded by Charles Buck, who serves as chief technology officer, and Seth Bostock, who is also on the board of directors.
 
The duo worked as CTOs for different companies when they came across the same problem of not being able to find a low-cost solution to monitor many applications, said SaaS Alerts CEO Jim Lippie.
 
“In trying to solve that problem, they came up with the idea for SaaS Alerts,” Lippie said.
Lippie, who has been in the tech industry since 2003, was approached by Bostock to join SaaS Alerts in 2021. His experience includes the role of director of business development at Thrive Networks, president of independenceIT, a company that he, Buck and Bostock sold, and he was a general manager and senior vice president of Kaseya.
 
While it is officially headquartered in Wilmington, with its address listed on its website as 301 Government Center Drive, the company is 100% virtual. 
 
“We’ve got 37 employees and we don’t have two employees that work out the same location, so we [have employees] from India to Ukraine to France to Canada to United States,” Lippie said.
 
Wilmington was chosen as SaaS Alert’s headquarters due to one of the co-founders residing in the region.
 
SaaS Alert’s rapid growth as a company may be attributed to the emerging cybersecurity field. The global cybersecurity market is projected to grow from $156 billion in 2022 to $376 billion by 2029, according to an analysis from Fortune Business Insights. This is largely spurred by the pandemic, when the industry saw higher-than-anticipated demand compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the analysis. 
 
In the digital age, cybersecurity is vital, Lippie said.
 
“Nothing functions without technology, and there are a lot of folks out there that want to try to profit from essentially damaging either infrastructure or crippling businesses in ways to make themselves profitable,” he said. “So that’s why cybersecurity has become so incredibly important.”
 
Another pandemic trend highlighted the importance of digital security.
 
“With more folks working remotely, companies are depending on SaaS applications more because all you need is a web browser to gain access to these applications. So the convenience of that makes it very attractive. At the same time, it also introduces a lot of additional security issues,” Lippie said. “Those days have passed where people go to an office and they have a desktop and there’s routers, switches and servers in and everything is self-contained.
 
“Now we have to protect people that are in a much more distributed work environment, which puts additional challenges on IT providers. That’s where our software comes in because we specifically monitor the user behavior associated with SA applications,” he added.
 
The Saas Alerts software acts as a robotic employee for the MSP; it scans SaaS applications back and forth every 90 seconds and then alerts the MSP if they need to act on behalf of their customer.
 
On its investment announcement, Insight Partners principal Philine Huizing said SaaS Alerts has “pioneered SaaS security for MSPs and has a clear vision for how detecting and correlating abnormal user behavior can greatly impact the MSP industry.”
 
So far, the company has been able to reach customers through industry events. With its recent investment, the company will continue its research and development to enhance its product and include new features. It also plans to expand its sales and marketing efforts, including adding more digital marketing and attending more MSP events.
 
Lippie said he saw their recent funding as a “monumental endorsement for what we have built and what we intend to build as we collaborate going forward.”
 
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