Cybersecurity compliance startup StrikeGraph is the latest Madrona Ven…


StrikeGraph co-founders Brian Bero (left) and Justin Beals. (StrikeGraph Photos)

Madrona Venture Labs is churning out startups.

The Seattle startup studio created by venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group helps incubate ideas and recruits a leadership team to run the business. GeekWire reported on recent spinouts Zeitworks, Simplata, and Stratify.

Joining that group is StrikeGraph, a cybersecurity compliance startup that also just launched out of MVL.

StrikeGraph aims to simplify and lower the cost of the SOC 2 certification process used by companies to ensure their service meets security and privacy standards.

The company is led by CEO Justin Beals, a veteran of NextStep, Koru, Roundbox Global, and other startups, along with Brian Bero, who previously co-founded Seattle tech stalwart Apptio and recently sold security startup Greytwist to SmartRIA.

The idea for StrikeGraph came about after Beals struggled with the SOC 2 process as the CTO of an AI startup getting through procurement. The company had an “amazing new AI product” but the biggest roadblock to closing deals was the security review process that could take anywhere from six months to two years with one client.

“We make complex cybersecurity standards simple by dynamically fitting them to our customer’s businesses,” Beals said. “We then automate and manage cybersecurity evidence to make it easy to stay certified.”

Beals said the COVID-19 crisis has not slowed the company’s growth.

“From a market dynamics perspective we believe that in the current global pandemic, ‘verified trust’ such as the independent audit of security practices will be even more critical,” he said.

MVL spinout Simplata is also building cybersecurity-related software.

Formed by Madrona in 2014, MVL raised its third fund last year with plans to launch up to a dozen new startups. MVL is similar to fellow Seattle startup studio Pioneer Square Labs (PSL), which has spun out more than 20 startups since 2016 and recently partnered with publicly-traded industrial giant Fortive.

In 2018, PSL spun out Shujinko, another startup that helps companies automate IT audits. Shujinko raised $7.5 million this past October.


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