Cloud Security. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Partnerships Power TrueFort’s Zero-Trust Application Security

A chance meeting at RSA Conference led to backing from Evolution Equity Partners

David Braue

Melbourne, Australia – Apr. 23, 2022

No matter how much talent they have — or how good their technology is — startups inevitably face a common challenge as they push hard to scale their business to the size and capability that their target market requires.

The founders of fintech startup TrueFort, who tapped years of financial-services experience to build a zero-trust security platform called Fortress built around network microsegmentation, faced this challenge several years into their journey.

Despite early wins for its behavior-based application security approach — which monitors application baseline behavior and quickly raises alerts when anomalies are detected — it soon became clear that the company would have to overcome that challenge to grow large enough to suit the large and complex organizations that dominate their target market.

“In financial services, real-time protection of applications is critical,” Sameer Malholtra, CEO of TrueFort, told Cybercrime Magazine.

“We focused on infrastructure and other components, but realized that securing applications required the knowledge and understanding of all aspects that run the application.”

And that, Malholtra said, meant securing more funding.

“The cybersecurity market is rapidly expanding and growing,” he explained, “and requires a tremendous amount of resources in order to support customers from large enterprises to the mid market.”

Zero trust requires implicit trust

Despite years of “tremendous” growth in recent years, it quickly became clear that continuing the company’s success story would require the support of investors that understood the company’s technology and appreciated its future potential.

A chance meeting at the RSA Conference led TrueFort to engage with Evolution Equity Partners, whose partner Karthik Subramanian proved to be both knowledgeable about the company’s technology and excited about its potential.

“Karthik impressed us with his knowledge of the industry and his experience in cybersecurity,” Malholtra said.

“Multiple conversations got us more interested in working with him because of his domain knowledge and experience, and his ability to help young companies grow in the market.”

Advising young cybersecurity entrepreneurs to look for three important factors in their investors — a partner who is excited about you, excited about what you bring in terms of capability and the product, and who is excited about cybersecurity — Malholtra said “all three are things that we see in Evolution Equity.”

With the support of Evolution Equity Partners, TrueFort raised $13.7 million in a Series A seed round in June 2019, more recently followed by a $30 million Series B round in September 2021 that has filled out the company’s war chest significantly.

The support has not only helped TrueFort expand its product offering — including the recently launched TrueFort Cloud — but has helped it build new relationships that are fundamental to its future growth.

The value of these relationships became clear as the TrueFort team realized that continuing to expand TrueFort Fortress’s view of customer environments would require it to tap into a network of partners with complementary technologies.

That ultimately led to partnerships with established cybersecurity leaders like CrowdStrike — whose cloud-based Falcon threat-intelligence platform complemented Fortress with a much broader view of current threats, vulnerabilities, and more.

Yet securing strategic partnerships with some of the biggest cybersecurity firms in the world doesn’t happen overnight — and this, Malholtra said, is where the support of the Evolution Equity Partners team proved invaluable.

“We are building partnerships in the industry,” he explained, “and this would not have been possible without the support and help of partners like Evolution Equity.”

David Braue is an award-winning technology writer based in Melbourne, Australia.

Go here to read all of David’s Cybercrime Magazine articles.

About Evolution Equity

Evolution Equity Partners is an international venture capital investor partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs to develop market-leading cyber-security and enterprise software companies.

Based in New York City and Zurich, Switzerland, the firm is managed by investment and technology entrepreneurs who have built companies around the world and leverage their operating, technical and product development expertise to help entrepreneurs win.

Evolution has interest in companies utilizing big-data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, SaaS, mobile and the convergence of consumer and enterprise software to build leading information technology companies.