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James Winebrenner

Elisity Closes $26 Million Funding Round

Charlie Treadwell
June 15 2021

Two Bear Capital and AllegisCyber Capital lead $26 Million Series A funding for cybersecurity using behavioral intelligence and AI to solve access, connectivity and security challenges for cloud-based enterprises

SAN JOSE, Calif. — June 15, 2021Elisity, Inc., the pioneer of Cognitive Trust™, the new platform for identity and behavior-based enterprise cybersecurity, today announced a Series A funding round totaling $26 million, co-led by Two Bear Capital and AllegisCyber Capital, with previous investor Atlantic Bridge also participating.

Today’s funding will scale Elisity to meet enterprise demand for its cloud-delivered cybersecurity platform that can analyze the unique identity and context of people, apps, and devices—including IOT and OT—wherever they’re operating. The platform can understand, empower and dynamically adapt security from the edge to the cloud by learning behavior to assess risk, automatically and continuously optimize protection.

Elisity is the first company to offer a single cybersecurity platform that is intelligent enough to understand how assets and people connect beyond corporate perimeters and dynamically adapt security for every user, device, data and app from the edge to the cloud. Elisity’s Cognitive Trust platform fuses identity and AI-driven behavioral intelligence to continuously assess risk and instantly optimize access, connectivity and protection policies that follow assets and people wherever they go. By integrating asset management, connectivity, and security, Elisity helps enterprise-class organizations of all sizes and industries break through today’s siloed networking-and-security group challenges.

“CISOs are facing ever increasing attack surfaces caused by the shift to remote work, reliance on cloud-based services (and often multi-cloud), and the convergence of IT/OT networks,” said Mike Goguen, founder and managing partner at Two Bear Capital. “Elisity addresses all of these problems by not only enacting a Zero Trust model, but by doing so at the edge and within the behavioral context of each interaction. We are excited to partner with the CEO, James Winebrenner, and his team as they expand the reach of their revolutionary approach to enterprise security.”

“Achieving a cybersecurity posture that understands both identity and behavior is traditionally very hard,” said Spencer Tall, managing director of AllegisCyber Capital. “The Elisity Cognitive Trust approach to solve for this was very compelling. Coupled with an exceptional management team that have successfully worked together previously, this makes Elisity a very attractive opportunity for our fund.”

Elisity was started by three co-founders: Burjiz Pithawala, chief product officer; Sundher Narayan, chief architect; and Srinivas Sardar, vice president of engineering, who all previously held leadership roles in product development, engineering, and architecture at Cisco. The executive team is led by James Winebrenner, CEO, who led go-to-market strategy for Viptela from pre-launch through the sale to Cisco in 2017, having also held executive leadership roles at Cisco, Aviatrix, and Checkpoint Software.

“When the security perimeter is no longer the network, we see an incredible opportunity to evolve the way enterprises connect and protect their people and their assets, moving away from strict network constructs to identity and context as the basis for secure access,” said Winebrenner. “With Elisity, customers can dispense with the complexity, cost and protracted timeline enterprises usually encounter. We can onboard a new customer in as little as 45 minutes, rather than months or years, moving them to an identity-based access policy, and expanding to their cloud and on-prem footprints over time without having to rip and replace existing identity providers and network infrastructure investments. We do this without making tradeoffs between productivity for employees and the network security posture.”

Strategic advisors include security and networking leaders such as Khalid Raza (co-founder of Viptela and CEO and founder of Graphient), Greg Akers (former SVP Advanced Security Research and Governments at Cisco), Jeff Tantsura (Internet Architecture Board), and Brian Long (co-founder and managing partner at Atlantic Bridge and on Elisity’s Board of Directors). As a result of today’s transaction, Mike Goguen and Spencer Tall will join Brian Long on the Elisity board.

“Having been a part of Elisity from the early stages, I’ve been impressed from the start with their Cognitive Trust platform and the new security paradigm and approach for the enterprise. Their technology is completely transforming the market to provide security beyond the traditional network perimeter. I am excited to be a part of this next round of funding and phase of the company’s growth.” said, Brian Long, co-founder and managing partner at Atlantic Bridge.

“The reality of distributed workforces, shadow IT and convergence of IT and OT calls for a new mindset in how security should be architected and deployed,” Pithawala concluded. “The industry must move beyond cloud-only SASE models and point products to holistic solutions that deliver protection as close as possible to the asset. Finally, our partnership with Two Bear and AllegisCyber validates the product and market opportunity and reinforces the strong, early feedback from our customers.”

Learn more about Elisity Cognitive Trust here.

About Elisity

Elisity understands identity and behavior to simplify asset and user access, connectivity and security from the enterprise edge to the cloud. Elisity invented the AI-powered Cognitive Trust platform to dynamically learn behavior, assess risk and instantly adapt explicit access policies for devices, people, data and applications. Organizations can move in minutes from visibility to implicit trust and secure connectivity that safeguards their people and assets and accelerates business transformation. Based in San Jose, Elisity is backed by Two Bear Capital, AllegisCyber Capital, and Atlantic Bridge. Follow on Twitter and LinkedIn or go to www.elisity.com

About Two Bear Capital

Two Bear Capital (TBC) was founded and is led by veteran Silicon Valley venture capitalist and philanthropist Michael Goguen. TBC seeks to invest in the most promising early-stage companies working at the intersections of healthcare, biotechnology, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and cybersecurity to solve some of today’s most urgent problems. TBC's investment team is based in Whitefish, Montana, the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, and Boston. To learn more, visit www.twobearcapital.com and follow TBC on LinkedIn.

About AllegisCyber Capital

AllegisCyber Capital is passionate about identifying companies and entrepreneurs developing disruptive and innovative approaches to address the crucial issues in the fast-changing cybersecurity landscape. AllegisCyber uses an integrated investment platform and a game-changing strategic partnership with cybersecurity start-up studio DataTribe to give its entrepreneurs an unfair competitive advantage. DataTribe, a cybersecurity start-up foundry located in Maryland, focuses on launching start-ups based on cyber domain expertise outside the intelligence community and national laboratories. Representative portfolio companies of AllegisCyber include: CyberGRX, Skyhive, Deepfence, DeepSee, Dragos, NetAbstraction, SafeGuard Cyber, Shape Security, Signifyd, Synack, Source Defense, Panaseer, Prevailion, and vArmour. For more information, please visit https://allegiscyber.com.

About Atlantic Bridge

Atlantic Bridge is a €1 Billion Pan European Technology Growth Firm founded in 2004 by successful technology entrepreneurs and executives. With offices in London, Dublin, Munich, Paris, Palo Alto, and Beijing, Atlantic Bridge invests in deep tech sustainable sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, Digital Health and Computer Vision. With 8 Funds under management, the Firm leverages its deep operational experience and unrivalled networks to help build deep technology companies into global market leaders across Europe, the US and Asia. For more information, please visit https://abven.com

Disclaimer

This release is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any investment decision, as it was prepared without regard to any specific objectives, or financial circumstances. This is not a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. This release is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for tax, legal, accounting, or investment advice.  The forward-looking statements herein constitute an expression of opinion, which may or may not prove to be accurate.

Press contact
Waters Agency for Elisity
Elisitypr@watersagency.com