Lightspeed backs CommandK’s mission to become the go-to enterprise security command center

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CommandK, a startup offering a dedicated platform to manage enterprise security, has raised $3 million in a seed round led by Lightspeed.

Companies accumulate a lot of sensitive data and store secrets, such as API tokens, SSH keys and personally identifiable information. But protecting that is a complex task and requires state-of-the-art security prowess. This sadly can incur a significant cost burden that even many mid to late-stage companies avoid taking — until they face a severe security incident hitting their businesses. CommandK, just out of stealth mode, believes it can address this problem with its one-stop platform.

The San Francisco-based startup lets companies deploy its solution within their virtual private cloud to protect their sensitive data and keys without requiring advanced security skills. The startup’s solution comes as a mix of software development kits and APIs with which existing developers in a team can easily interact to enhance their security. The platform’s dashboard acts as a central control panel to inform about what is broken in the system to ensure data protection.

Jayesh Sidhwani and Rohan Prabhu, who previously worked together at neobank Jupiter, founded CommandK in June last year. Sidhwani, who serves as CommandK’s chief executive, said he saw first-hand how companies — in the absence of strict security measures — struggle to comply with data protection laws, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, or the California’s Consumer Privacy Act in the United States.

Companies sometimes rely on third-party microservices and software-as-a-service tools that sprawl their sensitive data across multiple platforms, exposing them to a wider attack area.

CommandK says it addresses that limitation by securing the data within the company’s infrastructure.

“Since we’re dealing with sensitive data, we wanted to ensure that while you get the best of the experience, the data doesn’t leave your network,” Sidhwani told TechCrunch.

CommandK supports scores of cloud infrastructures, so you can use the platform to secure your company’s data in AWS, Google Cloud, or both. While CommandK’s platform can be used by a firm in any stage of life, he said, most companies start feeling the pain of requiring strict security measures at a Series B+ level.

“Until then, what usually happens is that the VP of engineering would pick the brightest developer in the team and say, hey, please start doing security as well,” said Sidhwani.

CommandK is currently in private beta, a stage it intends to stay in for another few months. Sidhwani said that there is a waitlist of customers who have signed up for the platform with which the startup is engaging to understand their problems better and add new features accordingly.

Over time, Sidhwani said the plan is to go with a subscription model that will help generate revenues.

“It is still early days for us to be very honest about pricing. But because we are going to deploy it on the premise, we will do a licensing-based model,” the co-founder noted.

CommandK has an all-remote team of seven employees, consisting of engineers and one designer. The startup is also hiring more senior staffers to enhance the product further until it’s ready to be available out of beta.

“Four undeniable shifts are happening in the world of enterprise SaaS today: developers are managing more and more code and microservices; these microservices are deployed across more and more complex on-prem and cloud environments; reliance on 3rd party services such as Twilio or Stripe is increasing rapidly; and, finally, engineering teams are not just managing code, but also a lot of the backend infra and associated configuration files, secrets, API keys, and more. Large companies such as Docker, Atlassian, and Github were built on the backs of helping developers better manage code and microservices,” said Hemant Mohapatra, partner at Lightspeed, in a prepared statement.

“We believe CommandK will be the defining company in helping developers better manage their security, secrets, and config infrastructure with the same efficiency and safety as they manage their code today.”

Alongside Lightspeed, AllIn Capital and angel investors such as Robin Vasan (Founder MangoCapital, board member of HashiCorp, Couchbase, InfluxData), Jon Gelsey (ex-CEO Auth0), Sundeep Peechu (GP Felicis) and Akash Saxena (ex-CTO Disney+) also participated in the seed funding round.

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