"That physical workplace that we used to be part of has been replaced by a collaboration-first workplace and yet there is almost no monitoring or visibility around what happens in there. "
Devin Redmond, CEO and Co-Founder of Theta Lake
Organizations invest heavily in security and compliance. They secure and monitor emails, networks and devices to help protect their data, employees and reputation. However, 2020 has seen a radical change in where and how many of us work and, with it, we have seen the accelerated adoption of collaboration platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Webex. But this shift has created a problem for organizations who are now left figuring out how to best manage security and compliance while their employees’ video-chat, type and share documents or their screens with cloud apps displayed during collaboration sessions. This explains why a company called Theta Lake is gaining so much attention.
The specialists in collaboration security and compliance solutions have successfully raised $12.7 million in Series A funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation by Cisco Investments. They have also announced the appointment of Arif Janmohamed, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, to the Theta Lake Board of Directors.
Theta Lake’s Series A round follows a seed round in January 2019 led by Neotribe Ventures, Firebolt Ventures and WestWave Capital all of whom also participated in the Series A, motivated by the rapid success and vision of Theta Lake. Theta Lake will use the funding to further invest in their award-winning technology and to increase their service delivery capabilities that are helping organizations protect their data and employees when using modern collaboration platforms.
Theta Lake, Inc. was founded in 2017 by proven entrepreneurs Devin Redmond and Rich Sutton. With 30+ unique integrations across different collaboration platforms, their technology enables organizations to scale their risk detection for communication security, data protection, and supervision of video, voice, and chat collaboration platforms.
To find out more about Theta Lake, their Series A and their rapid rise to prominence in the modern world of collaborative remote working, we spoke to their CEO Devin Redmond.
“I’m really motivated by designing and applying new technology that can solve specific customer problems around information sharing and communication.” explains Devin. “Basically, as companies adopt new communication and information sharing channels, they have real challenges in using them safely and securely.”
“We built a platform that was market ready at the beginning of 2020 but the market itself moved so quickly that we decided that we would do a Series A fundraise so that we could invest both in the ability to scale the capabilities we have within the platform and advancing the patented and patent-pending AI and Machine Learning we provide, but also to scale the business so that we could support customers and help them better implement policies and workflows best suited to their specific security and compliance needs” he explains.
Organizations were using collaboration platforms long before 2020. However, COVID-19 accelerated the shift to remote working and with it we saw an exponential rise in the use of collaboration platforms. It is estimated that the global software collaboration market will grow from $8.9 billion in 2019 to $23 billion in 2020. We asked Devin about the impact that COVID-19 has had on Theta Lake.
“We built Theta Lake to provide security and compliance for modern collaboration platforms. When the pandemic hit, it created an environment where organizations began massively adopting these new tools. That created both a big opportunity for us but also a challenge. We believed that this market would really hit its stride in 2022 but instead it happened within two months during 2020” he explains.
Theta Lake are a company that are in the right place at the right time in a market where there is clearly an immediate need for a solution as so many of us are now using collaboration platform as our primary channel for conducting meetings and sharing information. We asked Devin about the impact the speed of this shift has had on organizations.
“There has been a massive shift from traditional communication channels to rich collaboration tools like Teams and Zoom. But, as information-sharing channels change, that’s where security and compliance concerns follow. Where employees intersect with the sharing of data is where the incidents happen - whether accidental or intentional” explains Devin.
“Organizations have gone from very controlled physical environments to largely remote environments using collaboration tools as the primary mechanism for communications and information-sharing where they have no visibility or security capabilities” he explains.
“That physical workplace that we used to be part of has been replaced by a collaboration-first workplace and yet there is almost no monitoring or visibility around what happens in there. That blind spot went from being something that was a potential risk to being the primary risk and organizations are just starting to catch up. Most of them are not aware that there are solutions like ours but that’s another aspect of our Series A - to let the world know that there is a solution that can help with this “ said Devin.
Theta Lake utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect risks across video, voice, chat and document content with seamless integration into all the major collaboration platforms. These innovations are designed to enable organizations to manage security risks around data exposure, phishing, acceptable use and regulatory compliance risks. We asked Devin to explain more about their technology.
“We use NLP and Machine Learning to detect risk within basically anything that is shared, shown, spoken and typed during a video, voice, or chat session. Risks are surfaced in an AI assisted review workspace which makes it efficient, consistent and scalable for organizations to deal with this broad scale new risk surface that they have in that environment. It’s designed to help them add the same visibility and safety that they’ve applied to all of their other work communication channels.” explains Devin.
If you have ever worked for a large Financial Services, Government or Legal organization, the importance of Theta Lake’s technology will be immediately obvious to you. Whether organizations ultimately choose to adopt a fully remote, hybrid or full onsite working model, it is clear is that the collaboration platforms are here to stay. Knowing this, organizations are now trying to catch up and work out how they can best implement robust solutions around collaboration channels and Theta Lake are ready to provide them with a solution.
“The true promise of collaboration is to be able to create that work environment that can really support any working scenario, basically work from anywhere for all employees. It obviates the challenges of having large physical investments in real estate and gives businesses the opportunity to be much more efficient in terms of who they hire, where they hire, how they work and how they support a globally connected economy. Importantly, it is also about how we work not just from where. It’s clear that fully using modern video and rich media chat collaboration improves the efficiency and effectiveness in business communication. In turn, that really means that collaboration tools are the centre point of where we do our information sharing.”
“Theta Lake’s platform is designed for the modern state of communications which is collaboration-first. Our vision for the company is to be the focal point for a secure and compliant collaboration-based workspace and I think over the next 5 years you will see that become more and more the simply the norm of how we work and where employers need to apply security and compliance.” said Devin.