As more companies shift to work-from-home or hybrid environments, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that employees aren’t sharing sensitive information with others who aren’t supposed to see it. This is even more essential for companies working with contractors and outside firms.
This has traditionally fallen under the purview of data loss prevention software (DLP), but Metomic, an early-stage startup, wants to update DLP in a modern SaaS context without getting in the way of people doing their jobs.
Today, the company announced a $20 million Series A investment.
“So with Metomic we help companies protect sensitive data in SaaS applications. So we help them make the best use of the most collaborative apps like Slack, Google Apps, JIRA and Notion without accidentally exposing sensitive information to the wrong people, both within the organization and externally,” company co-founder and CEO Rich Vibert told TechCrunch.
“Most importantly, we do this without getting in the way of employees doing their jobs. That’s sort of our key secret sauce to this.”
He says they look at things like access levels and data retention times to limit who can see sensitive data. “We’re not just blocking data going from one place to another like a lot of DLP tools might do. We’re really working out a way to prevent the risk that occurs when the sensitive data is shared,” he said.
The idea is to empower employees to make sensible decisions, so they think twice about who they share data with.
He says that what companies consider sensitive depends on their business. “So sensitive takes so many different flavors, right? You’ve got personal data like your customers’ phone numbers, and all the way through to federal income statements and balance sheets internally. So we’ve got a whole set of off-the-shelf classifiers, we call them, which are automatically looking for these things.” The startup also lets customers define their own sensitive data types.
The company launched in 2018 in England, and currently has 20 employees, all based in the U.K. He expects to use some of the money from the raise to open a presence in the U.S. He says that while there are more qualified people applying for jobs right now, it’s still a challenge for a startup to find quality engineers, designers and product people.
Regardless, as he builds the company, he is working to build a diverse team. “Diversity across the board has been something that we’ve thought about from day one, and again, that hasn’t changed one bit. It’s a challenge for every startup. We’re certainly not immune to that, and it’s something that you have to really have at the forefront of your mind when hiring,” he said.
The Series A investment was led by Evolution Equity Partners with participation from Resonance and Connect Ventures.