AuthMind, a Maryland startup that protects businesses from identity-related cyberattacks, raised $8.5 million in a seed round led by Ballistic Ventures and IBM Ventures.
CEO Shlomi Yanai and CTO Ankur Panchbudhe founded the company. They founded and sold several security startups before launching AuthMind in 2020. AuthMind is their attempt to break into the identity security market. Yanai told me the co-founders consulted many security experts before building AuthMind. “AuthMind started from ongoing discussions with identity and cyber leaders,” he said. “The environment changed and there are many identity solutions—and they invest heavily in identity security. Most help them define the identity surface and enable employee access. However, they kept complaining that we’ve made all those investments, but hackers log in, not hack.
AuthMind will help these companies secure their identity surface and detect attacks and vulnerabilities in real time. It analyses a company’s network flow, among other things. Yanai claimed that AuthMind can quickly build a holistic view of a company’s cloud, on-prem, SaaS apps, password managers, and more without knowing its identities, assets, and directories. “We do that by looking at flow activity—because everything is there,” he said. “The identity context was missing. We understand how identity operates on the flow activity level constantly.”
This lets the company contextualize almost everything in its cybersecurity infrastructure and network by identity. Yanai said that aids post-incident investigations.
Ballistic Ventures co-founder and CEO Jake Seid, who previously invested in Brex, Data Robot, Carta, Drata, and Zipline at Stone Bridge Ventures, believes the security perimeter has expanded to identify.
“We think the next generation of big new companies will reinvent and protect identity. Shlomi’s identity SecOps vision was the most holistic we’ve seen, he said. “It’s not just about posture management and misconfigurations, but also post-breach detection and response and changing the security model from ‘ticket and fix it’ to guardrails in production. That model is profound because it helps engineering and business teams be more secure and move faster.”
Geroge Mina of IBM Venture similarly assessed. We see a growing attack surface across identity infrastructure and beyond. AuthMind’s AI-powered network flow ingest and event log correlation allows security teams to detect threats and visualize attack paths across hybrid environments, he said.
The founders started AuthMind in 2020 and worked with design partners to perfect it. Yanai noted that all original design partners became paying customers. AuthMind’s customers manage tens or more than 100,000 identities across their networks. He said many of these are in insurance, manufacturing, and retail, but they want to remain anonymous.
Future plans for Authmind include expanding its go-to-market capabilities. The team also wants to help customers with security audits for certifications and other security-related areas. Nevertheless, the company plans to improve its core technologies.