Toronto cybersecurity firm Security Compass adds venture funding and restructures leadership for aggressive growth

The company’s SD Elements software, which helps develop secure compliant code and so accelerates DevOps, is the focus of the expansion. A channel sales director has been added, and while international markets are central to the channel, they are also interested in the right partners in North America.

The SD Elements dashboard

Toronto’s Security Compass has announced several related changes to jump start an aggressive expansion strategy. They have announced their first equity financing, from FTV Capital, a sector-focused growth equity investment firm. They have also announced that founder and CEO Nish Bhalla is moving to the Board of Directors, and longtime company employee Rohit Sethi, who had been the COO, takes over as CEO. CFO David Rea adds the COO position to his responsibilities. FTV Capital partner Liron Gitig and principal Richard Liu will also join the Security Compass board of directors.

Security Compass is an established solution provider which was founded back in 2005 as a penetration testing-focused cybersecurity company.

John Phyper, SVP Sales & Marketing at Security Compass.

“Our clients came to the founders and asked for help in other activities, and that led to the creation eight years ago of SD Elements, our packaged software offering, which has become strong in the market,” said John Phyper, SVP Sales & Marketing at Security Compass.

Today about half of the business is services around Pen Testing and ethical hacking, and the other half is software, which includes SD Elements, as well as eLearning that interacts with cybersecurity and allows companies to educate their workforce effectively.

SD Elements is the element of the company’s business that they see as the nucleus for greatly accelerated growth, which the new investment is intended to drive. It is focused on the software stack and assists with the development of secure compliant code, in order to manage software security requirements and enable DevOps at scale.

“This is distinct from other kinds of offerings, with only a small company in Spain that has something similar,” Phyper said. “Customers have told us what they need – secure coding, whether for regulatory or company policy, that can be done in a traceable manner, and which is robust. It’s something that companies have been doing ad hoc with Excel worksheets.”

The company thinks it also provides a good foundation for future solution expansion.

“We are constantly looking at things to address market needs around risk assessment,” Phyper noted “We want to own the whole assessment of risk related to applications.”

Security Compass determined that at this point in time, a more aggressive growth strategy can realize vast market growth.

“What has happened is that e company has done a good job of putting in an infrastructure to allow the software component to take off,” Phyper stated. “Earlier, we hadn’t crossed the chasm. We now have the right reference clients and the right implementation team. We have proven the model. We have the right pieces, but the issue is how do we get to acceleration. Given the new owners, we are shifting now to rapid growth and its all about scalability.”

The promotion of Rohit Sethi to the CEO role is one aspect of this.

Rohit Sethi, Security Compass’ new CEO

“Rohit puts us on that cusp of acceleration,” Phyper said. “It was a natural step from COO to CEO. It’s fortunate that he had the skillset and the ability to keep on learning, which allowed him to take on different roles over time.”

FTV Capital’s involvement provides the resources to add new assets.

“We have been adding sales resources, and infrastructure around onboarding and a marketing machine,” Phyper indicated. “We just hired a channel sales director. That will allow us to expand globally. We have a direct sales team for North America, but we want to work with large cybersecurity companies internationally.”

Partners in the North American market who are a good fit for Security Compass’s software solution are welcome as well.

“We are happy to do deals in North America,” Phyper said. We are looking at partners who prepare third party apps for companies and see an opportunity to leverage our tools. It’s not a plug and play solution though.

“We want to initiate discussions with the top ten management cybersecurity companies, and want to establish relationships to perform the full sales cycle,” Phyper added.