Startup BalkanID launches AI-powered Identity Governance and Administration solution

BalkanID will start out focused on the mid-market but plans to expand that, as they further develop their solution from automated IGA to fully automated telemetry.

Today, startup BalkanID is making a pair of announcements. First, they are announcing the launch of their artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solution, which gives an immediate snapshot of entitlement risks across an organization’s SaaS and cloud landscape while streamlining the risk mitigation processes. Secondly, they have announced $5.75 million in seed funding. The seed investor companies are Uncommon Capital, Afore Capital, and Sure Ventures. In addition, several  technology executives have invested in the company. They include: Rishi Bhargava, co-founder of Demisto (acquired by Palo Alto Networks) Ely Kahn, co-founder of Sqrrl (acquired by Amazon); John N. Stewart of Talons Ventures, former SVP, Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cisco; Clark Golestani, former EVP and CIO at Merck; Pat Condon, co-founder of Rackspace; and Vivek Sodera, co-founder of Superhuman.

BalkanID’s founders are Subbu Rama, who previously co-founded Bitfusion, which virtualized hardware accelerated devices and was acquired by Vmware in 2019, Jeremy Patton, the former engineering leader at Bitfusion, and Sameer Sait, former CISO at Amazon/Whole Foods Market.

“One of the reasons I built this company after we sold the last one to VMware is that I’m hoping to be with this one for the rest of my life,” Rama, the company’s CEO, told ChannelBuzz. “I want this company to be a disruptor like Salesforce.”

BalkanID has ten patents pending for their technology.

“Our vision is to bring autopilot to IGA – to be the Tesla of IGA” Rama stated. “Our innovation is around IGA. While we are years away from automated driving, we are about five years away from full true automated IGA. We can provide automated telemetry with IT. That’s what we do bring AI to GA, not just automate it.”

BalkanID’s objective is to curb entitlement sprawl in the SaaS universe, where users have more permissions than they need and organizations have no effective way to see or manage user permissions across multiple SaaS and public cloud environments. Their AI-powered risk engine automatically identifies risky users and those with excessive permissions or toxic combinations, risky apps, roles and privileges across the organization’s SaaS and public cloud estate. The risk engine then automatically updates based on a constantly evolving set of parameters,

Subbu Rama, BalkanID’s co-founder and CEO

“Most companies usually have between 50-70 applications, and managing identity has been harder with cloud,” Rama said. “It is very hard to give access to people. We provide visibility around who has access to what, and we basically have a way to automate access review and certification and identify the apps in isolation. The effectiveness of this in IGA is more pronounced because we can identify things that look like outliers.”

This market for this type of offering is typically enterprise, and Rama’s previous company BitFusion was enterprise focused, but BalkanID is not. The focus here out of the gate is on the midmarket and the SMB.

“We see the market for this as companies with up to 5000 users,” Rama said. “They have the same issues here as the enterprise, but do not have the resources to address them. Acceleration to the cloud is also more relevant in the midmarket. We see this becoming a stronger enterprise play in a few years. Some enterprises are talking with us today.”

The channel will play an important role in BalkanID’s Go-to-Market – but not just yet.

“The channel was a big play in my last company,” Rama said. “This year we are going direct and will create the playbook for education. Next year at some point we will really turn n the channel on, likely around the first half of the year. In my last company, Dell was a big channel for us.”

BalkanID’s SaaS offering is available now.