dope.security, the fly direct secure web gateway — welcome to boldstart
At boldstart, we ❤️ to partner on day one with technical founders creating new categories in infrastructure and SaaS. However, there are certain times when we meet the right founders with the right experience and pain who are ready to reinvent massive existing industries. Examples include companies like Kustomer which reinvented customer support and Superhuman which turned email from a boring and mundane experience to one that is delightful. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce that we led the initial $4 million round of funding in dope.security which is reimagining the secure web gateway with a first-class customer experience built on top of a new architecture that eliminates reliability, performance, and privacy issues. 🙏🏼 to co-investor Farooq Abbasi from Preface Ventures who made the initial introduction and great to have our friends at Tribe Capital join the round as well.
When we first met Kunal Agarwal, we kept thinking about who would be crazy enough to want to go after a well entrenched market in secure web gateways. Within minutes, we recognized that his experience was well suited to go after the space as he proceeded to lay out a clear vision for how dope.security would build and go after the incumbents. This vision was based on 3 key ingredients: a new architecture with intelligence on the endpoint instead of the cloud to make processing of data more secure and up 4x faster, cost reduction resulting from flying direct, and a massive upgrade in user experience from the customer engaging in a freemium model to the security professionals having a meaningful and beautifully designed dashboard.
To that end, it seems as if Kunal had been prepping for this opportunity for many years having working in Product and Engineering in two of the legacy SWG players in Symantec and Forcepoint. He saw the pain that customers experienced from cloud-based proxies which introduced stopover datacenters for every connection, leading to outages, off-device decryption, significantly slower page loads, and reduced end-user productivity. Difficult to deploy solutions and poor admin experience also amplified the need for a better SWG. To better prepare himself to be a CEO, Kunal stepped up and ran the P&L for the IoT business at Symantec which at the time was going nowhere fast and turned it around in 15 months into double digit millions of revenue. Kunal was also eager to get started as he had his first 10 engineering hires ready to go along with board member Steven Schoenfeld, his former boss, who brings over 20 years of experience leading product in legacy SWG vendors like Blue Coat/Symantec and other security cos like Imperva, PGP and Checkpoint.
As we like to tell founders, envision the future for us — show us what the initial user experience will look like. Here’s a screenshot of the dope security dashboard.
Fast forward 18 months, and we’re excited for dope.security to finally come out of stealth. The product velocity has been incredible, and the company is now in early trials with a handful of enterprise design partners. Here’s a video showing more of the product and vision.
We are thrilled to be on this journey with Kunal and the entire dope.security team as they reimagine what secure web gateways should be after little innovation in the past few years. Welcome to the boldstart family!