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Whistic: The new era of proactive vendor security

By Gordon Ritter & Carlotta Siniscalco

It’s strange to think about how dramatically the nature of trust has changed in the midst of the pandemic. Investors have had to reimagine how we build relationships with entrepreneurs. Given the nature of just how closely the two sides of venture work together and the longevity of our relationships — which ideally last for the lifetimes of most companies and beyond for the founders — it’s imperative to enter into those partnerships with mutual trust and respect. For years, determining compatibility and building rapport has been dependent upon countless in-person meetings, dinners, coffees, and more meetings. Until now.

Tech buyers at companies face a similar challenge as the role of trust is absolutely critical to their success. Buyers must know they can trust the products and services they’re purchasing, otherwise, they face putting their company and data at risk. For most companies, security reviews can take months as in-depth security questionnaires get sent back and forth. It is clunky, opaque, and reactive — and a huge flaw is that buyers only know what they’ve thought to ask. This business process has been in need of a modern, proactive, and efficient approach that includes both buyers and sellers.

Enter Whistic, a company completely reinventing the vendor security process by offering streamlined security assessments. Their innovative platform transforms a cumbersome and manual process that previously took weeks or months into a transparent, streamlined digital trust exchange.

Specifically, Whistic enables organizations to proactively assess vendors’ security and privacy information, such as certifications and audit results, all on a single platform. It enables InfoSec and compliance teams to easily access the information they need to evaluate the security and compliance postures of potential vendors. With Whistic, a typical sales cycle decreases by at least a month on average, which is why world-class companies like Airbnb, Okta, Betterment, Qualtrics, and Finicity, among a number of leading healthcare, manufacturing, energy, and education brands, have all been excited to adopt the Whistic platform and gain instant access to over 14,000 vendor profiles.

Appropriately enough for a company in the digital trust business, Whistic is Emergence’s first investment done entirely over Zoom. The ability to hop on a Zoom, versus one party or the other traveling on a plane, actually gave us an incredible amount of time and energy back to focus on building those relationships and putting our best effort forward to support the company.

The online investment process was similar to our process pre-pandemic, but with some new, inventive team exercises that turned out to be extremely valuable, and ones we will likely continue. Our time getting to know Nick Sorensen, CEO, Juan Rodriguez, Founder & CTO, and the rest of the Whistic Team was incredible, and, just as it would have been in-person, the Emergence Team really connected with their vision, their passion, and their drive to ultimately lead the industry into a new era of proactive security for buyers and sellers. As part of this new partnership, both Carlotta Siniscalco and I will be joining Whistic’s board.

Congratulations Nick, Juan, and Team! We are proud to welcome you into the Emergence Family and excited for the next chapter.

The Whistic Team celebrating at a social distancing picnic.



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