SolCyber: Building the modern MSSP, from incubation to investment
We recently announced a $20 million Series A in SolCyber, the modern managed security service provider (MSSP). This wasn’t a typical investment — SolCyber was incubated within the ForgePoint team and leverages our portfolio companies to reduce, monitor, and respond to cybersecurity events. Given the unique backdrop, we wanted to share some of the story behind the company and why it’s different from other MSSPs.
While the security industry has grown and evolved in more ways than not, our team has observed a few constant themes throughout the past multiple decades:
Cybersecurity firms, including MSSPs, have underserved the midmarket. Historically, product-leading services have resulted in price sensitivity for related licenses at the expense of support. This model, resulting in net operating margins of 10–20%, has made the midmarket unpalatable from a profitability perspective.
Alignment of product and services is critical to maximize product value. Customers are willing to pay a premium if it means ensuring they will extract the expected value from their software. Companies like Crowdstrike and FireEye were built off of strong professional services arms. (Of course, there are also downsides to having just one provider — which partly contributed to FireEye’s recent spinout of Mandiant, nearly a decade after its acquisition.)
Focus on point solutions has made it difficult to quantify risk. While this is a theme for the cybersecurity sector more broadly, most MSSPs still take the MDR approach, resulting in segmented domains like endpoint, network, CASB, etc. In contrast, customers need an integrated approach, such as data consolidation from point solutions, map reduction for the economy of platform operations, and platform automation for AI-enhanced ticket generation.
Spearheaded by our venture partners Leo and Shane, we saw an opportunity to develop our own MSSP. SolCyber leverages battle-tested, high-scale, low-cost cybersecurity solutions for modern infrastructure. A differentiating factor is access to ForgePoint’s 30 security-focused portfolio companies, though SolCyber leverages any technology offering that helps to support its customers.
Since the ideation, we’ve built out a stellar team — Scott, David, John, Charles, and Hwei. Most recently, we welcomed GEN (Ret) Keith Alexander to the board of directors. In addition to being co-CEO and founder of IronNet Cybersecurity (a ForgePoint portfolio company), General Alexander previously led U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA), and currently sits on Amazon’s board of directors.
With the recent funding, SolCyber has launched a new “Foundational Security” solution that gives organizations all the key components they need to be secure at an easy per-user price. We are excited to partner with the team to continue to build a managed security service provider for the modern age.
Press Release: SolCyber Launch
Blog: Welcome to SolCyber: the Modern MSSP
Blog: Not your average MSSP: the SolCyber Difference
Blog: Adversaries don’t discriminate
Blog: How MSSPs have evolved and why they’re not created equal