Announcing Kolide's $17MM Series B

Jason Meller
September 21st, 2021

Kolide is announcing a $17MM Series B led by end-user focused VC OpenView. This major milestone validates one of the biggest bets in the security industry, that all employees should be an active part of securing their company. We are hiring people interested in helping us complete our mission. Join us.

When I was coming up in tech, I was told by people I looked up to, that end-user support was a place where one paid their dues. The thinking goes, that tech support, like retail, exposes you to the true nature of an Average Person. As it was described to me, this Average Person is constantly befuddled by the basics and perhaps even righteous in their own ignorance; a special flyer, a layer 8/9 fault, you know, a jerk. I was told from the outset that the Average User was an adversary, someone who needed to be controlled to protect them from their own ineptitude and carelessness.

I think a lot of cynical people hoped my stint in support would put out a light in me. That somehow every support interaction I had with a student at my university, or an employee at the accounting firm where I worked, would chip away at my youthful naivety until only cynicism remained. Then I would be ready for the next rung of the ladder.

Something different happened.

Instead of meeting people who were ignorant, cruel, and stupid; I was greeted with people who were rightfully frustrated by poorly designed software or asinine policies enforced by uncaring management software. Nearly every time I really dug into an issue with someone, the angry facade fell away and revealed a gap in training or poor software quality, something that probably wasn’t their fault. Every time the users and I fixed a problem, we were learning together and that made it fun.

When I entered the security industry, I witnessed an endemic sentiment of disdain for the end-user. Many security practitioners believe today that users are the weakest link of security. They say it over and over like it’s a well-practiced kata. For an industry that claims to believe this, I don’t see nearly enough good-faith efforts to solve the problem. Instead, I see a war being waged against our fellow employees. We don’t educate them, we attack them with “gotcha” based training. We don’t rely on rigorous vetting and common-sense enforcement, we greet them on their first day with a “zero trust” methodology. We treat our co-workers like criminals. Not because we want to, but because the tools and the techniques IT and Security teams are armed with are built with extreme cynicism. It’s clear there is a new generation of security and device administrators who know in their hearts, this isn’t right.

No more.

We as an industry can do better than this and something in me knew that the common wisdom that end-users can’t be trusted to fix security and compliance problems was at minimum untested, and at worst, completely wrong.

So in 2019 after Kolide’s reset, we penned a new vision. One where we believe this supposedly Average Person, is the key to unlocking a new class of security detection, compliance, and threat remediation. We believe that with a structured, message-based approach, organizations can dramatically lower the real risks they will likely face.

We bet big on this approach in 2019 when we bucked every signal that was telling us to go in the opposite direction, the well-worn path of creating security products that over-collect, over-surveil, and remain invisible to the end-user. Today, I am happy to report the first of many events validating that our novel approach is working.

I am proud to announce that Kolide has closed a Series B funding round of $17MM led by OpenView with significant participation by our Series A investor, Matrix Partners.

Employees at hundreds of organizations receive important security notifications from Kolide’s Slack app. More importantly, these people are successfully fixing nuanced problems that couldn’t have been automated.

I am so thrilled by our progress trailblazing this new approach, and I know that with this investment, we can accelerate our product’s growth into the complete vision.

But the money is just a start. Our current team is incredible, yet there are only eight of us. So for the first time in over three years, I am excited to also announce Kolide is hiring in earnest. We know deep down that the ideas in Honest Security cannot succeed without a diverse array of talents, perspectives, and unique experiences. People are the key to our business, and with only eight employees, we are rate-limiting the potential growth of our company. We need your help.

There are many cyber security jobs out there, but I genuinely believe Kolide is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where we might just disprove one of the biggest cynical assumptions in tech; that end-users are helpless. Instead, we are proving that they just might be the key to solving some of the most complex security challenges of our time.

So for those out there who can help us bring our honest security vision to life, I invite you to apply to any of the roles listed on our careers page.

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