While TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield 2022 is still fresh in our minds, Perygee, member of the 2020 group, helps companies secure their building operations elements. He reviews things like the HVAC, elevators, and sensors, keeping patches up to date and looking for vulnerabilities.
Today, the company announced a $4.75 million seed round and the general availability of its self-service tier, which allows businesses to get started with the product without interacting with a sales team.
Mollie Breen, a former NSA employee, developed the idea for her startup while a student at Harvard Business School. “Perygee is a lightweight, comprehensive platform for IoT (Internet of Things) and OT (Operational Technology) devices,” Breen told TechCrunch.
She considers that one of the main differentiators of the company is the time to value. “We measure value in minutes, not months, and we’re comprehensive, so we bring together many different security tools, from anomaly detection to vulnerability detection across the entire security stack.”
She says the devices her company seeks to secure are difficult to track because they are often beyond the reach of IT or security teams, but they interact with the network and can be vulnerable to attack. This leads to security blind spots that Perygee tries to shed light on.
“What we’ve seen over the past 24 months is that these blind spots aren’t unique to HVAC units and security cameras. This actually applies to all devices. So every IoT-OT device has a physical presence that is managed by a non-security stakeholder, whether it’s facilities or a member of the operations team like an industrial engineer in a fabrication shop or a clinical engineer in a hospital,” she said.
To help get started quickly, the company created a no-code workflow tool to automate common security tasks like patching. Automation also helps facilitate coordination between these often disparate building and facility operations teams and network and security teams to ensure that these tasks do not fall through the cracks.
Picture credits: Perygea
Today, the product manages 30,000 devices and the startup has seven employees. Breen says that as a founder, she is uniquely aware of building a diverse business, from the cap table to the board to the workforce.
When we told her about her $1.75 million pre-seed round at the end of 2020, she said she actively seeks out various talent on LinkedIn, but she recognizes that growing the business is not a evolutionary methodology.
“We are looking at our pipeline and looking at the diversity metrics within it. And then I think I’m having really honest internal conversations about where we might be biased when we think about hiring. I love being in these rooms because I’d like to think of myself as someone who has a particular pulse on where bias, particularly towards female candidates, can arise and how we make sure that we don’t apply that bias to our pipeline,” she said.
Today’s seed round was led by Ballistic Ventures with help from BBG Ventures, a company that backs early-stage startups with female founders, and several industry angels. The company has raised $6.35 million to date.