By Nancy Dahlberg
Based in Doral, Lumu helps companies measure cyber compromise in real-time
After selling his previous cybersecurity company Easy Solutions, Ricardo Villadiego founded his new company in mid-2019 to help enterprises to identify their level of cyber-compromise in real time. Now his startup, Lumu, has 1,300 customers, is growing about 18% month over month, and has 35 employees in its Doral offices and globally, with much more hiring to come.
Today Lumu announced that it has closed its $7.5 million Series A round. The round was co-led by SoftBank Group’s SB Opportunity Fund, a $100 million venture fund that invests in businesses led by entrepreneurs of color, and Panoramic Ventures. A month ago, Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank International Group, also announced that SoftBank would be investing $100 million in Miami area startups, and Lumu as well as QuikNode were the first two funded companies.
The funding will be used for sales and marketing as well as for accelerating research and development, said Villadiego, Lumu’s CEO, in an interview. “We want to make sure we can make this technology available to every enterprise out there, including across the Americas, which is our target market.”
Lumu is a cloud-based cybersecurity solution that collects and standardizes metadata from across the network, including DNS queries, network flows, access logs from perimeter proxies and/or firewalls, and spam box filters. It then applies AI to correlate threat intelligence from these disparate data sources to isolate confirmed points of compromise.
“We help enterprises of all sizes and in all verticals identify if they have a bad actor within their networks and to identify it with speed and precision so that they have the information they need to mitigate those attacks as soon as possible,” said Villadiego (pictured above).
That’s all done through Lumu’s Continuous Compromise Assessment model. Since the platform was unveiled at the RSA cyber conference in San Francisco in February 2020, it has analyzed more than 55 billion metadata records and detected more than 11 million adversarial contacts for its customers. That's important because despite enterprises’ continued efforts to shore up their systems against attacks, "the bad guys" continue to find ways to penetrate their defenses and can remain undetected inside the network for months or even years, he said.
“The breaches that are happening left and right create the perfect conditions for a company like Lumu to scale quickly -- and that’s our focus. Our focus is exclusively on execution,” said Villadiego, adding that having the backing of committed investors allows him to do that. “This investment is also a validation for the level of disruption that we are creating.”
“We believe that Lumu will help businesses change how they operate cybersecurity by putting them in control of the impact of cybercrime in their organizations. Ricardo is a proven entrepreneur with a track record of building and operating disruptive companies in the cybersecurity space,” said Paul Judge, managing partner of Panoramic Ventures and a member of the Opportunity Fund’s investment committee who joined Lumu’s board.
Indeed, Villadiego, born in Colombia, is a cybersecurity veteran, fighting "the bad guys" his entire career. He previously founded and ran Easy Solutions, and Manny Medina was one of his first major backers. Easy Solutions was acquired by Medina Capital and BC Partners in 2016 and became part of Medina's Cyxtera. Prior to launching Easy Solutions in 2007, Villadiego, an engineer, held positions at IBM, Internet Security Systems and Unisys Corporation, before finding his passion in building startups. His co-founder at Easy Solutions, Julián Arguelles, joined him at Lumu and is Chief Operating Officer.
While Lumu is a team of 35 people now, many of whom work in the Doral offices, Villadiego said Lumu will likely be a company of 60 by the end of the year as it continues to grow its customer base, now numbering 1,300 companies. “That's what we're building. We’re local and we’re global.”
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