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Since we last Spoke: Uptycs’ CEO on Providing Security Analytics for Everyone & Partnering with a VC that Knows Enterprise Tech

Earlier this year, Sapphire led a $30 million Series B financing round in Uptycs, a startup that’s revolutionizing cybersecurity by providing enterprises with a SQL-based security analytics platform for performing intrusion detection, vulnerability management, incident investigation, workload protection, security audits and compliance checks. 

Ganesh Pai, Founder & CEO of Uptycs

Several trends have driven the need for cybersecurity solutions like Uptycs. To address the threat of cyber attacks, enterprises have been running agents from siloed security applications. In addition, ephemeral workloads in modern infrastructure has caused the amount of security telemetry (hence noise) to explode. Enterprises are also increasingly protecting non-Windows operating systems. And now, remote work has raised security risk, making products like Uptycs mission critical.

We first met with the CEO of Uptycs Ganesh Pai and the company’s co-founders Mike Hluchyj and Uma Reddy at the end of 2019. While we were impressed with their differentiated product, we were equally amazed by the comradery of the founders who have been working together for more than 20 years, and have a proven track record of creating great products. 

Now that Uptycs and Sapphire are partners, we have the pleasure of speaking with Ganesh and his team often. Several months after the company’s Series B, we sat down with Ganesh to talk about why he started Uptycs, how he plans to provide security analytics to everyone and why he decided to partner with Sapphire. 

Why did you decide to start Uptycs? 

The original idea was for Uptycs to provide companies with a way to observe debugging and diagnostics, at scale. An easy way to measure system availability is called uptime, which is where the name Uptycs came from. It represents uptime analytics. 

Very quickly, we realized that the same structured visibility could be applied to cyber security. That’s when we firmed up our mission--we wanted to deliver security analytics for everyone. We realize that it’s a bold mission as cyber security is an incredibly noisy domain. There are many vendors out there providing a litany of solutions. However, the problem of observing and securing diverse computing environments at scale persists. Our goal to solve these problems drove us to launch Uptycs.

 What is going on in the industry right now that’s driving demand for a solution like Uptycs?

There are a few key digital transformations underway that are generating demand for a solution like Uptycs. Three notable ones are:

  1. The movement of production endpoints (such as servers and containers) to public clouds. Cloud security is a top buying center.
  2. The spike in remote work, where the productivity endpoint (laptop) is now location agnostic.
  3. The rise and continuous dominance of SQL in modern security operations.

These trends are generating demand for security visibility and protection, which Uptycs is here to help address. 

Can you talk a little bit about your journey since starting Uptycs? 

In a span of four years, we’ve been fortunate to raise three rounds of funding (Seed, Series A and Series B), hit product-market fit with marquee customers, see patterns of repeatable sales and set ourselves up for growth. Over the years, we’ve faced the usual challenges and excitement one might associate with a journey like ours. However, our successful execution is a result of our strong vision, ability to stay the course to build a platform with a high-caliber team and our focus on customer success. 

What are you looking forward to as you move into your next phase of growth?

It’s easier said than done, but I’m looking forward to:

  • Building a strong customer base and community
  • Adding more capabilities to our product to reach wider audiences
  • Growing our product and developer teams
  • Scaling our go-to-market efforts to drive sales and awareness for Uptycs

Why are you excited to partner with Sapphire Ventures? 

Sapphire’s expertise with enterprise B2B companies, and their approach to identifying patterns of success is what got our attention. Solid references coupled with a sound approach to investing by a team that has been together for a while, and that has endured the ups and downs of markets over time, convinced us to partner with Sapphire. In just a couple of months post-investment, their Portfolio Growth team has been a great partner to Uptycs.

How do you plan to leverage the latest investment?

The latest round will be used to grow Uptycs. Primarily, we’re investing in employees, tools and processes that will:

  • Support large enterprise customers
  • Develop sales and marketing machinery
  • Improve the product experience

Are you doing anything to help companies get started with Uptycs given the current economy? 

The Uptycs Security Analytics Platform, coupled with the osquery agent, makes it easy for organizations to get remote visibility into their productivity endpoints (such as macOS and Windows) and their production endpoints (such as Linux and containers). 

We’re pleased to offer a free trial that provides companies with an easy way to experience our platform. Given the current environment, we’ve been extended the free trial to those companies that need it. 

Additionally, we provide free training to help our customers, and we’ve championed the osquery@scale conference as a way for practitioners to share their insights and experiences with others. The osquery@scale conference videos, which we’ve made available in full, are a meaningful source of education that aligns with our mission to provide security analytics for everyone.

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