SynSaber founders at BHUSA 2022

Black Hat Memories & Series A Momentum

Jori VanAntwerp, CEO SynSaber
Jori VanAntwerp
CEO, SynSaber

SynSaber’s Series A funding closed recently during Black Hat, and my Co-founder Ron Fabela and I were excited to officially announce the round last week. The timing was serendipitous, because our OT cybersecurity startup’s first public sponsorship took place during Black Hat USA in 2021.

During my drive from Las Vegas after a productive week at Black Hat 2022, I had some wheel time to reflect on where we’ve been, what we’ve learned, and how we plan to fuel SynSaber’s growth using the momentum from our recent funding round.

Seed Stage @ BHUSA ‘21

SynSaber received seed funding from SYN Ventures, Rally Ventures, and Cyber Mentor Fund in July 2021. Later that month, we laced up (or, in Ron’s case, Croc-strapped up) and headed to Las Vegas for Black Hat USA.

SynSaber shoefie at BHUSA 2021
SynSaber shoefie at BHUSA ’21

We were a small but mighty team of 3, eager to participate in our first official sponsorship at the Security Leaders Concert with vArmour and other co-sponsors.

Since this “shoefie” was taken, our team size has grown over 3x, and our regional footprint (pun intended) has expanded along with it.

Building Trust Amid a Slowdown

Fundraising is never easy, and for many startups, it has become increasingly more difficult recently due to the venture capital slowdown that started earlier this year. Investment in early-stage companies has slowed, and venture capital firms have turned their due diligence discernment knobs up to eleven.

Series A blog - VC due diligence

Much of our initial fundraising when attempting to secure SynSaber’s seed round took place at the beginning of the pandemic, so my co-founder and I were prepared to push just as hard for our next round.

Thankfully, we’ve been fortunate enough to build lasting relationships with our seed-stage investors, and I’m proud of the fact that every single one of them wanted to continue their participation in SynSaber’s growth via our Series A round. 🙌

We attribute much of the hard-fought success of those relationships to being honest, transparent, and highly communicative from the very beginning. We frequently update our investors on our progress, and are quick to share news of both our wins as well as any potential misses.

As I shared in a previous post commemorating our 12-month seed-funding anniversary, we met with over a dozen potential investors when we first launched SynSaber. We’re honored to be supported, guided, and challenged by the trifecta of SYN Ventures, Rally Ventures, and Cyber Mentor Fund.

Series A @ BHUSA ‘22

It was truly fortuitous that our Series A round was secured during Black Hat USA this month. While we hadn’t officially announced the news yet, it gave us an opportunity to think back to the 2021 event and consider just how far we had come since that shoefie was taken.

And, as I’m sure many founders will relate, the new funding also sparked the fire of continuing forward momentum in our bellies 🔥 (or maybe those are just ulcers… only half kidding).

SynSaber + Revelstoke event

The Series A funding round will allow us to continue our growth, and in the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some open positions for team members in our sales, marketing, and engineering departments.

We’re also on the cusp of being able to announce some exciting partnerships and integrations, so stay tuned for that news in the near future.

We’re grateful to our customers, team members, investors, and the industrial security community for your continued support. Time to slay!

~Jori 🤘⚔️