Prior to co-founding Theta Lake, Devin Redmond spent more than two and a half decades in the security and compliance space. During his time in the industry, he and his fellow co-founders identified a gap in the market – a clear opportunity to develop a more modern solution that was needed for communication compliance and next generation data protection.
“We believe in an approach built for Zoom, Webex, RingCentral, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other modern communication tools as well as legacy channels like email and voice. An approach that is designed to address the gaps in and improve upon traditional email archiving or voice recording while shifting to proactive risk detection and remediation from a traditionally reactive ‘store-and-search’ approach, said CEO and co-founder Redmond.
“We also believe in an approach focused on improving the experience and efficiency with better workflow and task management design for compliance personnel and security staff. That approach also leverages machine learning-based risk detections to get to the right information or action more easily, as well as to reduce review and response time by well over 100%.”
Redmond highlighted the company furthermore believes in an approach that can improve data accessibility and reduce an organization’s data being ‘held hostage’ while reducing the cost of data storage and recording keeping by as much as 50%. This comes with a mantra of helping ‘unlock the business value of modern communication tools’ while giving compliance and risk teams the control and assurance to manage that change at the right increments and pace to maximise resources and effectiveness.
Earlier this year, Theta raised $50m from a Series B funding round led by Battery Ventures and included Cisco Investments, RingCentral Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and Zoom along with previous investors including Lightspeed, Neotribe, Wells Fargo Accelerator, and more. To date, the company has raised a total of over $70m in total funding.
What does the company plan to do with the funding? Redmond explained, “We continue to execute on our inspiration to build a modern compliance and security solution for today’s Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, Slack, Webex, Zoom, and other chat, voice, and video unified communication environments. With the Series B funding that includes direct investment by many of those communication providers we will continue to drive bleeding edge innovation balanced with practical functionality and usability for customers.”
The company – which has a rapidly growing customer base across Europe, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – also aims to continue expanding its customer engagement, service and support teams.
Redmond continued, “With a 100% would-recommend rating and numerous accolades for our service and support directly from customers via Gartner Peer Insights, we view this round as a way to substantially increase resources and reach in this stand-out area of our success. That means rapidly adding skilled team members focused on customer and client engagement worldwide. “
The effects of the challenges imposed on the global population by the pandemic will remain around for a long time to come. However, some companies fared better than others when it came to weathering the storms of Covid-19. One group of companies specifically that have succeeded in this new world are those that specialise in communications tools. How has the pandemic affected Theta Lake?
Redmond commented, “Theta Lake’s vision of solving for the modern communication tool environment introduced by Zoom, Webex, RingCentral, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more came long before the pandemic.
“However, the pandemic reinforced the value and accelerated the adoption of the very tools and solutions Theta Lake was purpose built around. In fact, the rapid adoption of those tools and the subsequent need for the type of integrated archiving, supervision, surveillance, and data protection Theta Lake provides lead to the successful partnerships and investments from Cisco, RingCentral, Salesforce, and Zoom.”
Challenges and trends
In an age where more and more people are moving to modern digital communication tools, the issues around security and compliance are continuing to rise. In the eyes of Redmond, these challenges don’t simply revolve around the security of the platforms themselves versus the shift in where data and communications are created and live.
He said, “The challenges are less about the platforms themselves, and every one of our partners have significant investment in the integrity and safety of their platforms, the challenges really come from the consistent and proven reality that where humans interact, communicate, and share data is where compliance and security risks happen.
With organisations having upgraded their workforces’ communication and information sharing tools to modern platforms, organisations, and the industry as a whole needs to shift their focus to getting visibility into those risks, creating policies and procedures to address those risks, and implementing technology like Theta Lake to reduce and manage those risks.
What are the key trends in RegTech key to Theta? Redmond remarked, “Intersecting trends of heightened regulatory scrutiny on communication recording keeping, proactive surveillance, and data protection along with the use of AI to improve efficiency and effectiveness of risk and compliance are all focus areas for Theta Lake.”
“Regulators and related bodies all recognize and understand that modern communication tools are now in use more than ever and the pandemic ‘grace period’ for organisations to modernize their compliance and security capabilities has disappeared as evidenced by refreshed regulatory guidance and significant recent fines.”
The Theta CEO also raised the rise in data protection requirements from GDPR to the increase in cybersecurity regulations designed to reduce waves of ransomware and data theft impact how organisations need to get visibility and manage what data is communicated with whom over which of these new communication tools.
Redmond continued, “The ability to use machine learning and AI assists compliance and security professionals in finding risks and scaling protection more effectively and efficiently in this modern environment. Theta Lake ‘s technology is designed for that, and that is central to who and what we are.”
For the upcoming year, Theta is seeking to continue to help customers unlock vital value. Redmond said, “Theta Lake is planning to help customers unlock the value of Zoom, Webex, Slack, RingCentral, Microsoft Teams, and dozens of other new communication tools by increasing compliance effectiveness, reducing risk, and reducing the cost of compliance. If we do that well, then we will continue our multi-year streak of happy customers and triple digit year-over-year growth.”