Nightfall AI Raises $20.3 Million In Funding

By Dan Anderson • Nov 10, 2019
  • Nightfall AI (formerly known as Watchtower AI) announced it has raised $20.3 million in funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and Venrock

Nightfall AI (formerly known as Watchtower AI) — which is the industry’s first cloud-native data loss prevention platform — announced it raised $20.3 million in funding led by Bain Capital Ventures and Venrock. And Pear VC, Sri Viswanath (CTO of Atlassian), and Kelvin Beachum Jr. (New York Jets) also joined the round.

This round of funding will be used for deepening the scope of the Nightfall platform and continue to expand the company’s business reach.

Nightfall utilizes machine learning and natural language processing to discover, classify, and protect sensitive information across SaaS and data infrastructure thus providing continuous protection for cloud services such as Slack, GitHub, and AWS. And Nightfall also ensures proactive compliance with a number of regulatory regimes, including CCPA, GDPR, and HIPAA.

One of the biggest problems with business-critical data in the enterprise is that it is spread across a broad set of disparate cloud systems. And this leads to information security problems around data leakage, exfiltration, and compliance risk. This problem is also worsened by the move to cloud.

Nightfall CTO Rohan Sathe experienced this problem first-hand as a founding team member of UberEats. While working at Uber, Sathe developed the backend systems to handle vast amounts of data across thousands of SaaS and data infrastructure products in real time thus UberEats grow to $7 billion in revenue and over 200 engineers.

“When you have data scattered across numerous fragmented systems, not to mention people communicating in real-time, it’s inevitable that sensitive information will get sprayed,” said Sathe. “Nightfall acts as a continuous shield, providing administrators the option of manually taking action on the data, leveraging automated workflows to prevent data loss, or classifying data historically for compliance.”

The Nightfall team has experience at platform tech and cybersecurity companies, including Uber, Atlassian, Deliveroo, Palo Alto Networks, CrowdStrike, and Akamai.

“Our mission at Nightfall is to build the control plane for cloud data, enabling enterprises to know what data they have across the cloud, and to proactively manage and protect that information,” added Nightfall CEO Isaac Madan — who was previously on the investment team at Venrock.

Ellucian VP and CISCO Josh Sosnin credited Nightfall with helping secure the company’s Slack communications for the company’s employee base of over 3,000 people.

“Nightfall has been indispensable in our data security program at Ellucian. The team has been incredibly responsive and focused on continually improving the platform for new use cases,” added Sosnin.

The Nightfall platform has been ahead of the market in delivering an approach that has high classification efficacy. Plus it delivers measurable productivity enhancements to security teams through deployment and automation.

“Nightfall’s platform deployed in seconds, and quickly became a core component of our security program. The platform’s accuracy and automation capabilities limit the need for manual intervention, while delivering continuous protection in environments like Slack,” explained Michael Laurenzano, CTO of Clinc — which is an enterprise artificial intelligence firm that services highly regulated industries. “Nothing on the market comes close to this.”

Bain Capital Ventures partner Enrique Salem is joining the Nightfall Board of Directors. Salem is also known as the former CEO of Symantec and he also served as a Board Director at DocuSign and Atlassian.

“Isaac, Rohan, and the Nightfall team are addressing a deep and profound need in the world of information security, where I have spent nearly three decades of my career. With the proliferation of data across the cloud, high accuracy content inspection that is easy to operationalize is more important than ever. Nightfall has built a powerful and elegant solution to this problem. We are delighted to have been investors since the very beginning and to continue deepening our partnership with the team,” explained Salem.