Angel investors, Content, Venture capital

Cybersecurity Startup SaaS Alerts Opens Funding Round to MSPs

SaaS Alerts has embarked on a new funding round that allows MSPs to invest in the cybersecurity startup. Indeed, SaaS Alerts plans to raise $3 million in new funding. The round welcomes a combined $500,000 from MSP industry members -- including owners and employees -- who are accredited angel investors.

SaaS Alerts, led by CEO Jim Lippie, is a cybersecurity company "purpose-built for MSPs to protect and monetize their customers’ core business SaaS applications" -- including Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Dropbox, Slack and others. The platform reached general availability in January 2021, and has grown to support more than 200 MSPs and 60,000+ end users. Actual revenue figures were not disclosed.

SaaS Alerts and Channel Investors

Jim Lippie, CEO, SaaS Alerts
Jim Lippie, CEO, SaaS Alerts

SaaS Alerts already has channel-centric investors. Indeed, the company in March 2021 announced $1.2 million in early stage funding. That round's investors included such MSP and channel veterans as Gary Pica, David Bellini, Adam Slutskin, Paul Cissel, Pete Peterson, Kevin Lancaster, Paul Brady, John Barrows and Michael France, among others.

Fast forward to present day, and SaaS Alerts plans to raise up to $3 million in growth capital to "expand SaaS Alerts’ sales and marketing efforts and to further its product development to incorporate many of the features requested by its MSP partners." Password Boss CEO David Bellini is leading the round, and Channel Angels is syndicating the round to accredited MSP executives and employees.

To participate in the current funding round, interested parties need only demonstrate that they either own or work for a MSP and that they are an accredited investor, SaaS Alerts says. Founding members of Channel Angels, Gerwai Todd and Kevin Blake, will co-lead the investment syndication vehicle on behalf of SaaS Alerts, the organizations say. Todd is CEO of TimeZest and Blake is CEO of ICS Solutions Group, a private equity-backed MSP in New York. Channel Angels is a network of accredited angel investors with the mission of funding the next-generation of technology startups that serve small business customers.

SaaS Security Companies: Venture Capital Funding and Acquisitions

Demand for SaaS-focused security platforms appears to be growing. The evidence: Six SaaS security software startups have a raised a combined $71.2 million in venture capital funding from mid-2020 through April 2021, according to MSSP Alert.

No doubt, plenty of MSPs resell Office 365 and its successor Microsoft 365. Thousands of MSPs also wrap third-party email, data protection, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) services around Microsoft 365 and other SaaS applications. But very few MSPs actually monitor, manage and specifically lock down SaaS applications for customers.

That’s where SaaS security software startups enter the picture. And that picture is growing rapidly. Startups in the market that have raised funding in recent months include:

  1. Adaptive Shield ($4 million seed);
  2. AppOmni ($40 million Series B);
  3. DoControl ($10 million Series A);
  4. Grip Security ($6 million seed);
  5. SaaS Alerts ($1.2 million early stage); and
  6. Torii ($10 million early stage).

Although the SaaS security management market is in its infancy, M&A deals have already started. One prime example: SailPoint Technologies acquired Intello in February 2021. Intello, ahead of the deal, was an early-stage SaaS management company that helps organizations to discover, manage, and secure SaaS applications.

Still, SaaS Alerts isn’t alone in the MSP market. Another startup, called Augmentt, has designed a platform for MSPs to “discover, optimize and fully manage SaaS applications.” Unlike the companies above, Augmentt has not formally announced any funding rounds. But the company has MSP leadership in its DNA. Co-founders Derik Belair (CEO) and Gavin Garbutt (chairman) are N-able veterans who helped to pioneer the RMM (remote monitoring and management) software market and associated MSP recurring revenue models more than a decade ago.

Note: Author Joe Panettieri is a Channel Angels founding member. He does not have a stake in SaaS Alerts and has recused himself from the funding discussions and due diligence process.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.