Cybersecurity represents a new field for Sean Feeney, but the recently appointed CEO of Seattle’s DefenseStorm, a cybersecurity firm specializing in protecting financial institutions, says he isn’t worried.
“Cybersecurity is an area that’s under-served in a number of markets, and I know the community-bank space from my days at CheckFree,” said Feeney, who stepped into his new role on July 1. “DefenseStorm is my third cloud company, I’ve dealt with security, and frankly, I’ve been hired for my operational expertise. We’ve got plenty of cybersecurity experts on board.”
Under Feeney’s leadership, DefenseStorm has raised $6 million in growth financing from existing and new investors, the latter including TTV Capital. It plans to use the money to expand its sales, marketing, engineering and support staff and to expand into other verticals. The most recent raise, completed in June, brought its total funding to just under $10 million.
Working from his home city of Atlanta, where the company is establishing an office, Feeney plans to broaden DefenseStorm’s focus from banking to include other industries, predicting its customer count will expand from the current 18 — to 20 by the end of this quarter and to 30 by year-end.
“We are hiring as fast as we can hire,” he said, aiming to supplement the software engineers and security experts working in Seattle and the sales team in both Seattle and Atlanta. Headcount currently stands at 27, he said.
Feeney most recently served as CEO at supply-chain network firm GT Nexus. Under his direction, that company was bought by software-maker Infor for $675 million. Before that, he worked as CEO of consultancy Inovis and as executive VP of CheckFree. He retired briefly after Infor bought GT Nexus, but when he was approached about the position with DefenseStorm, he changed his mind.
“I had planned to serve on some boards and sit around and invest for awhile, but I knew the product worked and the team of technologists was great,” he said. “I talked to just about every customer before I came board and learned they were happy about it. So I decided to join.”
DefenseStorm in June changed its name from Praesidio, which it said reflected the expansion of its mission from protecting financial institutions’ on-premises data to protecting data wherever it resides.