Customer data is a valuable and now highly regulated corporate asset. Therefore, businesses need regular security audits to ensure they are properly protecting their customers’ private information, complying with federal regulations, and avoiding liability and costly fines.
Unsurprisingly, the compliance management software market is large and growing, valued at $32.1 billion in 2020 and expected to reach $74.8 billion by 2028, according to Verified Market Research.
Drata is a relatively new and fast-growing company that provides an advanced security and compliance automation platform with a mission to help businesses maintain the trust of their users, customers, partners, and prospects.
Founded in 2020 by Adam Markowitz, Daniel Marashlian and Troy Markowitz, the San Diego-based company helps companies streamline their SOC 2 compliance audit (a voluntary compliance standard developed by the American Institute of CPAs, which specifies how organizations need to manage customer data) processes through continuous, automated monitoring of controls and collection of evidence, reducing costs and time spent preparing for annual audits.
“Trust is kind of the theme of my career,” says Adam Markowitz, co-founder and CEO of Data. He landed his dream job in 2008 at Aerojet Rocketdyne working on NASA’s space shuttle engine program after graduating from college by creating a portfolio of his accomplishments and abilities for his job interview to prove their skills and earn the trust of their employers. He would later help incorporate the idea of the resume portfolio into a program that NASA would use to help students prove their skills to employers.
When that program was discontinued at NASA in 2011, Markowitz teamed up with Daniel Marashlian and Troy Markowitz to form their own company called Portfolium in 2013, which would build more on the idea of a CV portfolio in a separate company. . The wallet quickly found market traction by selling to universities and grew into a network of over 5 million students. The company was acquired in 2019 by Instructure.
“To sell to universities, we needed to prove that their data was safe and secure and we took the time, resources and effort to create a system to automate the process. After the acquisition, the same co-founders and I -even we’ve come together in 2020 to start Drata and basically help companies get up and maintain their security compliance posture, so they can earn the trust of those they want to do business with,” says Markowitz. . .
Today, Drata is one of the fastest growing SaaS companies. Within the first two months of the official launch in January 2021, they recruited their first 100 customers. Over the next 18 months, they had thousands of customers and hired over 250 employees in the United States and around the world as they expanded internationally.
“It’s definitely the rocket ship that people describe made possible by the muscle memory of the first team that came together, having solved a similar problem for ourselves in our previous life. The speed at which we’ve been in able to execute, I believe, is 100% attributed to trust as the foundation of our core values. We are in the business of trust and our product helps companies build trust with their customers. Here we breathe, live and sleep with confidence,” says Markowitz.
This growth trajectory has seen the company attract $128.2 million in venture capital to date. Its latest $100 million B round on November 8, 2021 led by ICONIQ Growth, with additional investments from Alkeon Capital and Salesforce Ventures, already valued the company at $1 billion. Other investors include GGV Capital, Cowboy Ventures, Leaders Fund and others. “We’re also able to attract investors like SDCI, a group of about 50 CISOs from Silicon Valley’s top tech companies, so this additional endorsement helps show the world what we’re doing and this new way to do things,” says Markowitz.
Markowitz grew up in Los Angeles. His father worked in special effects for the film industry. He grew up playing competitive team sports, which helped shape his competitiveness and taught him the importance of teamwork and leadership. “I attribute the obsessive and relentless mentality to my mother. My father provided the perspective and appreciation for the altruistic aspect of being a CEO. My father always said he never worked a single day of his life. He loves what he does. I also have two older siblings, which I think have helped me a lot growing up. Watching them has given me the confidence to try everything and starting a business is one of the hardest things you can do,” says Markowitz.
He moved to San Diego where he graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in structural engineering and aerospace structures and later earned his master’s degree in astronautical engineering from the University of Southern California. After graduating, he was hired by Aerojet Rocketdyne as an aerospace engineer in 2008 after creating the CV Portfolio program that will serve as the foundation for the future development of the two companies he co-founded.
As for the future? “Our mission is to help secure the future of trust in the cloud, truly leading the way in continuous automated compliance, which is new. So the vision is to be the layer of trust between large enterprises and those they do business with and to be that real-time record system for a company’s security compliance posture. On top of that, we think we could build limitless applications, all centered around trust,” concludes Markowitz.