Strike Security, a continuous penetration testing platform that combines automation with ethical hackers, has secured a $5.4 million seed investment to make bug hunting more accessible to small businesses.
Santiago Rosenblatt, the 25-year-old founder and CEO of Strike, has already racked up two decades of cybersecurity experience. “I started hacking when I was six-and-a-half,” he tells TechCrunch. From tinkering with streaming services to payment giants, by the age of 15 Rosenblatt went on to help defend some of the biggest Latin American startups, including AstroPay and PedidosYa, an experience that led him to start Strike in 2021.
"I thought, 'how is it possible I’m spending tens of thousands of dollars to defend this company when I was hacking in my bedroom when I was eight years old?'," he said.
Strike takes a different approach to penetration testing that combines automation with ethical hackers, or "Strikers," which means the startup can offer businesses continuous vulnerability monitoring at a cost 10 times more accessible than some of its competitors, Rosenblatt tells TechCrunch.
Once an organization has signed up, Strikers — which include established ethical hackers, as well as a waiting list of more than 100 to join — will begin testing a company's assets and systems to identify critical vulnerabilities. The platform provides automatic reporting for compliance and automated scans on a recurring basis, and integrates with management and communication systems such as Jira and Slack in order for Strikers to be closely embedded with the organization's developer teams.
Rosenblatt tells TechCrunch that, ultimately, the company's goal is to transform and expand access to the cybersecurity market, where penetration testing can be costly, and, as a result, infrequent.
"Traditionally, penetration testing is done at most one or two times a year because it is extremely expensive and time-consuming," he said. "In the current context, where the use of digital tools has increased in all areas of our lives, security needs require a different approach, so we created a solution that allows this type of testing to be carried out consistently. Thanks to it, companies can now detect and resolve critical vulnerabilities at a much lower cost and in less time," he said.
Strike has now raised $5.4 million in seed funding to build out the company and its offering. The round was led by Greyhound Capital, with participation from FJ Labs, Canary, NXTP, VentureFriends, Magma Partners, Latitud and Orok Ventures, as well as individual investors.
The startup currently has a number of customers ranging from similarly early-stage startups to Latin America’s largest fintechs, and says the investment will be used to expand its network of ethical hackers and to strengthen its leading position in the Latin American region during 2022.
Subsequently, Strike will seek to expand into the U.S. and European markets.