For us, cybersecurity is personal
Ballistic Ventures is focused solely on early-stage cybersecurity and nothing else.
With the blistering speed of digital transformation, all the elements of our physical lives will be online — and nefarious intentions will follow. Businesses, governments, and individuals cannot survive in a digital society that doesn’t also provide security and privacy for digital assets and trust across ecosystems.
While the number of cybersecurity companies has tripled in the last three years, entrepreneurs are dealing with adversaries whose tools and tactics are constantly changing. They need more than money from an industry that has become too complex for general investors who simply dabble in it. Founders need help from operators who understand the nuances that face a new security start-up, and the VC support that puts them on the right trajectory.
We are excited to announce the formation of Ballistic Ventures, a VC firm dedicated to funding and incubating innovations in cybersecurity and nothing else. We believe that the most important action we can take today is to fuel the ideas of the world’s greatest cybersecurity entrepreneurs with our collective experience, network, and passion. Combined, we have founded, operated, or funded over 90 cybersecurity firms, and led over ten thousand security professionals globally. Together, we have 40+ years of experience in venture capital and have led $100B in investments. Along with announcing our firm, we are also announcing the first close of our first fund targeting $250M to help new companies who share this important mission.
Ballistic Ventures was formed out of a profound sense of urgency and personal responsibility. For over the last 35 years we have led from the front lines as the cyber threat landscape has evolved from benign hacking to the ruthless and insidious attacks by nation states and organized crime that disrupts millions of lives daily. Having spent our entire careers defending against every cyber threat imaginable, we bring backgrounds ranging from technology, venture, law enforcement and intelligence, and understand all facets of the fight.
For us, it’s personal. We are committed to bringing to bear all of our combined experience to help entrepreneurs in new and unprecedented ways define ideas and scale businesses throughout the entire journey. Together, we can change the balance of power and make our world safer for those generations who come after us.
If you are a passionate cybersecurity entrepreneur with a great idea, reach out to see how we can help you before you launch.
The Ballistic Ventures Team
Ted Schlein, General Partner
Ted’s legendary career in venture capital spanning 25 years at Kleiner Perkins and more than 30 years in cybersecurity make him uniquely qualified to lead the Ballistic team as General Partner. His roles as operator, founder, investor and advisor have resulted in the creation of companies that have fundamentally shaped the cybersecurity landscape, while returning billions of dollars to shareholders. Ted provides counsel to the U.S. intelligence community, serves on the Board of Trustees at InQTel, and was recently named as a board member of the CISA Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. Ballistic is the embodiment of Ted’s vision for how venture capital can play a crucial role in the continual fight for a free and secure digital future.
Kevin Mandia, Strategic Partner
Kevin is one of the world’s most recognized experts in cybersecurity and a relentless warrior deeply engaged in fighting cyber threats for more than 30 years. After serving as an Officer in the United States Air Force, he founded Mandiant, a company that defines modern day incident response and cyber readiness. In addition to serving as the CEO and a board member of Mandiant and as a board member of the CISA Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, Kevin will mentor Ballistic entrepreneurs on their journey, leveraging his extensive knowledge of the threat landscape and strengths as a successful founder and CEO.
Barmak Meftah, General Partner
Recognized globally as one of the most successful business leaders in enterprise software and cybersecurity, Barmak has more than 25 years of experience building market-leading companies. Most recently, he served as the President for AT&T Cybersecurity, a role assumed after the successful acquisition of AlienVault, where he had served for six year as CEO. Under Barmak’s leadership, AT&T established itself as a cybersecurity leader and one of the world’s top-five largest managed security services providers (MSSPs). As General Partner, Barmak will mentor and guide startup CEOs through the complexities and challenges of building great teams and companies.
Jake Seid, General Partner
Jake has a unique combination of professional operating and investing experience that he uses to support founders as they grow their businesses. As an investor, 11 of his early-stage investments have grown to become unicorn companies as did TenX/Auction, where he wrote the business plan and led as President. Jake started his tenure in venture capital as a member of the team that launched Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2000 and became a key Managing Director helping drive the firm’s early growth. As a General Partner at Ballistic, Jake will help founders focus and grow the next generation of companies solving the largest and most-critical problems.
Roger Thornton, General Partner
Roger is a driving force behind hundreds of technology products and services that have formed and grown companies across a range of industries. As a founder and CTO, his visionary product and technology leadership helped create cybersecurity industry leaders Fortify Software and AlienVault. As an investor, mentor and board member he has helped multiple generations of entrepreneurs build more than 15 successful cybersecurity companies. In his General Partner role at Ballistic, Roger will tap into over 30 years of experience to counsel future generations of cybersecurity founders who are focused on building great products as a foundation for great companies.
Derek Smith, Strategic Advisor
Derek is the definition of a visionary leader and serial entrepreneur. After founding his first technology company while in college, he went on to deliver a total of four successful technology startups including the market-defining cybersecurity companies Oakley Networks and Shape Security (recently acquired by F5 for more than $1B). Derek has been a mentor and advisor, and also served as Senior Advisor for Cyber-Policy at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As a strategic advisor at Ballistic, Derek will nurture innovators, tapping into his experience helping over a dozen successful cyber startups.
Agnes So, Vice President, Finance and Operations
Agnes So has nearly 15 years of experience in venture capital, finance, and accounting and previously worked at some of the venture industry’s leading firms. Agnes learned the trade at Kleiner Perkins under the guidance of industry veteran Sue Biglieri (Kleiner Perkins’ CFO and COO). As Vice President of Finance and Operations for Ballistic, Agnes will establish internal operations and manage finance for a world-class venture capital team.