I first began working with .406 when I was recruited to Veracode after having run Iron Mountain. I had no intention of running a start up at the time, but Maria along with the team convinced me that the meta-trends showed we had a chance to build a company that could stand the test of time. At some level, I would argue Maria seduced me because I was really committed to taking at least a year off. I deeply appreciated the fact that we both realized we wanted me to become the CEO and a lot of the negotiating posture was dropped in favor of affecting that outcome. It’s been four, and in that time we’ve seen mostly ups, but a few downs and we’ve always managed those downs from the standpoint of solving the issues together as partners. I’ve been able to get to know Greg and Larry by sitting on another .406 board, CloudHealth (which is another awesome company), and we’ve developed a friendship that transcends what we’re trying to do here. This also makes it that much more important to me that Maria and the team at .406 get a home run in returns from their investment in Veracode, and quite frankly in me.
What .406 has done for me:
- They convinced me to take the best job I’ve had in what’s been a great career. This is my favorite job by far.
- Maria personally brought me up to speed on the industry and quickly introduced me to some of the most important decision makers in our space, enabling a much faster ramp with me as CEO.
- Maria ran the company before I got here in such a way that there was an optimism and level of care that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.
- .406 has been a staunch investor in Veracode since its inception.
- It’s a pleasure to work with Larry, Greg, and Payal at CloudHealth and it’s obvious that the .406 friendliness extends across the partnership.
- It’s always fun to go offline with Maria in “operator mode” and just talk CEO to CEO about whatever’s bothering me.
- From what I know of CarbonBlack, Threatstack, CloudHealth, Kaltura, Pwnie Express – these are all the kinds of companies that you’d want a close friend to work at with big market opportunities, differentiated technology, and cultures that have high standards and recognize the importance of transparency and positive energy in their cultures.
- Bob Brennan, CEO
I consider Maria Cirino one of the founders of Veracode not only because she was an initial funder but because she was instrumental in coming up with our business model. Christien Rioux, my co-founder, and I had built a patented application security testing technology binary static analysis. It was unique in the marketplace but we were thinking about it as a tool to sell to developers. Maria understood we needed to differentiate from other security testing tools and to establish a recurring and predictable revenue stream. Even before SaaS was coined and there were no other companies delivering application security as an on-demand automated service, Maria proposed we put our technology behind an on-demand website and run the company as a managed service. This approach has made all the difference and has allowed us to become the market leader in our space.
Maria was also able to step in at the time of funding when we didn’t have a CEO hired yet and run the company with us for the first few months. When we had a CEO change 5 years later and our new CEO, Bob Brennan, had not yet been recruited, Maria once again stepped up to an operational role and was our interim CEO. This was a difficult time for the company but .406 and Maria were there for us.
I’ve built a friendship with Maria outside of work, which includes both of our families. I have gotten to know Greg through .406 events and due diligence I have helped out with. These are genuinely good people that I feel lucky to work with.
- Chris Wysopal, Co-Founder and CTO
Funny Memory of .406 Ventures
In the beginning of the Veracode journey, Jeff Fagnan from Accomplice, also a Veracode A round investor, wanted to introduce Maria Cirino to Christien and me. We were hesitant to meet her as we had spent the last 4 years at our prior company, @stake, competing against Maria at her company Guardent. We had heard stories that she was “a pit bull in high heels” and a really tough business person. Later Maria told us she was hesitant too. Christien and I had come from the hacker group, The L0pht, had once used hacker names to identify ourselves, and wore a lot of black t-shirts. Jeff brokered the introduction and we soon realized we all had great things to offer the future Veracode so we quickly got to work building a great company.
- Chris Wysopal, Co-Founder and CTO