By: John Vrionis and Haley Daiber
According to The Financial Times Group, 57% of senior-level executives rank “risk and compliance” as one of the top two risk categories they feel least prepared to address and yet, less than three-quarters (69%) of organizations are leveraging technology to support their compliance initiatives, reports KPMG. However, as more and more companies shift to the cloud and regulations continue to increase, the importance of maintaining a secure and compliant cloud environment is more complicated than ever before. Mapping vague regulatory standards to increasingly complex technical environments has proven not to be a task for the faint of heart.
Enter Shujinko, a Seattle-based company focused on enabling companies to quickly and easily configure public cloud environments in a secure and compliant manner — automating the pain of navigating the maze of the ever evolving regulatory standards like SOC 2, PCI, and CCPA. With Shujinko, enterprises are able to manage these regulatory processes a hundred times faster and more efficiently than before.
The co-founders, Scott Schwan and Matt Wells, are the classic authentic founders in that they discovered the problem by experiencing it firsthand, as they worked to solve this issue for Starbucks, an early adopter of the cloud. At the time, the cloud was still the Wild West in terms of thinking through how using somebody else’s infrastructure affected your compliance and security posture and preparedness for passing audits. By going through this painful process, Scott and Matt quickly realized that this was going to be a problem most companies would encounter, especially as more and more enterprises shifted to the public cloud. They recognized that you couldn’t take the solutions that were used on-prem and lift them to the cloud — the process needed a complete re-work. Both Matt and Scott felt they had a solution to automate key parts of the process and so, Shujinko was born.
Today, we are excited to announce that we will be continuing our partnership with the Shujinko team to simplify security and compliance in the cloud. We are thrilled to lead the company’s $7.5M Series A financing in partnership with Defy Ventures and several angels.
At the time we first engaged with Scott and Matt in the summer of 2018, Shujinko was merely an idea. Soon after we were introduced, Scott and Matt applied to be a part of the Alpha Cohort of Unusual Academy and the Unusual Team was quickly impressed by their humility and eagerness to learn. They took full advantage of our Get Ahead Platform (GAP) shortly after completing Unusual Academy and engaged with the team to quickly build their recruiting, sales, and go-to-market messaging efforts.
To Scott and Matt’s credit, their tremendous commitment to building a first class company has started to pay off. On the hiring side, they have built an excellent core engineering team and have started to build out their sales team and an efficient process. From the product and engineering standpoint, Shujinko 1.0 is alive via their compliance portal and the team has its sights set on 2.0. In terms of traction, they’ve already signed a number of large enterprise customers who have become evangelical proponents (turns out saving people months of time by automating Soc2 audit readiness makes them very happy!) and their pipeline is robust. To go from idea to functioning team, generally available product, and significant traction in just over 12 months impressed us to say the least.
There are many reasons why we are thrilled to partner with the Shujinko team, but the core tennant comes down to the co-founders’ authenticity: how much they understand the problem, and how empathetic they are to the customer because they were once in their shoes. Scott and Matt are product visionaries and remind us a lot of Unusual’s co-founder, Jyoti Bansal, in that they are actually the core engineers and architects of Shujinko’s solution. Both of them have been incredibly humble and really embraced learning — as fast and as much as they can — in order to get Shujinko to this point. The Unusual team is thrilled with the progress the Shujinko team has made and we’re excited about the opportunity ahead.
Congratulations to Scott, Matt, and the rest of the Shujinko team. Onward!
Note: This post originally appeared on Ususual Ventures blog