NM tech startup poised for rapid growth under new owner - Albuquerque Journal

NM tech startup poised for rapid growth under new owner

From left, RiskSense CEO Srinivas Mukkamala, Ivanti CEO Jim Schaper and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham attend a news conference on RiskSense’s pending merger with Ivanti. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Albuquerque-based cybersecurity firm RiskSense could grow exponentially in coming years under its new owner, information technology company Ivanti.

The Utah-based IT giant, which acquired RiskSense in late July for an undisclosed price, celebrated the merger Monday in a ceremony with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at RiskSense’s Albuquerque offices.

Ivanti Chairman and CEO Jim Schaper said RiskSense brings new, critical capabilities to Ivanti’s cybersecurity services, and as Ivanti operations continue to gain ground in national and international markets, RiskSense will expand right along with it.

“We want to grow our presence here,” Schaper said. “We see great opportunities here.”

RiskSense, which launched in 2006 with technology developed at the New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology in Socorro, is a homegrown startup success story. The company spent years developing New Mexico Tech’s original technology into a comprehensive software platform that now allows businesses and institutions to constantly monitor and analyze strengths and weaknesses in their online networks. It uses artificial intelligence to provide real-time awareness of potential threats and vulnerabilities that human managers can then address to prevent cybersecurity breaches before they happen.

The company raised $26 million in venture investment in recent years from local and national firms. That includes Santa Fe-based Sun Mountain Capital, which manages the State Investment Fund’s commitments to local startups, giving New Mexico a direct stake in the company.

The state Economic Development Department also provided $100,000 in Local Economic Development Act funding to remodel an 18,400-square-foot office suite that RiskSense moved into near Journal Center in 2015, plus $584,000 in Job Training Incentive Program assistance. The company earned spots on the Journal’s Flying 40 list of fast-growing technology firms in 2013 and 2014. It reached nearly $5 million in revenue and 70 employees in the latter year before it stopped publicly reporting its revenue.

The Ivanti acquisition represents a win-win for New Mexico, since RiskSense will remain located here and continue to grow under its new owner, Lujan Grisham told celebration participants.

“We’re not losing RiskSense, we’re gaining Ivanti,” she said.

RiskSense co-founder and CEO Srinivas Mukkamala said the combination of RiskSense’s monitoring and analysis platform with Ivanti’s proprietary system to rapidly patch up cyber vulnerabilities at all levels creates a powerful end-to-end product to protect companies and institutions from cyber threats.

Mukkamala will continue to run RiskSense, but will now serve in a global role as Ivanti’s senior vice president for security products, Mukkamala told the Journal.

Ivanti is an international IT powerhouse with more than 40,000 customers worldwide and $1.4 billion in annual revenue.

“We’ve tripled our revenue just in the last 18 months,” Schaper said. “We have 3,500 employees around the world now. We’re growing rapidly.”


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