Britive grabs $10M Series A to build automated multi-cloud permissions tool

Britive, an early-stage startup that is trying to bring privileged access control to a multi-cloud world, announced a $10 million Series A this morning. Crosslink Capital led the investment, with participation from previous investors Upfront Ventures and One Way Ventures.

The company helps automate permissioning across multiple cloud vendors and software services, whether that involves a human or a machine seeking permission. In a world of increasing automation, it’s often a machine seeking access, and that makes permissioning all the more critical, says Britive co-founder and CEO Art Poghosyan.

“What we offer is an automated approach to access, [moving from] what we call statically granted access, which constantly gets added all the time […] to completely ‘just in time access’,” he said. That means that after you define a policy, it sets the ground rules for access, and grants it based on that policy for the time required, and nothing more, whether you’re a human or a machine.

In today’s complex development, world that could take many forms, including API keys and secrets. “Yes, sometimes those things are granted to a human actor like a DevOps engineer, but a lot of times it also needs to be granted — quote, unquote — to a Terraform script or to GitHub to go and build out application infrastructure or deploy an application,” he said.

The company currently has 40 employees, a number that Poghosyan expects to double in the next 12 months as he puts this capital to work. As a first-generation Armenian immigrant, Poghosyan says that he takes diversity and inclusion extremely seriously as he hires more employees.

“We’ve always been committed — in this business and our previous startup — to providing equal opportunities to talented people, no matter what background they come from. I’m really proud that even as a small company — we’re 40 at the moment — we have more than 50% of our workforce which comes from ethnic minority groups,” he said.

Britive, which is based in Los Angeles, launched in 2018 and brought its first product to market in 2019. The company raised a $5.4 million seed round last July, which it announced in September, making the total raised so far approximately $15.4 million.



Huckleberry raises $18M to put small business insurance online

The insurance industry, sleepy and ancient, is ripe for disruption. We’ve seen companies like Lemonade, Hippo and Rhino get in on that opportunity. Today, an insurtech company focused on small business insurance has raised $18 million to keep growing.

Meet Huckleberry, whose Series A was led by Tribe Capital, with participation from Amaranthine, Crosslink Capital and Uncork Capital.

Huckleberry launched in 2017 to offer business insurance, including workers’ compensation and general liability, all through an online portal.

Small business insurance coverage is not like car insurance or renters insurance. It’s not as simple as filling out a few forms and getting a quote. Even if a few platforms do have algorithms for providing quotes, you can’t really close the deal unless you get on the phone.

It’s an incredibly tedious and stressful process. In fact, Huckleberry co-founders Bryan O’Connell and Steve Au first came up with the idea for Huckleberry when they were seeking out their own small business coverage for a previous startup idea.

The industry itself is incredibly fragmented, which is caused in part by the fact that small business coverage underwriting varies wildly from business to business. For example, the policy for three or four restaurants might look relatively similar. However, a fast food restaurant might be identified as a higher risk with regards to workers’ compensation than a Michelin-star restaurant, where workers might be more eager to get back to work and take home their tip money. These differences come in the form of location, operations and many other factors, as well as business vertical.

Huckleberry has worked to build out myriad coverage verticals, including food and beverage, fitness, retail, legal, healthcare, hair and beauty and more.

The firm offers worker’s comp, as well as a package policy that includes general liability, property and business interruption insurance. Customers also can purchase add-ons like hired and non-owned auto insurance, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), liquor liability insurance, employee dishonesty coverage, professional liability insurance, equipment breakdown coverage and spoilage coverage.

Huckleberry isn’t itself an insurance carrier, but does have the authority to underwrite and sell policies on behalf of the carrier. That said, Huckleberry’s expansion both by vertical and geography is more difficult than your average software startup. The regulatory landscape of insurance in the U.S. goes state by state.

“Our biggest challenge is navigating 50 states’ worth of extremely complicated regulations on something that is much more complicated than a software product,” said O’Connell. “We’re trying to protect individual workers and businesses all while staying fully compliant in every market.”

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