Virgil Security Co-founders Michael Wellman (left) and Dmitri Dain (right) Ring the Mach37 Bell to Celebrate Reaching Escape Velocity; Rick Gordon Joins In the Celebration
On October 7th, Virgil Security closed a $4 million Series A investment, led by KEC Ventures. KEC is a venture firm founded by Jeff Citron, who also founded Island ECN, Datek Online and Vonage. For those of you who are close to Mach37, you know I have been promising for many months that we have several companies ready for Series A investment. Virgil was one of them.
As I thought about using this blog to crow about our investment strategy (we actually hunted for a company that offers easy-to-implement encryption infrastructure) or in some way hype-up just how smart we are at Mach37, a conversation I had last week caused me to think better of it. Virgil’s CEO Michael Wellman offered the key insight. As I was verbally high-fiving Michael, he took a characteristically humble look at the company’s journey so far and remarked:
“You know Rick, it used to be that if you worked hard, had talent, OR got lucky, you could make it to the NFL (National Football League). These days, to make it you need to work hard, have talent AND get lucky to even have a chance.”
And, so it is with technology start-ups. The hidden truth is that entrepreneurs can have talent, make every right decision, and work their butts off, but if serendipity does not smile the company will fail.
In the case of Virgil, I can point to a handful of inflection points that relied heavily on just being in the right place at the right time. I can say the same for Invincea and Lookingglass, two companies I was intimately involved with during their early struggles that have since achieved similar inflection points. However, the truth is that all of these companies still have additional milestones to achieve before any of us can declare victory.
So, instead of trying to convince you that the Mach37 team is smarter than we really are, I’ll just say that we feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to invest early in Virgil. It is a company that has the world class talent and drive required to be successful AND was able to create the necessary luck along the way to close its Series A.
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