Natasja Nielsen (ODF3) and Shrav Mehta (ODF2 and ODS1) are the co-founders of Secureframe, a B2B security compliance start-up that helps businesses maintain two key cybersecurity certifications, SOC 2 and ISO 27001, with HIPAA and PCI launching soon. Secureframe integrates with 40+ cloud providers and apps, which allow businesses to become certified in weeks, rather than months. Recently, they raised an $18 million Series A round, led by Kleiner Perkins. Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund) led their $4.5 million seed round, less than a year after it was founded in January 2020.
Before co-founding Secureframe, Natasja was a Software Development Engineering Lead at Amazon, and Shrav worked as a marketer at Pilot.com.
Why Natasja joined On Deck:
Shrav and I were actually in different On Deck cohorts, even though we ended up working together. I had been thinking about starting something for years. I was still working at Amazon at the time. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to work on, though there were a couple of different spaces I was interested in. I was mostly looking to meet with other people who were in a similar stage and really just talk through ideas and hone in a little bit on what kind of company I wanted to start and in what space.
Why Shrav joined On Deck:
For me, Erik had initially mentioned On Deck as something that could be interesting for me. And I'd actually attended the first On Deck cohort’s closing event, and everyone had really awesome things to say about their experience. I wanted to be a part of it.
How On Deck impacted Secureframe:
Shrav: It was great to be able to talk with people in the community who are running into some of the same problems that we were. On Deck has helped Secureframe a lot, in a lot of different ways. For us, it was most helpful in building out our product.
We were able to get quick feedback on what we needed to change, or what was going well—some of our initial customers were fellows from the On Deck community who were running into problems that Secureframe could solve.
The most impactful part of their On Deck experience:
Natasja: In our really early days, one of the strategic decisions we had to make was figuring out how we were going to build out a ton of integrations as quickly as possible, since it’s a core part to our platform, pulling and monitoring information from all these different sources.
So we looked at companies that had done something similar to this. I posted in the On Deck community slack about this problem space, and people were super quick to jump in and offer their recommendations from their own experience, as well as people to talk to. One of those people was Tony Xiao at Alka Finance. Tony and I had talked quite a bit about the ways his company had approached this problem, and the trade-offs you have to make when you’re architecting. This was absolutely crucial to us being able to roll out dozens of integrations in our first six weeks.