In Europe, more so than in other tech ecosystems, exciting founders often emerge from unexpected corners beyond established hubs. A testament to this is our recent investment in Aikido.dev - a leading end-to-end code security solution - based in Ghent, a picturesque historical town in northwest Belgium.
We are co-leading a €5m Seed round with our friends Connect Ventures and are thrilled to welcome Christina Cacioppo, Founder and CEO of Vanta, and Patrick Pichette (former CFO at Google and board member of Twitter) and Raif Jacobs (former CFO of Deliveroo), as angels and advisors.
Aikido offers a comprehensive software security platform, bundling nine code and cloud security solutions (and growing). This includes cloud security posture management, open-source dependency scanning, secrets detection, static code analysis, container scanning, surface monitoring, malware detection, and open-source license scanning. Users can also integrate their existing security tools into Aikido for a more unified view benefitting from the best-in-class noise reduction functionality which is already performing above benchmarks set by the well-established players.
Rather than constantly context-switching between a myriad of products, engineers and security experts have a single interface to manage their secure code operations end-to-end. This centralisation isn't just mere convenience. By bringing all of the alerts into one place, Aikido is able to remove noise, help users prioritise better, and create robust remediation workflows that work across the entire code and security infrastructure, including automated remediation leveraging LLMs.
The timing for a product like Aikido has never been better. DevSecOps - now a well-established methodology - has permeated organisations of all sizes. Moreover, software businesses are grappling with an increasing number of compliance requirements; Europe and US-issued cyber resilience acts, SOC2 and ISO 27001 have evolved into baseline necessities for B2B SaaS companies, crucial for customer acquisition and growth. The fact that a SaaS company holds its customers' most valuable resource - their data - means that trust is paramount. The prominence of DevSecOps and heightened compliance requirements have placed additional responsibility and strain on software engineers. They find themselves juggling an array of fragmented security tools while also navigating the complexities of various regulatory frameworks. Aikido alleviates these challenges by consolidating code security and compliance workflows into a unified platform, empowering every engineer to function as a security expert.
The Aikido founders have achieved remarkable progress in just eleven months., developing a powerful yet user-friendly product. CEO & CTO Willem Delbare, a serial entrepreneur, has firsthand experience overcoming challenges in establishing robust code security frameworks. COO & CRO Roeland Delrue, formerly at Showpad, contributes extensive commercial and operational scaling expertise. CMO Felix Garriau, with deep insights into the developer persona, brings versatile marketing experience. Most importantly, they’ve known each other for years and have been dreaming of building a business together for a long time.
We were really impressed with how little effort it takes to deploy Aikido. You simply enter your credentials and it works instantly - scanning your existing assets and monitoring on an ongoing basis with alerts and remediation suggestions when changes introduce security risks. In a world of cumbersome security tools, with a steep learning curve, Aikido feels like magic. It’s not surprising that in less than a year since launching they have already signed up 1000+ organisations.
We’re excited to have invested in Aikido and to support Willem, Roeland, Felix, and the whole team on the next stage of their journey.
Why Notion? A note from the Founders…
Since we started Aikido, we've been approached by 100+ VCs and we've spoken with about 50 of them. Many of them promised to help us out; to make intros and have portfolio companies try out our product... but only a limited number of them followed through on their promises. Notion did not only execute on what they told us, but they also went above and beyond, exposing us to their network of experts and to many of their portfolio companies. Even before they’d invested in Aikido, we had already found them to be a real growth partner. The people behind the fund are also former founders and we're a fan of the operator turned VC approach.