Why We Invested: Abstract Security

The Complete Data Platform for Security

Rally Ventures
4 min readJul 9, 2024


Abstract Security is building a new platform designed to revolutionize the security information and event management (SIEM) market by addressing the scalability and speed issues faced by traditional SIEM systems.

The company centralizes the management of security analytics by correlating data in real-time between data streams and separating compliance and security data to both increase detection effectiveness and lower costs.

Abstract recently raised $8.5 million in seed funding led by Rally Ventures, Crosslink Capital and Liquid 2 Ventures. Below is a short Q&A with Co-Founder and CEO Colby DeRodeff, discussing the Abstract platform, why legacy solutions haven’t kept pace and his favorite ways to unplug.

Welcome to the portfolio, Abstract Security!

1. What is Abstract Security and what core problem does it solve?

Security analytics today is a patchwork of products that don’t deliver business value, and most of the data collected isn’t useful for detecting threats. Costs have surged and legacy solutions can’t handle the volume of data we collect today or create actionable alerts fast enough. Current solutions on the market require humans to sift through massive sets of data, which is time-consuming and expensive.

Abstract Security is unique in its ability to separate security analytics from compliance data, which allows for faster detection and reduces computing and storage costs. Our AI-driven approach helps analysts identify and respond to threats more quickly and efficiently. By utilizing machine learning to analyze data streams, Abstract can find correlations between streams and generate actionable alerts much faster than traditional systems.

This approach enables security analysts to focus on managing and resolving critical threats instead of sifting through massive data sets, which saves money, resources and time.

2. Why haven’t existing solutions kept up?

First-generation SIEMs are reaching the end of their lifecycle, causing a significant shake-up in the market as people seek next-generation products. Existing solutions, which peaked a decade ago, are built on legacy technology and have become outdated. Modern security operations platforms aren’t built on old databases anymore because they can’t scale to handle the volume of data we have today.

3. The Abstract team brings a unique set of experiences and backgrounds in product development and company-building expertise, formerly at companies like ArcSight (acq. by HP), Mandiant (acq. by Google), Palo Alto Networks and others. Tell me more about your co-founders.

I’ve been in the SIEM space for 23 years across multiple companies. It’s what I’ve grown up in cyber doing, so it’s fitting that Abstract focuses on this area. Ryan Clough, our Chief Product Officer, comes from the operations side of the house. He started out as a security analyst at JP Morgan and then went on to join the product teams at FireEye and Anomali. He excels in understanding customer needs and enhancing user experience.

Aaron Shelmire, our Chief Threat Research Officer, started at Carnegie Mellon’s supercomputing center and built products for SecureWorks. He joined me at Anomali for threat research and has worked at Palo Alto Networks and GitHub, driving product security and threat strategy. He drives our threat strategy and is very knowledgeable about current threats and vulnerabilities and how organizations are breached.

Chris Camacho, our COO, has deep expertise in go-to-market strategies. He spent a decade at the World Bank and Bank of America and the last 8 years at Flashpoint, focusing on strategy and running their GTM organization. He’s super dialed into the industry and knows the players very well.

We recently welcomed our CTO, Stefan Zier, who was a founding team member and Chief Architect of Sumo Logic. We’re also thrilled to add Verodin Co-Founder and Rally Tech Partner Chris Key to our board of directors.

4. What tools/tactics do you use to get unstuck when you’re struggling with a problem?

Communication is key. Assume positive intentions and that everyone is working toward the same goal. When frustrated, take a step back, breathe, and maybe go for a walk.

I have advisors that I talk to regularly, and I also recommend to my leadership team that they have advisors and mentors they can talk to regularly. Building a business is tough, and there will always be challenging moments and frustrations. It’s just bound to happen when you’re in close quarters trying to accomplish something big.

5. What do you do when you’re not at work? How do you unplug?

I love getting outside and being in nature when I’m not working on Abstract. Camping, four-wheeling and rock crawling are some of my go-to outdoor activities. My go-to camping spot is The Rubicon Trail, which is just south of Lake Tahoe.



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