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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Craig Unger, CEO and founder of Hyperproof, a security assurance and compliance operations platform that has raised over $22 million in funding.

  • Craig’s extensive experience at Microsoft, including leading authentication systems and undergoing strict FTC audits, exposed him to the challenges of maintaining compliance.
  • Hyperproof aims to shift organizations from a checkbox audit approach to a continuous “compliance operations” methodology, ensuring controls are up-to-date and tested year-round.
  • The platform provides a centralized system for managing compliance processes, collaboration, and evidence – evolving the workload out of scattered spreadsheets and manual tasks.
  • Hyperproof has seen strong traction, with 2x YoY growth, hundreds of customers, and significant expansion within existing accounts.
  • Rising data volumes, new technologies like AI, and increased regulatory activity are key market drivers fueling demand for modern compliance solutions.
  • By positioning as a strategic platform to operationalize compliance and connect it to risk reduction, Hyperproof aims to rise above the noise of point security solutions.

Actionable
Takeaways

Connect Compliance to Risk Reduction for Strategic Relevance:

Craig emphasizes the importance of elevating the compliance conversation beyond a box-checking exercise to a strategic imperative. Hyperproof positions its platform as a way to measurably reduce organizational risk, not just meet audit requirements. Founders in regulated or security-sensitive verticals can apply this lesson by clearly linking their solution to mitigating existential business risk, gaining greater executive buy-in and budget.

Take a Customer-Centric Approach to Category Creation:

While existing analysts may group Hyperproof with GRC or IRM tools, the company aspires to establish a new category around compliance operations. Craig realizes this will be an evolution, keeping Hyperproof aligned to customer needs. Founders pursuing category creation should adopt a similar customer-centric approach - maintaining flexibility in their narrative while persistently evangelizing their vision.

Focus on the Right Customers to Drive Efficient Growth:

A key lesson from Hyperproof's journey to product-market fit is the discipline to focus on ideal customer profiles (ICPs) early on. While tempting to chase any revenue when starting out, Craig advises a more targeted approach. He suggests foregoing some growth to build a solid base of customers that can expand over time. Founders should define their ICP early and stay focused, as catering to the wrong customers can distract product development and increase churn.

Adapt to Intersecting Stakeholders in Enterprise Sales:

Selling compliance solutions in the enterprise often starts with engaging the CISO but frequently expands to compliance officers, security analysts, legal teams and engineering leaders. Craig highlights the importance of understanding each persona's objectives and crafting relevant value propositions. Founders selling to large organizations must embrace this complexity, tailoring their approach to each stakeholder while maintaining consistent positioning.

Recognize Market Education as an Ongoing GTM Requirement:

Driving adoption of a new solution category often requires active market education. Craig identifies the need to build awareness of compliance as a continuous, organization-wide process as a key GTM challenge. He views it as an industry-wide shift, similar to the evolution of security from an isolated team to a pervasive concern. Founders pioneering new approaches should budget for market education in their GTM plans and commit to evangelizing patiently.

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