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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 Nate Kharrl, CEO & Co-Founder of Spec, a fraud defense technology platform that’s raised $30 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Personal Journey from Fraudster to Fraud Fighter: Nate’s unique background as a former eBay fraudster who now combats fraud highlights his deep understanding of the field and the irony of his professional journey.
  • Founding During a Pandemic: The idea for Spec originated in 2014, but the COVID-19 pandemic created the perfect timing for Nate and his co-founder to finally launch the company, addressing the surge in fraud and scam activities.
  • Understanding the Fraud Landscape: Nate differentiates fraud from cybersecurity, explaining that fraud involves the misuse of systems for nefarious purposes, while cybersecurity focuses on protecting systems from unauthorized access.
  • Customer-Driven Product Evolution: The first customers of Spec helped shape the company’s product by providing real-world feedback, leading to a better understanding and articulation of their core value proposition.
  • Navigating Enterprise Sales: The transition from founder-led sales to a dedicated sales team has been challenging, but essential for scaling the business and addressing the complex needs of large enterprises.
  • Future Vision with AI: Nate envisions leveraging AI to make complex fraud detection more accessible and efficient for non-technical users, enhancing the platform’s value and usability.



Talk to Customers Early and Often:

Engage with potential customers frequently to understand their pain points and refine your product offering based on their feedback.

Differentiate Between Cybersecurity and Fraud:

Clearly articulate the distinction between cybersecurity and fraud to help stakeholders understand the unique value proposition of your solution.

Leverage AI for Complex Problems:

Utilize AI to simplify complex tasks and make advanced technology accessible to non-technical users, enhancing overall usability and value.

Hire Smartly:

Focus on hiring talented individuals who align with your company's vision and culture. The right hires can significantly impact your company's trajectory.

Understand Your Market Category:

Define and communicate your market category effectively to position your company within the industry and attract the right customers and investors.

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