SAN FRANCISCO and TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--YL Ventures, the prominent seed-stage venture capital firm investing in Israeli cybersecurity startups, announced that Ryan Gurney will join the firm as its new full-time CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)-in-Residence. Ryan will leverage his unique experience of holding leading security roles in both startups and global enterprises to provide Israeli cybersecurity entrepreneurs with unparalleled guidance on achieving product market fit and customer success.
Prior to joining YL Ventures, Ryan was the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Looker, a business intelligence software and big data analytics platform acquired by Google for $2.6B, now part of the Google Cloud Platform. Prior to the acquisition, Ryan served as Looker’s CSO, leading security and compliance and helping Google and Looker integrate and centralize key security processes post-acquisition. Previously, Ryan led all security functions at Zendesk in his role as VP of Information Security, where he played a key role in the company’s successful IPO. Additionally, he held security leadership roles at Engine Yard, eBay and PwC.
After several years of serving on YL Ventures’ Venture Advisory Board among 100 global CISOs and cybersecurity executives from Fortune 100 and high-growth companies, Ryan is now looking to take a more active role in fostering the success of early-stage startups as full-time CISO-in-Residence. He will work directly with entrepreneurs pre- and post-investment, supporting their ideation processes, highlighting greenfield market opportunities, validating their value propositions, refining go-to-market strategies and optimizing their early-stage success in closing paying customers.
“I’m eager to gain more exposure to the business side of investing, interact with sharp, motivated entrepreneurs in this space and share my successes and failures in managing a company's security posture,” said Gurney. “I am most excited to bring my insight into what buyers look for in a security product and vendor relationship, as well as help founders tackle CISO and security management pain points,” he added.
“Ryan has 15 years of experience as a security practitioner working in a variety of security disciplines. He has built security programs from scratch, scaled startups, built out product security features and coached and mentored tomorrow’s security leaders,” said John Brennan, partner at YL Ventures. “Ryan’s past positions enable him to share a broad set of experiences and bring a unique perspective to early-stage entrepreneurs. We look forward to seeing what innovation and fresh view Ryan will bring to this unique role," added Brennan.
Past YL Ventures CISOs-in Residence include Sounil Yu, former Chief Security Scientist at Bank of America who exited to a full-time CISO role at JupiterOne and Roger Hale, former VP & CISO of Informatica, who exited to become CSO at BigID. Both Roger and Sounil continue in their roles as Venture Advisors at YL Ventures.
About YL Ventures
YL Ventures funds and supports brilliant Israeli tech entrepreneurs from seed to lead. Based in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, YL Ventures manages over $300 million and specializes in cybersecurity. YL Ventures accelerates the evolution of portfolio companies via strategic advice and U.S.-based operational execution, leveraging a powerful network of Chief Information Security Officers and global industry leaders. The firm's track record includes successful, high-profile portfolio company acquisitions by major corporations including Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft, CA and Proofpoint.
Heading the fund is Silicon Valley-based Managing Partner Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, a serial entrepreneur and early-stage investor for over 25 years. Yoav works alongside Partner John Brennan in the U.S., while Partner & Head of Israeli Office Ofer Schreiber leads the Tel Aviv office together with Chief Marketing Officer, Sharon Seemann. With a multidisciplinary team of 16 spread across two offices, YL Ventures has engrained itself in both the U.S. and Israeli cybersecurity ecosystems.
For more information, visit ylventures.com.