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Ex-Synack Engineers Raise $3 Million for Security Startup

Two engineers formerly of Synack, a bug-hunting startup, have raised $3 million in funding for a new cybersecurity venture.

The pair of entrepreneurs, Bjoern Zinssmeister and Matthias Kadenbach, formed Templarbit last year with the aim of helping businesses shore up app security. The duo, both Germans who immigrated to the U.S., graduated from Y Combinator, a prominent Silicon Valley startup accelerator program, this past summer.

“We are replacing legacy web application firewalls,” said Zinssmeister, Templarbit’s CEO, referring to a technology hawked by the likes of Imperva, Fortinet, and Trustwave that filters Internet traffic to block attacks. Instead of resorting to an external sort of gateway to weed out threats, software developers can plug Templarbit’s product directly into the apps themselves.

For developers that use app-building tools like Ruby on Rails, all they need to do is add Templarbit’s software plugin (called a “gem,” in this case) to the code, Zinssmeister said. Doing so embeds Templarbit’s defenses into the app and hooks into a software dashboard that monitors threats.

Templarbit has integrations with other app-building tools, including Ruby Sinatra, Node.js, Python Django, Flask, and .Net. Others integrations such as with PHP, Java, and NGINX are coming soon, Zinssmeister said.

Zinssmeister and Kadenbach, Templarbit’s chief technology officer, struck upon the idea for the company while working at Synack together. There the two had a front row seat to the machinations of hackers seeking to infiltrate a variety of organizations, including the Department of Defense and IRS.

Templarbit has already landed a few big customers, including Mercedes-Benz and Match.com.

The fundraising round was led by venture capital firm 205 Capital and joined by Y Combinator and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other participants included angel investors, such as Tim Eades, CEO of data center security startup vArmour, and Somesh Dash, a general partner at Institutional Venture Partners.

Zinssmeister declined to comment on Templarbit’s valuation.