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Carbide - Early failure led to success

How did your company get stated?

When the enterprise prospect's security questionnaire landed in Laird Wilton‘s inbox, he felt sick to his stomach. He scrolled down the long list of detailed information security questions. His team at a growing SaaS startup could easily stumble in their responses here.

At the time, Laird was the CRO at a small startup based in Nova Scotia. They had customers around the globe, and their SaaS product was quickly gaining rave reviews within their target market. Their startup had traction, opening the door to opportunities with several Fortune 500 brands. These kinds of enterprise customers would be huge wins for the scrappy startup team. 

Laird immediately looped in his CEO, Darren Gallop. To close this deal, they would need to devote their own time, plus their CTO’s, to complete the vendor questionnaire with accurate, comprehensive answers. 

Despite their best efforts, responding to the customer’s detailed security standards became a lengthy and stressful process for the startup. Eventually, the largest deal in the company’s history fell through the cracks. 

Having lost that six-figure deal, Darren and Laird began a costly process to bring their startup into compliance with strict security standards. They didn’t want to lose the next big deal with an enterprise-level customer. They tried using spreadsheets to organize their infosec program and track policies. Later, they engaged consultants and worked to implement information security best practices. Ultimately, they learned that the available solutions for infosec management came up short of what they wanted.

The same year, their startup hit the same hurdle of exhaustive security audits from other prospects in their sales pipeline. They managed to close one of the enterprise-level deals. But first, they had to demonstrate an information security program that satisfied the customer. That sale took eight months to close, with the audits and security requirements significantly slowing down the deal and costing the startup. 

Darren became obsessed with embedding data security into their SaaS product and building a security-aware culture among his employees. He engaged consultants, updated their policies and procedures, and looked for a tool that would track the implementation of their security program. However, the tools he wanted didn’t exist. His team considered trying to build the needed tools internally. But doing that would take developers away from their product roadmap.

Darren and Laird continued thinking over what they could have done differently and why they’d lost that six-figure deal. They suspected if this kind of loss had happened to them, it must be an issue for other small to medium-sized businesses. After some market research, they saw an opportunity for an all-in-one information security solution. 

Inspired by this, and with an acquisition deal now within sight for Darren’s successful 10-year-old startup, the two co-founded a new startup: Carbide.

Why are you different?

Carbide uniquely sits between pure SaaS products and third-party consultants. We offer a robust platform that helps simplify security and privacy demands while providing a hands-on approach for our customers with tailored workshops, personalized audit guidance, and the industry's first shared responsibility model. 

This comprehensive approach gives our customers the solutions and guidance they need to quickly achieve their security and compliance goals on time and on budget. 

Tell us something interesting about your company, your founders or your team.

Carbide is a Canadian solution to an international problem. Today, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at SMBs, but only 14% of those businesses are adequately prepared to defend themselves.

Carbide helps SMBs adopt enterprise-grade security without the enterprise-level budget. By taking a security-first approach, we help organizations adopt best practices and embed security into their organization's DNA.

Tell us why your employees love working for you or your customers keeping coming back.

Here are a few words from our employees:

“With the right people, you find mutual trust, respect, and camaraderie. At Carbide I've not only found this group of people, I've also found an environment where I'm challenged, involved, and working on a product I believe in, while being given the tools and support for personal and career growth.”

Billy Monk, Senior Software Engineer

“We have a very human-centric approach when it comes to our team that I think is invaluable. Carbide has set the standard for me going forward of how a company should treat their team members.”

Kyle Hankins, Digital Marketing Specialist

And a few words from one of our customers: 

"Their tool is thorough, and their team support is outstanding. As a small company, we needed a partner to help us wade through the complex waters preparing for a SOC Type 2 audit. Carbide is a trustworthy partner that helped our team meet our timeline and provide the correct information.

When beginning the process of a SOC 2 audit, we were unsure what information was needed. Carbide provided us with usable templates that jump-started our policy development. In addition, Carbide had interactive workshops with our team to educate us in certain areas and personally consult us on improving our processes. After partnering with Carbide, the security of our enterprise and its processes are vastly improved."