Conveyor closes $12.5M in Series A funding to automate security reviews using generative AI
The process of establishing trust in data security by companies today remains laborious and predominantly manual, despite the emergence of new tools. It’s still heavily reliant on the infamous security questionnaire. The simple question of “Can I trust this company with my data?” often takes days or weeks to answer.
Recognizing this challenge, one tech startup has set out on a mission to streamline and expedite this process and pave the way for a future where businesses can swiftly through instant security reviews, with no hassle, using the power of code and automation.
Enter Conveyor, a generative AI startup that brings together AI-powered questionnaire responses, and a custom, branded self-service trust portal to facilitate a seamless process of addressing customer queries for vendors. Founded by Chas Ballew, Conveyor’s platform harnesses the capabilities of large language models (LLMs), similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, to generate responses in the original questionnaire format, helping vendors efficiently address security questions.
Today, Conveyor announced that it raised $12.5 million in Series A funding to expand its sales and marketing efforts, R&D and grow its current team of 15 people. The round, which brings the company’s total raised to $19 million, was led by Cervin Ventures.
Discussing Conveyor’s innovative solutions for instant security reviews, co-founder and CEO Ballew said in a blog post:
“Until now, there has been a gap between the materials a vendor can prepare and the custom questions & workflows each customer has for their use case and compliance needs. It’s zero sum: Either the customer has to do their own homework or the vendor has to manually answer the questions. Large Language Models (LLMs) have the potential to be the missing link, but security reviews are high-stakes. You can’t save time if the AI routinely hallucinates and a human expert has to manually review each answer before it goes back to the customer.”
In an email interview with TechCrunch, Ballew explained: “Security reviews are still largely an old-fashioned process. Most companies are still using manual work to respond to these questions, and there is a first generation of software-as-a-service products that just match previous answers to spreadsheets and requests for proposals. They still require a lot of manual work. Conveyor … automates the security review response process.”
Ballew, a second-time founder. Prior to Conveyor, Chas began his career by founding and serving as the CEO of Aptible. Aptible was a platform-as-a-service designed for automating security compliance. The genesis of Conveyor, on the other hand, took shape as an experimental project within Aptible. However, Ballew recognized the potential to establish Conveyor as a standalone business, a transition that commenced in 2021.
His journey took an interesting turn before that when he spent four years on active duty in the Army, working as a lawyer at the Pentagon. It was during this time that he first delved into the intricacies of regulatory law. In addition to his professional ventures, Chas ran two small development shops during high school and college, using the earnings to enjoy a bit of extra spending money. On a more personal note, he shares his life with a furry friend named Dilla, his beloved dog.
Explaining the value of Conveyor’s approach, Ballew cited an example: “For example, if a customer asks ‘Do you have a bug bounty program?,’ and the company doesn’t, but they do other types of security testing, a good answer would be ‘No, but we do regular penetration testing, code reviews, etc,’” Ballew said. “That’s very tough to replicate with AI, but something that Conveyor’s software is excellent at.”
Meanwhile, Conveyor is just one of several companies striving to automate security reviews by leveraging Large Language Models (LLMs). Another notable player in this space is Vendict, which uses a combination of in-house and third-party LLMs to complete security questionnaires on behalf of companies. Cybersecurity vendor Purilock has explored the use of ChatGPT to address questionnaires. Additionally, companies like Scrut, which recently introduced a tool called Kai for generating security questionnaire responses, and Y Combinator-backed Inventive, are making strides in this arena as well.