PlexTrac

How we helped Dan build a premier cybersecurity reporting and workflow platform from bootstrap to Series B

Founder
Dan DeCloss
,
CEO
Location
Boise, Idaho
Stats
$81M raised
25+ integrations
100+ employees
Digital
BOOST
2019 — 2022

PlexTrac is a cybersecurity reporting and workflow management platform that supercharges security programs, making them more effective, efficient, and proactive.

OAK'S LAB expertise
Product Management
Software Engineering
Quality Assurance
Testing Strategy
Deliverables
Web Application
Funding rounds
Seed 2019
Series A 2021
Series B 2022
Investors
StageDotO
Madrona Venture Group
Insight Partners
Noro-Moseley Partners

While the rise of the internet gave birth to the cybersecurity space, it was still a young industry over 15 years ago when Dan was working for the US Department of Defense. Cybersecurity was born out of the DoD, and as he was exposed to the growing space, he fell in love with it.

Doing security assessment work, he honed in on application penetration testing and started to feel the pains that he would continue to encounter throughout his subsequent work with other organizations in the industry.

In the cybersecurity space, there is an innate responsibility for Red Teams, playing the role of the attacker, and Blue Teams, playing the role of the defender, to collaborate. With these two segmented views of an application’s security, the reports and communication between the two teams are important in order to improve security. But no one at the time was making any progress in streamlining this collaboration.

Dan knew that penetration testers, auditors, and security assessors disliked writing final reports. As some of the highest-paid technologists identifying the biggest risks in the cyber environment, they spent an inordinate amount of time resizing screenshots in Word documents and writing 300-page texts that ended up being unread and a waste of time.

So, in 2016, Dan started a side project–PlexTrac. He built a bootstrapped proof of concept that managed the findings during penetration testing for both teams.

It was a platform to create and share readable and digestible reports in half the time of current methods, allowing teams to track, manage, and quickly eliminate any threats they faced.

After validating his solution in the industry and gaining positive feedback from his network, he continued to build out the product with actual enterprise customers. Three years later, he had the traction and the validation, so, he quit his job and began to work on the startup full-time.

Dan understood customer needs, and he needed a partner to help drive product, engineering, and design in order to make PlexTrac the mission-critical platform for every security team in the world. With only one in-house engineer and a basic bootstrapped MVP, he approached OAK’S LAB in 2019 to transform his proof of concept into an enterprise-level product.

The Challenge

First, to redesign the interface, optimize the tech stack, and develop features required by enterprise customers, and then, later on, to act as an external product development team supplementing the in-house team as PlexTrac scaled.

In the first phase of our collaboration, we needed to make Dan’s product enterprise-ready. To do this, we needed to update the tech stack, optimize the code, and implement newer tools in order to be prepared for high performance in the future. We also needed to be releasing additional features in a timely manner so that Dan would hit his sales targets and unlock revenue as his business grew.

After we completed this challenge and Dan was able to grow the company and raise a Series A, our next challenge as an external product team was to develop two major features that would allow future enterprise clients to move off of old, existing platforms and make the switch to PlexTrac. Because the features connected all parts of the product, we needed to develop and deliver major improvements and implement a thorough testing strategy before rolling them out successfully and unblocking PlexTrac’s sales as the startup scaled even further.

The Solution

After implementing important product development processes, we optimized and delivered an enhanced, enterprise-ready product that was able to hit revenue targets and help the company secure a Series A funding round. After growing his team, we were able to externally deliver the solutions for two major features and implement a testing strategy to ensure future quality as the startup continues to scale.

To kick off the partnership and build our relationship, Dan came to Prague to meet with his dedicated OAK’S LAB team. One of the first important steps we took was to implement processes that we use in the OAK’S LAB WAY to set standards that align with the agile product development mindset. We set up meetings and ceremonies to align our two teams, evaluated the existing product, and started to gather requirements on what needed to be built, designed, and verified. Not only did these processes help us stick to the plan, but they also set a solid standard for the future of PlexTrac’s product development.

Once we were aligned on the scope of the project, we tackled Dan’s MVP from two levels: optimizing the product both internally and externally. We performed backend optimizations to prepare for better performance in the future and decided to redesign the user interface and the additional features that we wanted to build on top of the MVP to enhance user experience.

At this stage, we were heavily delivery-focused in order to unlock revenue for PlexTrac. We built multiple product enhancements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of customers who were now able to report, manage, and resolve security issues at hand within the PlexTrac platform. And by October 2020, we managed to complete what we set out to do for Dan. We redesigned the product, making it scalable with the features Dan needed so that he could focus on revenue, grow his own team, and raise a Series A funding round.

Dan secured a Series A in April 2021 and began to rapidly grow the PlexTrac team, including members of an internal product team. In November of the same year, he returned to OAK’S LAB so that we could augment their internal team and put more manpower behind two of the most important features of the platform.

We deployed another dedicated team that scoped out the area for the updated features, and after planning the initial roadmap, we began to build the solution in collaboration with the internal PlexTrac team. We delivered high-quality code and well-structured, easy-to-navigate architecture that improved their solution.

During this time, our focus was on being data-driven in our solutions to ensure the utmost quality, which led us to develop an entire testing strategy for our components. We provided automation testing (FE & BE unit tests and E2E tests) and manual testing scenarios. Our strategy was to do both alpha and beta releases in order for customers to test the new experience both independently and next to the existing experience. We managed the release of the initiatives, provided support after the release, and created documentation of the entire process, which was ultimately implemented across the entire PlexTrac organization.

By February 2022, the company raised a Series B round and scaled the internal team further. And by December 2022, we were able to onboard Dan’s internal team to take over these product features, supported by in-depth product and technical documentation, and we completed our work with PlexTrac.

The Outcome

By improving his MVP and delivering an enterprise-ready product and significant product enhancements, we were able to help Dan and the PlexTrac team drive revenue, keep the retention of customers, and grow the company significantly over the years. By implementing product development processes and testing strategies, we were also able to help set PlexTrac on the path to future success.

To date, the company has secured a $10M Series A round and a $70M Series B round. PlexTrac is the premier cybersecurity reporting and collaboration platform with major enterprise clients such as Mandiant (now part of Google Cloud). Because the platform allows teams to cut reporting time in half, enhance collaboration, and gain actionable insights, companies are improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their cybersecurity operations. They see 5x ROI in 1 year, a 30% increase in efficiency, a 65% shorter reporting cycle, and 20% of their time saved on engagements.

PlexTrac continues to transform the cybersecurity industry and is on track to be the mission-critical platform for every security team in the world.

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