The presentation platform that was able to rely on artificial intelligence to fund 30 million dollars
- Code-compatible startup Relyance AI has raised $30 million from Menlo Ventures and Unusual Ventures.
- Co-CEOs Layla Golshahreh and Abi Sharma sought to combine their legal and engineering expertise.
- They caused such a stir among investors that they did not even need to update the first presentation set.
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When Abhi Sharma and Leila Golshahreh raised seed funding last year, they chose not to announce it. Instead, they preferred to continue working on their company, Relyance AI.
But word spread among investors anyway. By February, co-CEOs were sending out a series of inquiries from venture capital firms. The interest was so intense that they didn’t even update their presentation, instead writing a note to accompany their current presentation. Investment notes have become a trend Among the founders these days.
That was enough to satisfy Menlo Ventures and Unusual Ventures, the major investors in Relyance with a combined $30 million in seed and seed funding. Unusual is the company co-founded by Jyoti Bansal, founder of AppDynamics which was acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion in 2017.
Relyance AI technology reviews companies’ code in real time for potential privacy and compliance issues. Golchehreh, a lawyer, previously served as a data protection officer at adaptive insights, makers of enterprise planning software acquired by Workday in 2018. There, it recognized that many of the compliance and security issues faced by tech companies are rooted in their code and sought to build a company to address them.
I found one big problem: Lawyers and programmers don’t usually cooperate. Relyance AI seeks to change that.
“We worked law and privacy in a silo of engineering,” Golshahr said. “And if we really want to find a solution to privacy, which is a fundamental human right, we need to share the leadership.”
One of the first people I contacted about her idea was Sharma, a longtime friend who was an engineer at AppDynamics. After a pizza dinner in late 2019, they officially teamed up to found Relyance.
The duo got early backing from Unusual Ventures’ Bansal, who previously worked closely with Sharma. Matt Murphy of Menlo Ventures, who had previously backed two Bansal companies, joined Series A.
Here’s the presentation that put Relyance AI on the path to $30 million in funding.