For this month's venture capital spotlight, Zach Sivertson of Prelude Venture Fund writes about investing in alphaMountain.

Why Prelude Venture Fund invested in alphaMountain

For this month's venture capital spotlight, Zach Sivertson of Prelude Venture Fund writes about investing in alphaMountain.

Cybersecurity tools play a critical role in safeguarding organizations against threats. However, their effectiveness is only as good as the data they rely on. Salt Lake City-based alphaMountain is aiding cybersecurity and network tools by providing precise URL and IP intelligence. By utilizing alphaMountain’s API, users can access comprehensive threat reputation and content categorization information, enabling security tools to make informed blocking decisions, apply complex policies and conduct efficient cyber investigations.

Here are some examples of how alphaMountain’s data could be used: 

Example 1: A chief information security officer at a software company aims to prevent the uploading of files containing sensitive data to external file-sharing sites. By leveraging alphaMountain’s data, a policy can be created to block file uploads to any URL categorized by alphaMountain as a file-sharing site, encompassing the entire internet. This proactive approach enhances data protection by minimizing the risk of unauthorized file sharing.

Example 2: A security operations center at a large bank desires to perform retrospective analysis on proxy logs to identify potential zero-day cyberattacks. Data from alphaMountain proves invaluable by enabling the programmatic scanning of logs, uncovering previously undetected malicious traffic that may have compromised the company. This retrospective analysis provides crucial insights for strengthening future security measures.

The founders of alphaMountain, John Ahlander and Matt Wood, possess extensive expertise in the field of cybersecurity. Recognizing an opportunity to enhance network intelligence, they developed an innovative system that employs artificial intelligence for domain classification, surpassing the limitations of most URL threat intelligence companies that rely heavily on human-authored rules. This advancement enables systems to swiftly identify new malicious techniques, enhancing accuracy and effectiveness in detecting emerging threats.

The neural network of alphaMountain classified 1.35 million new malicious domains in the month of May. This constant augmentation ensures that alphaMountain provides the most proficient and up-to-date intelligence to assist in combating evolving cyber threats.

We are honored to collaborate with John, Matt and the entire alphaMountain team. Their exceptional qualifications and renowned expertise in network security make them valuable partners. More importantly, they are good people and fun to be around. 

Accurate data forms the foundation of robust cybersecurity tools. The unique approach taken by alphaMountain of combining artificial intelligence and comprehensive domain classification empowers organizations to proactively defend against emerging threats. To witness alphaMountain’s data in action, we invite you to visit their free threat-hunting tool, ThreatYeti ( Explore any domain to uncover the insights alphaMountain provides. Happy hunting!

As managing director of Prelude Venture Fund, Mercato’s early-stage practice, Zach Sivertson brings operational, technical and private equity experience. Zach received a bachelor’s degree in information systems from the University of Utah and an MBA from Westminster’s Gore School of Business. He loves mountain biking and spending time with his wife and three sons.