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Startup Of The Week: Vantos

Thomas Spadafore, president and CEO, Vantos

Spadafore took over as the company changed course


PRODUCT: V-Flex, enterprise investigation management appliance

PRINCIPALS: Thomas Spadafore, president and CEO; Don Ledford, VP of engineering; Raj Dodhiawala, VP of marketing

INVESTORS: Fluke Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners, Outlook Ventures

EARLY CUSTOMERS: eBay, State Street Bank, WebEx


Vantos was founded in 2003 as GraniteEdge Networks, which focused on preventing security breaches by applying "network behavior analysis." CEO Tony Naughton resigned in September 2006, and Spadafore, formerly senior VP of sales, took over. The company renamed and repositioned around enterprise investigation management technology, delivered as an appliance.


V-Flex includes "investigation playbooks," based on best practices developed in conjunction with consulting firm KPMG. Playbooks are out-of-the-box templates for common types of investigations, such as those into computer security breaches, property theft, malware, and sexual harassment. Vantos provides analytical and visualization tools, including event sequence diagrams and social network analysis to reveal relationships among people. The system is available in three versions, starting at $100,000.


Potential users include chief security officers, risk officers, corporate lawyers, external auditors, and investigators. Vantos is developing partnerships with professional investigators and consultants.


Businesses must do a good job of managing security breaches and other incidents requiring investigation, so Vantos' V-Flex is worth a look for companies that don't have systems and processes in place for that. Given Vantos' strategy change two years ago, however, potential customers should ask for customer references to ensure it's on the right track this time. It isn't unusual for startups to have a shift in product direction, but it means that Vantos is still a relative newcomer to this market niche.


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