Tangibly: Revolutionizing Trade Secret Management
AI-powered SaaS platform for protecting $21 trillion in intangible assets owned by large enterprises
Alumni Ventures portfolio company Tangibly has developed an AI-powered SaaS platform to revolutionize intangible asset management and protection for enterprises. Starting with trade secrets, the company is building an industry standard for managing and maximizing the value of confidential information.
The “Carta for Trade Secrets”
The value of intangible assets for enterprises has skyrocketed over the past several decades. Intellectual property like patents, customer data, and trade secrets make up 90% of the S&P 500’s total assets, up significantly since 1975 (17%). In that timeframe, the value of these intangibles has grown from $122 billion to over $21 trillion — now worth 5x the tangible assets owned by S&P 500 companies like real estate and equipment.
Despite the value of intangibles, enterprises continue to struggle with identifying, managing, and protecting their digital assets. In a survey of cybersecurity and IT professionals, 73% said that traditional spreadsheets remain a crucial aspect of their security practices, while 70% reported a cyberattack related to a poorly managed internet-facing asset.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Trade Secrets 101
See video policy below.
Trade secrets are foundational processes or techniques that are essential to a company’s operation but are often memorized and shared informally between employees. Unlike common types of IP like copyrights, patents, and trademarks, trade secrets are not officially registered with a central agency — making it harder to litigate in the case of IP theft.
Tangibly aims to impact intangibles in the same way fellow AV portfolio company Carta disrupted cap table management. The throughline is a centralized platform that securely and accessibly manages the data enterprises need to conduct businesses effectively.
Tangibly’s features include:
- Identifying existing and potential trade secrets to create manageable assets.
- Securely sharing and disclosing confidential information to avoid theft, leaks, and loss.
- AI-powered ”X-ray“ tool that automatically provides insights into trade secrets.
- Compliance training for employees updated with evolving case law and legislation.
What We Liked About Tangibly
Experienced TeamTangibly CEO Tim Londergan is an industry expert and serial entrepreneur with multiple exits, including nanotechnology company Lumera (now part of Renesas) and IP incubator Wavefront Venture Labs (now part of Boustead Securities).
Significant Market PotentialA reliable security solution could be invaluable to many large enterprises. Stolen trade secrets cost companies $1.7 trillion annually.*
Established Lead InvestorMadrona is a well-regarded, multi-stage VC that invests in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The firm’s 96 exits include well-known tech companies like Amazon ($300 million IPO in 1997), Snowflake ($70 billion IPO in 2020), and AV portfolio company Accolade ($1.2 billion IPO in 2020).**
How We’re Involved
Spike Ventures (for the Stanford community) sponsored our participation in Tangibly’s $6.5 million seed round led by Madrona. While the round was oversubscribed, Spike secured an allocation through a relationship with Madrona and Tangibly CEO Tim Londergan; he’s worked closely with Spike Managing Partner Todd McIntyre for over 20 years.
Bleecker Street Ventures (for the NYU community), Expo Ventures (for the USC community), and AV’s AI Fund and Total Access Fund also invested in the round. Other co-investors include Volo Ventures, Holt Ventures, MVP Ventures, Incisive Ventures, WS Investment Company, and DLA Piper.
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*World IP Review, “2022 Review: Biggest Trade Secret Cases,” December 21, 2022
**Heather Landi, “Accolade Raises $220M in Its IPO, and Stock Surges on First Day of Trading,” Fierce Healthcare, July 2, 2020