citybiz+ NextGen Venture Partners Joins $4.5 Million Seed Round for Inigo

NextGen Venture Partners, a unit of Brown Advisory, has joined a $4.5 million seed round for Inigo, which offers security tools for APIs built on the open-source data query language GraphQL. Other investors include California’s Engineering Capital and Israel’s Hetz Ventures.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Inigo taps into the growing demand for enterprise-grade security tools for GraphQL, amid rapid adoption of the new generation of application programming interfaces. According to Gartner, more than half of enterprises will use GraphQL in production by 2025, up from less than 10% in 2021. Still, experts warn that enterprises rushing to adopt GraphQL, notably because of its superior flexibility, without implementing a security strategy would be at high risk, especially as they scale operations.

“GraphQL is a significant API modernization opportunity that an increasing number of enterprises are capitalizing on,” said Ben Bayat, managing partner at NextGen. “This rapid growth in GraphQL adoption presents a direct market need for technology capable of delivering trustworthy GraphQL API security, governance and management, as well as API performance and developer experience enhancements.”

Inigo provides API and platform teams with better visibility, and tools required to achieve complete and continuous GraphQL API management, governance and real-time security.

“Organizations are eager to make the shift to GraphQL APIs,” said Inigo co-founder and CEO Shahar Binyamin, who is a part of NextGen’s network of venture partners. “However, it’s crucial that API and platform teams resist relying on traditional security tooling that leaves them blind and vulnerable to GraphQL API attackers.”

Founded in 2012 by investment industry veterans Dan Mindus and Brett Gibson, NextGen initially aimed to bring together the duo’s Washington, D.C.-based network for venture capital investments. In 2018, it merged with Baltimore-based Brown Advisory.

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The “network-driven” venture firm has raised $55.6 million via three funds, and made 94 portfolio investments. NextGen closed its most recent fund, worth $12.9 million, in 2019.  NextGen is led by five managing partners working out of various cities. They are:

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Ben Bayat (San Francisco), Chris Keller (Boston), Dan Mindus and Brett Gibson (Washington, D.C.), and Jon Bassett (San Diego, Calif.)

NextGen works with a network of over 1,700 venture partners who are themselves founders, with significant expertise and connections. Typically, the firm invests $1 million in seed stage companies and $3 million to $5 million in growth companies. It has made 12 exits. NextGen’s recent portfolio investments include, Frontrow Health, Exheus, Hone and VistaPath Biosystems.