Merlin Ventures Appoints Andrew Smeaton as CISO-in-Residence

Cybersecurity industry veteran will help expand the firm’s community of security executives, and provide expert counsel for portfolio companies

TYSONS CORNER, VA and TEL AVIV, Israel — June 17, 2024 — Merlin Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of The Merlin Group, today announced it has appointed cybersecurity executive Andrew Smeaton as the firm’s CISO-in-Residence. In this role, Smeaton will provide strategic and technical counsel to Merlin Ventures’ portfolio companies and strengthen alignment between the needs of today’s CISOs with Merlin’s portfolio companies and prospects. As Smeaton shares Merlin Ventures’ focus on fostering community, he will also help expand the firm’s existing community of more than 300 security executives who regularly meet with and provide valuable feedback to startups in Merlin’s network.

“In order for venture firms to stand out in today’s crowded landscape, they must have a deep
understanding of the industries they cater to and the unique needs of buyers and other
stakeholders,” said Seth Spergel, Managing Partner of Merlin Ventures. “With Andy on board as our CISO-in-Residence, bringing his impressive industry experience and an ability to speak with other CISOs as a peer, we have even deeper insights into the wants and needs of today’s
security organizations. This helps not only us, but the security market as a whole, better
ensuring our startups are aligned with practitioners’ most pressing needs.”

The addition of a CISO-in-Residence is a strategic move poised to enhance Merlin’s portfolio
companies’ alignment with buyer preferences, assuring that products and services meet market demand. Additionally, having Smeaton on board offers invaluable guidance to existing portfolio companies, aiding them in bolstering their cybersecurity measures and mitigating risks.

“When I met Seth and the Merlin Ventures team, I was immediately impressed with their
creativity, skill and expertise when it comes to elevating cybersecurity startups,” said Smeaton.
“The company has already built an incredible community of innovators, buyers, and investors,
which is critical to success in today’s competitive cyber market. Their method of operation
closely aligns with my own community-based philosophy and how I approach all personal and
professional relationships. I’m looking forwarding to working with Merlin Ventures to continue to iterate and grow its community and apply a more data-driven methodology to extracting feedback and insights from CISOs.”

Smeaton has more than 25 years of security leadership experience in various industries
including government, healthcare and finance. He has held the role of CISO since 2006,
including at DataRobot, Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) and MIB Group, a data solution for
insurance firms. Andrew holds the CISSP, CISA, CGEIT, CCISO, CISM, CRISC credentials,
has deep expertise in regulatory compliance and privacy, and has served on executive boards
and advised government agencies on information security.

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About Merlin Ventures

Merlin Ventures is the venture capital affiliate of The Merlin Group, a network of companies with more than 25 years of success bringing technologies to the U.S. Government market. Merlin Ventures rapidly scales visionary companies and introduces disruptive solutions designed to help enterprises address today's most critical cybersecurity challenges. Its unique business model combines robust infrastructure and capital, technical advisory and engineering advisory, market readiness acceleration, and deep-rooted government and industry relationships that enable its portfolio to rapidly grow and scale. Learn more at