Primary Role
Co-Founder & CEO at Defense.Net
Cornell University

Person Details


Chris Risley has over 25 years of software business experience during which he has led eight venture-backed start-ups resulting in one IPO and four sales to public companies. For the past 10 years, Risley has focused on highly-scalable Secure Data Management (SDM) software companies, shaping and growing 3 of the industry’s rising stars in enterprise & carrier scale SDM solutions.

Most recently Risley was Chairman of StreamBase Systems (complex real-time event processing) which sold to Tibco (NASDAQ:TIBX) in June 2013. Risley was also CEO of big data e-discovery leader Digital Reef until it was acquired by TransPerfect in late 2012. Digital Reef processed billions of highly sensitive legal documents for major financial institutions in its secure data centers. Previously, he was CEO of Secure Enterprise Content Management innovator Metalogix, and prior to that served as CEO of StreamBase Systems. StreamBase served the real-time big data needs of major financial institutions and the U.S intelligence community.

Before that Risley was CEO of Nominum, Inc., the provider of carrier-scale software to operate the Internet’s massive database of names and IP addresses. Risley continues as a member of Nominum’s board of directors. Risley’s background also includes service as CEO of NewChannel, an e-business service provider sold to LivePerson (NASDAQ:LVPN) and as Chairman and CEO of ON Technology Corp., a network security software provider acquired by Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC). Risley led ON Technology’s IPO and the company was listed as the 36th Fastest Growing Public Companies by INC 100.

Risley’s investors have included Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, Highland Capital, In-Q-Tel, Juniper Networks, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital, Sumitomo, Verisign and others. Risley has also served as an Operating Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.

Prior to his achievements in the software industry, Risley spent 10 years with European industrial companies including BTR plc (now Invensys) and Advisor to the Chairman of British Aerospace during the company’s turnaround.

Risley holds a B.A. Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University and completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

Experience (8)


Advisory Roles (1)