Demand from SMBs for Cyber Essentials Certification drives growth to 300% per annum
LONDON 13th July 2020: CyberSmart has raised £5.5 million in a heavily oversubscribed Series A funding round led by VC firm IQ Capital and respected cyber security and tech entrepreneur investors. The funding will be used to fund the growth of the company, which enables small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to combat the constant threat of cyber-attacks and increasing regulation in an ever-evolving technological landscape and increasingly connected digital operating space.
CyberSmart has seen a massive increase in demand from SMBs to protect their businesses, with a revenue increase of 300% over the last twelve months. The lockdown period has accelerated the uptake of their cloud-based technology, which is fully automated and can be implemented with the click of a mouse, without a time-consuming visit to a customer’s site.
Jamie Akhtar, CEO of CyberSmart said, “We are delighted to have closed our Series A funding round with £5.5 million to fund our next stage of growth. Our investors have seen that we have built a great technology and also a great team. The SMB market has not been easy to protect until now, and business owners have so many issues to deal with they often wait until it is too late, losing all their customer data or even cash in a cyber-attack. We take all the effort out from a business becoming secure, so it’s not as painful, time-consuming, or as expensive as one might think. People can have effective, comprehensive security and risk-reduction from a team that is there to support them through the challenges of transforming into a digital business.”
Kerry Baldwin, Partner IQ Capital said, “Cyber security has become increasingly important, more so with the global shift to remote working, especially for the SMB market that CyberSmart supports. CyberSmart has already achieved great success by identifying SMBs as a market segment that was underserved by the cyber security industry. The company has a strong product-market fit, is hitting targets well ahead of schedule, and has secured strategic partnerships to further market penetration within the UK and internationally. The team has been incredible to work with over the last year and demonstrated thought leadership and deep understanding of the needs of SMBs, enabling CyberSmart to provide automated, and simple to implement protection for firms with 1-20+ employees”
Chris Ensor from NCSC said: “The NCSC is proud of the success achieved by CyberSmart, which was one of the first participants in our NCSC Cyber Accelerator programme. It has won a deserved reputation for producing innovative software and for encouraging businesses to seek Cyber Essentials certification.
“The Accelerator programme is currently seeking new start-ups and we would encourage anyone with fresh ideas to apply and help us continue to drive innovation in UK cyber security.”
Przemek Pardel, Startup Acceleration Programs Lead Europe, Google said, “CyberSmart is working hard to provide clear and simple cyber security solutions to small and medium enterprises across the globe. They have shown great determination to better their technical capabilities and further scale their product, which has been evident from their participation at our accelerator program for cyber security startups and their recent Series A funding success. We are excited to see how they will evolve and grow after they graduate from the accelerator.”
Jonathan Luff, Co-Founder of CyLon, said, “We are incredibly proud of Jamie and the CyberSmart team. From the moment they applied to join the CyLon programme, we could see they were doing something important. Good cyber security is the foundation for all successful businesses, and CyberSmart makes it easy for growing businesses to get it right. We think they’ve got the potential to become the default cyber security option for SMBs.”
Akhtar continued, “I set up CyberSmart after witnessing first-hand how SMBs suffer data breaches and realising that hundreds of thousands of businesses were suffering cyberattacks. When we started, 74% of SMBs had a breach that year. If 74% of buildings caught fire, there would be fire stations on every corner. The technology is now there that enables us to automate protecting SMBs by implementing a cloud-based platform that is both simple and cost effective to deploy, backed by a Cyber Essentials Certification. Businesses have gone through two stages, the first phase was rapid, digital transformation that was all about connectivity, communication, basically getting your team and your company back online remotely. Phase two is now. We have spent all these years building our secure, corporate infrastructure or drilling into people these secure working practices, but that has all gone out the window because everyone is now working remotely. So, I think now people are thinking about how they secure their teams and their employees remotely. So that’s the big wave which we are seeing now that has been driving demand from all types of companies because our technology is automated, certified, comprehensive and can be deployed, managed and monitored remotely. CyberSmart are working with many different types of channel partners as there is a massive opportunity to reach the SMBs. For partners there are many benefits: an income stream that also prevents churn, it makes customers more sticky; but more importantly, it makes customers more secure, so that helps with cyber hygiene across the whole UK business supply chain.”
The Cyber Essentials Certification is recommended by the ICO and Federation for Small Businesses, and it’s required of suppliers to central and local government. By implement all its steps, organisations can prevent most types of data breach. The issue used to be the digital/cyber skills gap, with 48% of businesses having a basic skills gap according to the latest government report. However, CyberSmart’s automation technology solves the problem of the skills gap. People need automation because they can’t work 24hours a day, and they can’t see every single thing that is going on, CyberSmart can scale for thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of companies at the same time.
Akhtar continued, “Technology and automation is the way forward, by deploying smart applications that runs on all devices no matter where people are or what network, or device they have, that is checking and ensuring the security of the device 24/7. However, what really makes it special, is the fact that it combines a technical firewall and the human firewall. It makes it very accessible for people to understand security and do the right thing. The application essentially does all the technical bits and, on top of that, we also got the assurance piece with the certification and the insurance, which is done through the cloud dashboard. Those two components together give companies 24/7 protection across the organisation and they give whoever is in charge of that company the reassurance that they are doing everything right across the company.”
Born out of a GCHQ accelerator in 2017, CyberSmart was created by a group of forward-thinking security experts, who noticed that many companies needed to secure themselves and achieve information security standards, but ultimately found the process too complicated or were limited by financial or human resources.
The team believes that every organisation should be able to easily comply with recognised standards and protect their data and infrastructure. Through making security accessible, they have achieved tremendous growth and protect tens of thousands of users.
To find out more visit https://cybersmart.co.uk
About IQ Capital
IQ Capital is a venture capital firm, based in Cambridge and London. With £300m assets under management, it invests in ‘deep-tech’ across sectors including machine learning, AI, robotics, and advanced engineering and materials, and data-focused propositions based on disruptive algorithms. All of the firm’s portfolio companies are capable of dominating their respective markets on a global scale. Initial investments range from £300k to £5m, with capacity for follow-on investment up to £30m.
The IQ Capital team has achieved over 20 exits to date, to companies including Oracle, Google, Apple, Huawei, and Facebook, and several IPOs. IQ Capital has led 28 investments over the last three years. The firm is currently investing at seed and Series A stage from its third venture fund.
For more information, please visit: www.iqcapital.vc
48% of businesses have a basic skills gap according to the latest government report
74% of SMBs had a breach
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