2017: What a year!
December 21, 2017
December 21, 2017
As CyberSmart turns 1 year old, we are taking a moment to pause and reflect. This year was huge for us, individually and as a team. We had a vague idea, built a platform, got our first paying customers and closed a Pre-Seed round. At CyberSmart we believe in transparency, not only in regards to data, but also transparency in everything we do, transparency towards our stakeholders and eco-system. Hence, without further ado – here is what happened in 2017 at the CyberSmart HQ in East London.
We kicked the year off by joining Seedcamp (huge thanks to Carlos, Dave and the rest of the team!!) and moving to Cheltenham to take part in the GCHQ accelerator. Our core team rented an Air BnB and spent 24/7 working on CyberSmart.
During the accelerator, we met countless mentors from various industries and we used the technical expertise of GCHQ to continue building our platform and refine our product offering. Jamie and Thomas got to present at Cyber UK, which was a massive success as it gave us some initial traction in the cyber security industry.
March marked the end of the GCHQ accelerator with a Demo Day and some social events with the other companies in the cohort. Also, we finalised our final alpha product and certified the fellow companies in the accelerator. All of us enjoyed the experience, and we are immensely grateful to GCHQ for the help and support they have provided and still provide to this day.
After moving back to London, we started Alpha testing the platform with potential customers from various industries. During this period we successfully certified a handful of customers by taking them through the CyberSmart process and continued to refine our platform.
May was an exciting month for us as we launched our SaaS platform in Private Beta and got our first ten paying customers. We also grew our tech team by hiring Duong, a skilled backend dev from Vietnam and started our pre-seed fundraise.
In June we hired Mike, an ethical hacker and electron developer to take our desktop app to another level. We continued to beta test our platform with selected companies
In July we started working on our channel partner program and went into public beta. Sarah, a design intern, joined us for two months and worked on our brand.
August was a big month for our team as we successfully got ISO 27001: 2013 certified. As a cyber security startup, it was crucial for us to demonstrate best practice and also show our stakeholders that we take practice what we breach. Additionally, we also removed the beta tag and launched our platform. By the end of August, we had 20 companies from various industries and sizes that used CyberSmart.
In September we started the CyLon accelerator in Hammersmith, which was incredibly useful as the company was already running for eight months and we had a clear image of the areas we needed assistance. We also brought 15 channel partners on board to help us bring CyberSmart to the market. Last, we closed our pre-seed round with a group of highly experienced Angel investors from various backgrounds.
We celebrated our 500th deployment of our desktop app and hired Yaro, an experienced back-end developer who previously worked for other Cyber Security startups. We learnt a lot during the intensive time at CyLon and made some promising connections within the cyber security community.
In November we signed up our 50th customer and our 25th channel partner. Sam joined our team to support us in Marketing, Sales and Partner management. We also deployed over 250 desktop apps that month and went on a weekend into the woods without electricity, but with lots of fun and sunshine.
CyberSmart’s turned one year on the 14th of December. In this year we went from an idea to a fully functioning platform with over 60 paying customers that deployed our app on nearly 1000 devices. We also grew the team from 4 to 8 and closed our pre-seed round.
We thank our team all that they are and do for CyberSmart. We thank our customers for trusting us, our investors and mentors for supporting us and our fellow founders and eco-system for helping us this past year.
Onwards and upwards!
Mariella and Jamie