Press release: CyberSmart disrupts SME cybersecurity with $10 million Series A funding

Series A funding

CyberSmart, UK leader in simple and accessible automated cybersecurity technology for SMEs, has today announced the completion of a successful over-subscribed Series A funding round, bringing the total raised to over $10 million. Alongside deeptech fund IQ Capital and with the additional support of InsurTech specialist, Eos Venture Partners, and data science-focused Winton Ventures, CyberSmart is set to further disrupt the cybersecurity market. The funding will be used to enhance their product’s capabilities further, invest in channel partnerships as well as scale into the UK and beyond. In this way, playing a fundamental part in the company’s long-term goal to protect and empower SMEs globally.

The company drives value for customers and partners through its ‘golden triangle’ approach; supporting SMEs in protecting their data, assuring their security posture and providing tailored and affordable insurance coverage. CyberSmart’s intuitive online platform automatically and continuously assesses personal and company devices in real-time, alerting users when security and compliance standards have not been met. SMEs benefit from 24/7 monitoring and protection, government-grade assurance via Cyber Essentials certification and ongoing support with training, compliance, policies and procedures.

CyberSmart is collaborating with a number of insurance companies and strategic corporate partners across Europe, including Aviva and Starling, to ensure SMEs are protected and covered, whilst benefiting from reduced insurance premiums and policy excesses.

“The amount of support we have received thus far is humbling, and just goes to show the gap there is in the market for our offering. Cybersecurity solutions are often tailored to large enterprises with extensive teams and resources, whilst SMEs are left behind. With the help of our investors, we are challenging this mentality”- Jamie Akhtar, CEO and co-founder of CyberSmart

It is this comprehensive approach to cybersecurity and a focus on accessibility, both in terms of cost and functionality, that distinguishes CyberSmart from the crowd. This has driven an influx of capital and a wide variety of enthusiastic investors, with many current investors and angels doubling down on their commitment to the company.

“The amount of support we have received thus far is humbling, and just goes to show the gap there is in the market for our offering. Cybersecurity solutions are often tailored to large enterprises with extensive teams and resources, whilst SMEs are left behind. With the help of our investors, we are challenging this mentality,” said Jamie Akhtar, CEO and co-founder of CyberSmart. “Staying true to our mission of empowering SMEs to tackle cybersecurity is paramount. As such, despite the overwhelming interest we received from investors, we have been selective in determining who comes aboard as we define this new category for ourselves.”

“We are very excited to partner with Jamie and the brilliant team at CyberSmart. We’ve been impressed by the scalability of the technology, which is helping a fast-growing number of SMEs build their digital presence while staying secure”, said Antoine Pechin, Vice President of Winton Ventures. “We also think that CyberSmart can play a key role in developing the SME cyber insurance space.”

“We are very excited to partner with Jamie and the brilliant team at CyberSmart. We’ve been impressed by the scalability of the technology, which is helping a fast-growing number of SMEs build their digital presence while staying secure”- Antoine Pechin, Vice President of Winton Ventures

“Cyber risks, particularly ransomware and malware attacks, are an ever-increasing threat to small businesses globally, with many SMEs facing a protection gap and lacking the knowledge, expertise, insurance coverage, and access to tools and resources to help protect their organisations, ” said Carl Bauer-Schlichtegroll of Eos Venture Partners. “The CyberSmart platform is a complete solution to easily support and protect businesses, demonstrated by strong early traction with thousands of customers and large corporate partners already leveraging the platform. We are excited to partner with this exceptional team and co-investors, and look forward to working with the Company to build on their achievements to date, further cementing their position as a leader in the cybersecurity sector.”

“IQ Capital has supported CyberSmart since their seed round and we are tremendously proud of CyberSmart’s rapid growth within the underserved SME cyber protection market,” said Kerry Baldwin, Managing Partner at IQ Capital. “We are pleased to continue working closely and to support the team on their growth and international expansion alongside the new investors.”

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A new chapter: CyberSmart raises £5.5million to fund growth

Demand from SMBs for certification drives growth to 300% per annum

We are delighted to announce that CyberSmart has raised £5.5 million which will be used to fund the growth of the company. This will enable us to continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect themselves against cyber threats in an ever-evolving technological landscape.  The Series A funding round was led by venture capital firm IQ Capital and a group of tech-savvy individual investors.

The lockdown and shift to online working patterns means small businesses are prioritising security more than ever. CyberSmart has seen a massive increase in demand from SMEs to protect their businesses with a revenue increase of 300% over the last twelve months.

Here’s what our CEO, investors, and partners have to say about this exciting news:

Jamie Akhtar, CEO CyberSmart says, “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 SME 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 says, “What we like about CyberSmart was the automated solution to secure companies and make them compliant with certifications like Cyber Essentials, and that it reaches the underserved SME market that we felt just wasn’t being protected. When we see signs that a company has found product market fit, is way ahead in hitting its targets and is finding innovative partnerships with managed security service providers to deliver massive market penetration then we know it is a great time to invest and secure our position.  In the current situation there has never been a greater need for making sure that remote teams and small teams working from home are protected in an automated, effective affordable way.   Obviously the UK has got Cyber Essentials, but other countries have other similar certification requirements, so they solve a problem that is faced in many countries so this company will be going global as soon as possible.

Przemek Pardel, Startup Acceleration Programs Lead Europe, Google says, “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.”

Joanna, Program Lead at CyLon says, “Great product, dedicated team and seamless execution. These three aspects of CyberSmart put together create an exceptional combination with plenty of room to grow in the future. We at CyLon as proud early adopters of CyberSmart can’t imagine our organisation without it.”

Akhtar continued, “I set up CyberSmart was after witnessing first-hand how SMEs suffer data breaches and realising that hundreds of thousands of businesses were suffering cyberattacks.  When we started, 74% of SMEs 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 SMEs and 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 which was all about connectivity, communication, basically getting your team and your company back online remotely, or 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. The new focus is on how to secure teams working out of the office. 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, it’s an ideal solution.

CyberSmart are working with many different types of channel partners. This represents a good opportunity to reach the SMBs. For partners there are many benefits- an income stream that also prevents churn, it makes customers more sticky. Most importantly, it makes customers more secure which 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. Implementing its security controls can mitigate up to 99% of cyber attacks.

Akhtar continued, “Technology and automation are the way forward. By deploying a smart application that runs on all the devices no matter where people are or which device they are using, we can ensure security 24/7. This is what we mean by automated compliance. We offer a simple path to certification, but we also make sure you are compliant with that certification every day. The application essentially does all the technical bits, so people don’t have to be cyber security experts themselves. 

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.”

About CyberSmart

Born out of the GCHQ / NCSC Cyber 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.

We believe that every organisation should be able to easily comply with recognised standards and protect their data and infrastructure. Through making security accessible, we have achieved tremendous growth and enabled thousands of users to protect themselves against cyber attack.