Oxx led the oversubscribed round, with participation from British Patient Capital, Legal & General Capital and Solano Partners, alongside IQ Capital, which backed the company since its seed stage, and other returning investors: Eos Venture Partners, Winton Ventures and Seedcamp.
This financial backing will facilitate CyberSmart’s accelerated product development, strengthen channel partnerships, as well as propel the company’s expansion in the UK and internationally, across Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Established during GCHQ’s 2017 Cyber Accelerator Programme, CyberSmart offers a comprehensive, affordable and SME-tailored solution that addresses cybersecurity’s three pillars: people, processes and technology.
Its intuitive platform, CyberSmart Active Protect, takes care of the technology aspect by automatically and continuously assessing enrolled devices against security and compliance standards. Customers are equally provided on-going support with internal policy creation and cybersecurity awareness training via the CyberSmart Academy tool.
As part of their product, CyberSmart also allows customers to qualify for cyber insurance protection, enabling them to mitigate and transfer residual cyber risk.
By partnering with insurers Aviva and Superscript, CyberSmart customers get the added benefit of coverage at reduced premiums and policy excesses. In turn, the platform can support advanced cyber insurers by collecting ‘inside-out’ data on SME internal risk indicators, which could become valuable data differentiators for underwriters who currently rely on self-reported surveys.
This matters because in the UK alone, a small business is successfully hacked every 19 seconds, and the threat is increasing in frequency and severity, due in part to the widespread move to remote working. For SMEs looking to insure against their cyber-risk, premiums are skyrocketing, and with the average cost of a security breach standing at £4,200, companies cannot afford to do nothing.
Since its launch in 2017, CyberSmart has grown rapidly, and currently protects over 4000 small businesses. Moreover, the company has experienced significant international demand, and in 2023, will enter Australia, New Zealand and the rest of Europe.
Jamie Akhtar, CEO and Co-founder of CyberSmart, says, “Once again, we were blown away by the interest we received from investors, but as we carve our niche in the market, we remain steadfast in being selective of shareholders whose values and ambition align closely with our own.
“In spite of the economic downturn, we are encouraged that some of Europe’s most reputable investors believe in and are keen to financially support, CyberSmart’s mission to protect and empower the underserved SME market against cybercrime.
“More importantly, we are delighted that they trust us to deliver on that vision, and I look forward to seeing how much we can accomplish in the year ahead.”
Phil Edmondson-Jones, Partner at Oxx, says, “SMEs are notoriously under-protected from the rising cyber threat, and existing cybersecurity and insurance propositions are neither fit for purpose nor affordable.
“We have spent a long time searching for the right business model that can enact a step-change in this important & enormous market. CyberSmart’s category leading SME security product; combined with its unique ability to collect ‘inside-out’ data on real-time risk indicators, will propel the business to become a core part of the infrastructure for cyber protection and insurance.
“We are thrilled to support CyberSmart and its stellar team in driving urgent adoption in the market, and rapidly expanding internationally.”
Edmondson-Jones will also be joining the board at CyberSmart.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Patient Capital, says, “As cyber-attacks grow increasingly sophisticated, the technology needed to protect against them must do so as well. For many SMEs, this is a difficult challenge to tackle, either because of financial constraints or a lack of in-house expertise.
“CyberSmart was created to address this problem, providing not only affordable and easy-to-use cyber protection but also training, certification and insurance. We are delighted to be supporting such a dynamic and ambitious business on its growth journey.”