Cyber 1.0: What happened next?

Ollie Bone, February 10, 2020 3 min read

As we continue to search for the most exciting cyber security companies in the UK to join Cyber 2.0, we thought we would take a look at some of last year’s cohort, and the incredible things they have achieved since joining the first ever Tech Nation Cyber programme. 

How do you measure success? There are so many ways. Achievements both big and small are contributing to each founder and each company’s scaling journey, and as we take a retrospective look less than a year since they joined the programme, we believe even bigger and better things are just around the corner for our first ever cohort. We can’t wait to select our second cohort and help them along their journeys too.

Connecting with peers

AI risk scoring software provider White Bullet has a lot of takeaways from the Cyber programme. Based on learnings from the Cyber sessions, they put in place a sales strategy, and used techniques learned from the programme and peer-to-peer advice to focus on building a sales team and hire their first sales staff. They also implemented a team leadership and culture development programme for staff, including a bonus structure and incentives. In the wake of the changes and connections made from the programme, they doubled their annual recurring revenue, expanded their operations into Asia and forged potential projects in the US off the back of the Tech Nation Cyber trip to New York. 

They also gained their first permanent office space, grew their team from 9 to 16, hired two new tech resources and are in progress to develop an advisory board.

Since joining the Tech Nation programme, open cloud platform Red Sift has raised $8.8M Series A finance and started its expansion in the USA market, biometric authenticators iProov secured £5m of fundraising and were featured in The Regtech Top 100 of 2020 and Corax, the world’s leading and largest source of cyber exposure data and loss analytics for insurance, gained new customer QBE European Operations.

Growing and evolving

Quantum encryption company Crypta Labs raised £2.7m funding from institutional investors in June 2019, just two months after joining our programme. This amount helped them develop the IP portfolio for their Quantum Random Number Generation (QRNG), bring to market the first Quantum-enabled Hardware Security Module (QHSM), and accelerate their roadmap towards a single chip QRNG.

At the start of this year, Crypta Labs was named one of the three winners of Zenzic’s £1.2m fund to develop cybersecurity for Autonomous Driving in the UK. This amount forms part of the government’s £100 million CAM Testbed UK Fund, aimed at making the UK a world leader within the transport industries

Welsh protectors of national infrastructure and advanced manufacturers Awen Collective have had a brilliant year. Not only did they win a 12 month project with the Ministry of Defence, extending their Dot product into the military and defence domain, but they have developed new partnerships which will lead to joint marketing efforts and greater sales. They’ve grown and evolved their team, increased incoming work orders by approximately 5 times from the previous financial year and have a solid investment strategy in place for the next few years.

Securing investment

At the end of 2019, Brighton-based ISMS.Online received £2m of investment from Sussex investment firm Cow Corner, choosing this path after joining as a bootstrapped business. In addition to this massive boost in funding, they have also doubled their customer base and business size, corresponding to an increase in recurring revenues. They have moved to larger offices, are accelerating growth again in 2020 and are hiring a significant number of new staff. 

Belfast-based SaltDNA, who specialise in secure communication, secured £1.38m in fundraising since joining the Cyber programme. They were also named one of the UK’s most disruptive companies by Disruption50. They announced two major partnerships: with Canadian technology consultants, WāVv and Keyworks, a Calgary-based technology strategy and services firm that supports customers around the world.

A unique bond

Instant messaging disruptors Novastone made a major decision in the wake of taking part in the Tech Nation Cyber programme. After visiting Belfast as part of the programme, an introduction to Invest Northern Ireland led them to begin to set up an expanded engineering team in Belfast. The team at Novastone also wanted to highlight the unique bond that developed between the cohort; the members continue to support each other with advice and introductions, and Novastone are using the products and services of at least 3 other cohort companies. 

Douglas Orr, CEO and Founder of Novastone recently went along on a trip to meet VCs in San Francisco, alongside the Tech Nation Applied AI cohort. “Aside from beginning commercial discussions with several VCs, we gained a much better understanding of how things are done in the ‘Mecca’ of the SW Industry; plusses and minuses. This will be of great help as we grow Novastone further”

Interested in joining Cyber?

The deadline to apply to Cyber 2.0 has passed, but you can still pre-register your interest by filling in this form and we’ll le tyou know when the programme opens for applications.

Growth, Programmes, scaling, Data Analytics & Cyber security, Cyber 1.0 ,