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Five Cool Pre-VC Cybersecurity Startups

By June 16, 2015Article

Are you a VC looking for an investment opportunity with a hot cybersecurity startup? Are you a cybersecurity vendor looking for a niche player to fill in your gaps or enter a new space? Are you a cybersecurity professional services firm looking for a new revenue opportunity? 

Look no further. Presenting five cool pre-VC cybersecurity startups you might want to get in touch with … 

These five are actually more than just startups. They are startups in the sense that they play in burgeoning market segments, they are ripe for outside investment or acquisition, but they are small privately held firms that have not taken in any venture capital funding – yet. This can mean big opportunities and returns for the “early-in” investors, potential acquirers and channel partners who get involved. 

All five were good enough to land on the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. 

Here are the five: 

Code Dx – Long Island-based Code Dx may be just what the doctor ordered for wrapping security around the world’s software code. It is what the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered, in the form of multiple SBIR Grants awarded for the development of Code Dx. Dr. Anita D’Amico is the CEO. She is a thought leader in the cybersecurity industry and has an extensive background helping federal agencies around cyber situational awareness for the past 15 years as director at Secure Decisions, a division of Applied Visions, Inc., parent company of Code Dx. 

ESNC – This startup is headquartered in Munich, Germany, not far from market-leading multibillion-dollar ERP software company SAP.  Makes sense, as ESNC is a leading provider of security solutions for SAP customers. And its list of customers is impressive: Cartier, Daimler, Novartis, Volkswagen, U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and many others. Founder Ertunga Arsal started ESNC in 2009 after a five-year stint as a senior security consultant for Tech Data Corporation, one of the world’s largest wholesale distributors of technology products, services and solutions. 

ImmuniWeb – This is a groundbreaking Web application security assessment service from High-Tech Bridge SA in Geneva, Switzerland. Behind the scenes, cybersecurity expert and founder Ilia Kolochenko recruited a virtual team of top penetration testers who help stop the hackers who are targeting websites globally every day. Kolochenko’s firm is a privately held, organic-growth-oriented company. The entire share capital origin is Swiss and the controlling stake of shares is owned by private Swiss investors. A minority stake is distributed among the key employees of High-Tech Bridge to reinforce leadership and loyalty. 

SnoopWall – Based in Nashua N.H., SnoopWall is the world’s first counterveillance software development company focused on mobile app security. Its patented technology secures high-value applications that contain customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) including mobile banking, mobile retail and mobile wallet apps. Gary Miliefsky is the founder and CEO and the sole inventor of SnoopWall’s new technology. He also advised the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), which operates within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in DHS’s development of The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. Miliefsky is a founding member of DHS. 

VivoSecurity – Silicon Valley’s VivoSecurity carved out a unique niche in the cybersecurity industry – “Automated Risk Quantification.”  But don’t be fooled into thinking “niche” means small. IT risk management is big business, and VivoSecurity has figured out how to productize and scale it for corporate enterprises. Founder Thomas Lee is looking for investors to help grow its technology and install base. Investors stand to benefit from the value that the first strategic cyber risk-quantification tool can bring to enterprise. VivoSecurity maintains a significant barrier to entry through a growing list of broad patents. 

The cybersecurity industry is poised to grow from $71 billion in 2014 to $155 billion by 2019, according to Cybersecurity Ventures’ Cybersecurity Market Report. According to New York City-based CB Insights, in the last five years, $7.3 billion has been invested into 1,208 private cybersecurity startups. Since 2010, deals and dollars increased, steadily growing by more than 100 percent in both areas during this time period. Funding in 2014 broke the $2 billion barrier for the first time while deals continued their steady ascent growing to 269 deals. 

Considering the market size and VC funding numbers, you better knock on these five cool pre-VC cybersecurity startups’ doors before someone else does.

Steve Morgan is founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report and the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. Follow Steve on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.