GCHQ accelerator alumni CyberSmart raises £1.3M VC funding to accelerate growth


CyberSmart, a GCHQ Cyber Accelerator alumni, has secured £1.3 million in new financing led by deep-tech investor IQ Capital, after two years in stealth mode. 

This funding will allow CyberSmart to further accelerate its rapid growth, build next-generation technical capabilities and secure Britain’s future as a leader in cybersecurity.

CyberSmart’s core mission is to protect and empower SMEs, often the weak link in cybersecurity, but at the same time, the bread and butter of the UK business landscape. CyberSmart’s platform and products allow any size SME, with or without technical resources, to protect itself and its staff, easily and affordably. The exciting platform is bringing cybersecurity standards to the masses, with millions of UK SMEs in its sights, a truly scalable cybersecurity solution.

CyberSmart is able to automatically check, fix and certify for Cyber Essentials compliance - a UK government cybersecurity certification. This is recommended by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and is increasingly required across supply chains in multiple industries. 

A Cyber Essentials certification is easily attainable the same day via the CyberSmart platform, reducing the cost and resource typically required to achieve compliance to a matter of hours. SMEs are able to maintain 24/7 compliance across all their devices, including laptops and mobile, a considerable challenge for most  SMEs. The platform offers simplicity and scalability to a complex and manual process.

The London-based startup backed by IQ Capital and Seedcamp, was founded by Jamie Akhtar and Mariella Thanner in January 2017. It uses cutting-edge technology and machine learning to assess and address a company’s cyber compliance and vulnerabilities. Designed to offer SMEs an innovative approach to compliance, it is being used by fast-growing (“Thriva, LiveSmart, Receipt Bank”), and more established organisations (“Hitachi, The Supreme Court”) alike. 

CyberSmart helps organisations identify weaknesses in their information security practices and develop proactive strategies to address cybersecurity threats, thwarting up to 99.3% of cyber threats.

Commenting on the announcement, Jamie Akhtar, CEO of CyberSmart said: “Having been in stealth mode since 2017,through both GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator and CyLon, we’re excited to be able to scale our operations and start talking about how we’re helping to protect our nation’s most promising businesses from cyber threats. This funding will enable us to achieve scale within our home market and invest in enhanced technical capability.”

The fundraise was led by specialist deep-tech VC, IQ Capital. The firm recently raised a $300m fund to continue deploying capital to deep-tech and AI startups, offering unrivalled knowledge and solid strategic advice to its portfolio companies

Kerry Baldwin, Partner at IQ Capital said: “CyberSmart is a superb example of the types of companies that IQ Capital invests in - deep tech startups with the potential for global scale. Cybersecurity is now at the top of the agenda at board-level for all data-rich businesses, however, few have proactive strategies in place to tackle the issue. CyberSmart is backed by the Government to help and certify businesses, and we are excited to be part of their growth journey.”

Commenting on the platform, Sally Blake, Marketing Director at Legal Edge said: “CyberSmart was recommended by our own clients who use the platform. They speak our language and are in tune with the requirements of SMEs. Their platform and processes were clearly explained and easily navigated and their responsive platform enables us to communicate and track our compliance activity. The team are extremely helpful, friendly and knowledgeable supporting you at every step of the journey.”

Founded in 2017 by Jamie Akhtar and Mariella Thanner, CyberSmart was selected, after a rigorous competition, to take part in the first GCHQ accelerator programme. From this, the companies were able to have access to government tenders and work with GCHQ's international network of partners.

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