in Defence / Security

NCSC-partnered tech start-ups raise £35m in investments

Posted 11 July 2019 · Add Comment

It was revealed yesterday that tech entrepreneurs who are developing cutting-edge cybersecurity products with the help of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Cyber Accelerator initiative, have raised £35 million in investments.

Nettoken Co-founders.
Courtesy NCSC

The private funding, provided to start-ups in the three years since the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre’s Accelerator programme, was disclosed as the latest round of entrepreneurs showcased their products to potential investors.

The ‘Demo day’ at the Royal Society of Arts in London saw a range of products on show, from tech to help parents keep children safe online, to a programme that helps better manage individual digital identities.

Since its launch in 2017, the ‘NCSC Cyber Accelerator’, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has actively mentored and supported the growth of technology start-ups to help develop the next generation of cyber security solutions.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright said: "We are supporting a vibrant environment for tech firms to thrive including the rapidly expanding cyber security sector. Through our National Cyber Security Strategy, the government is investing £1.9 billion over five years.

"The UK remains a hotbed for tech investment overall with a record £3.8 billion of venture capital investment in the first half of 2019. Tech is attracted by our unique combination of skills, location and language, alongside a business friendly environment, strong access to finance and a longstanding reputation for innovation."

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Growth, said: “Over the last three years the NCSC Cyber Accelerator has proven to be a great success, supporting some of the most innovative start-ups in the cyber security industry.

“Previous companies involved are already moving forward to deliver real-world solutions, bringing new products to market.

“Once again we got the chance to work with some great companies with great ideas, as they leave the Accelerator I wish them well on their journey and look forward to working with them as part of our alumni network.”

The aim of the Accelerator programme is to support and enable those with pioneering ideas bring to market new products that are ‘better, faster and cheaper’ than existing cyber security products. This in turn encourages new skills, jobs and market growth.

Part of the UK government’s £1.9bn National Cyber Security Strategy, the Accelerator drives innovation in the cyber security sector by giving selected start-ups and entrepreneurs access to the world-class personnel and technological expertise at the NCSC and GCHQ, as well as the Telefónica global business network.

Diana Ferreiro Terol, iHackLabs, said: “It’s necessary to find a mentor who can invest time to know your personal capabilities and business model. The NCSC have influenced our lives in such a positive way.

“The mentoring received in the NCSC Cyber Accelerator helped us forge strong working relationships with other co-founders, influencers and investors and meant the difference between failure and success.

“The programme provided us with valuable research, reports and industry analysis on products, services, companies and markets that helped us to take our product to the next level. They saw what we didn't see and brought out the best in iHackLabs.”

Omar Yacacoubi, CEO & Co-Founder, said: "The NCSC accelerator has been an amazing opportunity to enhance our product, discuss with experts in threat detection and encryption. This helped us take our product to the next level”

Gary Stewart, Director of Wayra UK, said: “The highlight of my year so far was going to Silicon Valley with the cohort and hearing one of its leading lights note that at least 3 of the 7 NCSC Cyber Accelerator start-ups that pitched were potential unicorns — that is, billion-dollar companies.

“It only confirmed the depth of talent that there is in the UK more generally and in our NCSC Cyber Accelerator more specifically.”

The Cyber Accelerator 2019 cohort consists of seven cyber security start-ups from across the UK:

  • Barac has developed the technology to detect cyber attacks on normal and encrypted traffic, in real time.
  • Black Dice creates a safer environment online, delivering smarter cyber security for telecoms, covering device control, data privacy and security.
  • Configured Things helps model, configure and co-ordinate network equipment, servers, management content systems and much more.
  • iHackLabs offer a cyber security training and simulation platform, to support the improvement of cyber security capabilities and develop top-level cyber security talent.
  • LuJam provides SMEs with a level of cyber security enjoyed by major enterprises, but in a way that’s easy for non-IT specialists to use.
  • Mission Secure is an industrial control system cyber security company focused on defence and critical infrastructure industries.
  • Nettoken helps people understand their digital presence by visualising all the accounts they have signed up to, in one place.

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