Cybersecurity software firm, Westgate, has secured a £500,000 investment from deep-tech venture studio, Next Big Thing AG, to successfully scale into new markets and build out further product functionality.
In 2019, 32% of businesses identified breaches or attacks on their networks, according to the Government’s Cyber Security Breach Survey. Enclave, a software-as-a-service (SaaS*) product, makes connectivity within businesses and their supply chains more straightforward and secure by ensuring connecting systems are invisible to third parties.
As millions of businesses worldwide grapple with the security challenges of a suddenly redeployed ‘work-from-home force’ in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Enclave offers a solution that allows organisations to continue delivering their work remotely and securely.
Founded in 2016, Next Big Thing AG (NBT) is a Berlin-based venture studio for the Machine Economy that provides a full range of services for the technical development of joint ventures in blockchain, IoT, and cybersecurity. As a venture studio, corporate innovation partner and co-founder, NBT is actively involved in a thriving hub and growing ecosystem of companies, founders, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors, and politicians. Working closely with the senior management team, NBT will support the internationalization and worldwide sales of the Enclave product to elevate it to the next level of international cybersecurity.
Commenting on the deal, Westgate Cyber Security CEO David Notley, said: “We are delighted to secure this investment from such a globally-respected innovation catalyst. In addition to the funding, which will allow us to scale market penetration and build further product functionality rapidly, we are looking forward to working with the talented team to help realise the potential of this game-changing technology.
“As a result of the current COVID-19 crisis, millions of businesses are using virtual private networks (or VPNs) to facilitate home working and keep their teams connected, but this is a security disaster waiting to happen. These connections typically rely on a ‘connect then authenticate’ process, which means that anyone can connect to those systems and try and ‘break in’. Sadly, sometimes they succeed, and the financial and reputational impact of such cyberattacks can be significant.
“Businesses require new ideas and technologies to support new ways of working, and this is where our solution comes in. Enclave flips the traditional VPN paradigm, so that network connections become ‘authenticate then connect’. The connection is entirely invisible to would-be attackers, and much more secure.
“We are proud to provide this technology to clients across the globe, including two major Dutch banks. Thanks to this deal, we will be able to target new markets and develop our client base across the globe. We will also be adding to our team in Cardiff, investing in new roles in business and technology development.”
Harald Zapp, CEO and Founder of Next Big Thing, said: “With many people currently working from home, companies are in need of secure online systems and their machinery as business vulnerabilities continue to be exposed and exploited on a daily basis. Now is the time to prioritize digitalization in general and cybersecurity particularly as a solution.
We at NBT are focusing our attention and support efforts on digital innovators, such as Westgate, who present us with business models that are built to withstand and address some of the current challenges we are facing. After investing in cybersecurity consultancy Deflect, we have achieved yet another milestone in IoT security with Westgate and look forward to working together to present people and their companies with solutions that enable them to conduct business safely – now more than ever.
By joining forces, we are able to shape Europe’s digital capabilities and successfully scale toward improved network security for the Machine Economy.”
Westgate has received support from AgorIP, which brings academics, clinicians, and businesses together to pioneer research into cutting-edge technologies and drive commercial success. The AgorIP project is supported by Swansea University and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Westgate Cyber Security has also beaten off stiff global competition to secure a place in the fourth cohort of LORCA (the London Office for Rapid Cyber Advancement). LORCA is a major accelerator programme bringing innovators, academics, government stakeholders and corporates together to address cybersecurity challenges and support the rapid deployment and growth of security businesses.
LORCA is a partnership between Plexal, Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast and funded by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).
Notley continued: “These are exciting times for us as a business. We are looking forward to working with Next Big Thing, Lorca and other partners to offer more companies the opportunity to protect their networks against the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks, and all the consequences such breaches can bring.”