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Romanian cybersecurity startup Cyscale raises €3M to protect cloud data

The Cyscale team
Image credit: The Cyscale team, press release
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•   Cyscale, the software developer of data protection solutions and applications in the cloud, announced raising a €3 million seed round, led by Notion Capital, and joined by Seedcamp, GapMinder, and two angel investors.

•   With the new funds, the company aims to grow the team and expand internationally, with a special focus on the UK.

•   This is Cyscale’s third investment round, bringing total financing close to €3.5 million.

With emerging trends in the tech world such as extended reality technologies and web 4.0 – creating more symbiosis between humans and machines – securing digital systems is becoming both more urgent and more challenging.

Globally, the cybersecurity market is estimated to reach approximately $146 billion by the end of 2022, and then grow at a 9.68% CAGR by 2026, reaching more than $211 billion. 

IT services is the largest segment in the market with 47%. Specifically, since most businesses keep their data in the cloud nowadays, protecting cloud computing systems – and thus keeping data private and safe across infrastructures, platforms, and applications – is a key component of cybersecurity.

Born in the cloud to protect the cloud

Back in 2019, the idea of Cyscale was born over a cup of coffee, when Ovidiu Cical shared a painful engineering problem he had with Manuela Ticudean. She had just returned to Cluj-Napoca, Romania after living for three years in Berlin.

“We talked about our lives and work and realized that my day-to-day job required a solution to a painful problem I had: to manage multiple cloud environments, understand what’s running in those environments and produce suggestions and ideas on how to improve their security. Doing this manually is hard, so we sketched what we thought could solve this,” Ovidiu tells The Recursive.

Together with Andrei Milas, the trio went on to launch Cyscale, a startup that develops protection software solutions for data stored in the cloud, and performs data risk analysis. It also comes with a compliance module that helps security leaders track gaps between their policies and actual technical implementation in the cloud.

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Cyscale differentiates from other cloud security tools in that it focuses on contextual risk analysis, instead of using a classic relational database. “In context means thinking about one problem or vulnerability affecting a specific cloud asset, which in turn affects a connected storage that contains sensitive information like credit card numbers,” Ovidiu explains. 

He then adds that this approach helps minimize the risk of false positives: when looked at in isolation, a resource may be misconfigured, but there are other contextual factors that determine the actual danger for the business.

“False positives create noise and keep security engineers from focusing on the highest-risk issues. As a result, businesses waste valuable time and risk becoming the victims of cybersecurity attacks,” he notes.

Contextual analysis is even more important when considering the additional components that organizations need to secure beyond cloud infrastructure, including third party software packages used in applications, software development practices, code repositories, and other risk areas in modern tech ecosystems. 

“There are a lot of moving parts. Most of the time, companies assess risk in each of these areas in isolation, based on skillsets inside their teams, roles and responsibilities, or available resources. The result is a fragmented security function, difficulties in understanding where weaknesses lie and what their impact truly is,” Ovidiu shares.

How does Cyscale aim to fix this situation? With a Knowledge Graph for the entire organization, that feeds in data from multiple sources and generates an in-depth contextual analysis for each cloud asset. 

Global expansion plans

Cyscale currently has 15 employees, as well as users and partner companies from Romania, the UK, Singapore, Germany, France and the USA. Most of Cyscale’s clients are fintech companies that use technologies operated from the cloud.

The next step for the company with the new funding is to expand the team in Romania and the UK. They currently have more than 10 positions open for applicants from all over the EU or the UK. 

Read more:  US-based digital insurance agent co-founded by Bulgarians secures $100M Series B funding

“The biggest challenge we have is attracting non-technical colleagues, in marketing and sales. Also, we’re putting a lot of effort into bringing in talented cloud security experts, such as analysts and researchers. We understand that only the brightest minds can produce a competitive and innovative security platform, and we’re pushing hard on making them choose us instead of others,” the Cyscale team tells us.

With the expansion plans, Cyscale targets an increase in the client base to more than 100 companies in the next two years.

The investor sentiment

The new round is Cyscale’s third investment round in three years since it launched. Acceleration  started with the participation at Techcelerator, where they attracted support and successive financing rounds: €100K euros in 2019 from GapMinder and €350K euros through SeedBlink in 2021, with Gap-Minder as the lead investor.

Third-time investors GapMinder have been with the company since the early beginnings: “We are witnessing a tenfold increase in Cyscale and we are happy to follow on and invest further into Cyscale. It is an important phase in the company’s development, doing a lot of international steps, maturing the platform, and preparing for further scaling up outside Europe, to the US and Asia,” says Founding Partner Dan Mihaescu in the press release.

Meanwhile, Kamil Mieczakowski, principal at Notion Capital, notes that they see Cyscale as the most compelling cloud visibility and control platform for the modern enterprise.

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https://therecursive.com/author/antoanelaionita/

Antoanela is a Deputy Editor at The Recursive, where she writes about climate tech, blockchain, and other high-impact innovations in Southeast Europe. She loves complex topics and translating geek to chic. Her holy grail is telling stories that have great potential for social and environmental impact. Prior to becoming a full-time journalist, she worked in various sustainability roles.
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