The 27 top funded cybersecurity startups in the UK

| Poppy Aston

Since the start of lockdown, investment into cyber startups in the UK has increased by a staggering 940% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Using the Beauhurst platform, we’ve compiled a list of the 27 top funded cyber security companies in the UK to watch, providing you with key details of what they do and how much they have raised. From tools that alert users to security vulnerabilities, to those that spot potentially fraudulent activity before it’s been completed — these are the companies protecting our brave new world.

The UK's top funded cyber security startups

  • OneTrust
  • Snyk
  • Darktrace
  • Privitar
  • Onecom Group
  • Featurespace
  • Digital Shadows
  • Tessian
  • Garrison Technology
  • Glasswall Solutions
  • Immersive Labs
  • Egress Software Technologies
  • Drayson Technologies
  • Netsparker
  • Callsign
  • MIRACL
  • SafeToNet
  • MyPinPad
  • Push Technology
  • Isode
  • floLIVE
  • Yoti
  • Quantexa
  • CensorNet
  • OneFirewall Alliance
  • Billon
  • Exonar

1. OneTrust

OneTrust develops saas software designed to help users manage security, privacy and third-party risk. Founded in 2016, the company has gone from strength to strength, with over 6,000 users (including the likes of Randstad and Adobe) now using OneTrust to build integrated privacy and security services. Registered in England, the company is co-headquartered in London and Atlanta, and employs 1,500 people in 12 offices across America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. The company’s first funding round was a whopping £160m. This was shortly followed in February 2020, when it secured a further £162m in led by Insight Partners and Coatue Management. This has brought OneTrust’s total funds raised to over £322m in just seven months, and a reported valuation of $2.7b placing the company firmly at the top of the UK’s budding cybersecurity companies.

2. Snyk

Snyk develops tools that alert users and help fix security vulnerabilities in their open-source coding. Based in London and Boston, it has had some major customer wins with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Intuit, ASOS, Nordstrom and Salesforce on its books. In fact, Salesforce invested in January 2020 as part of a wider £125m equity fundraising. This is the largest fundraising round secured by Synk so far, and valued the company at £939m pre-money, catapulting it into the unicorn club. The January round involved  participation from Amity Ventures, BoldStart Ventures, Coatue Management, Stripes Group, Tiger Global Management and Trend Forward Capital. Previous investors include Accel and Google Ventures. Having been founded back in July 2015, Synk’s total fundraisings already come to a staggering £200m.

3. Darktrace

Founded in 2013 by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, security management company Darktrace uses AI to learn patterns of online behaviour and identify anomalies that signal a potential cybersecurity breach. More than 3,500 organisations rely on it’s security services, including eBay, Rolls Royce, and Samsung, amongst many other big names. In July 2017 DarkTrace secured a £58.3m equity fundraising with Insight Partners, KKR & Co, Summit Partners, and TenEleven Ventures. A year later in September 2018, it secured a further £38m equity fundraising with existing investors and new backers Vitruvian Partners, this round valued the company at $1.47b pre-money. Darktrace’s fundraisings to date total £173m, and it has joined the ranks of the UK’s startup unicorns

4. Privitar

Privitar creates software that allows the mining of sensitive data sets by preserving the privacy of the underlying individuals. Established in 2014, it is headquartered in London and has offices in New York, Boston, Paris, Munich and Singapore. It offers a wide variety of managed security services,and is used mainly in the financial services and healthcare industries, with customers including the NHS, BT and HSBC. Altogether it has raised a staggering £120m through five rounds. The most recent funding round of £71m in April 2020 was led by Warburg Pincus with participation from Accel, Partech, IQ Capital, Salesforce Ventures and ABN AMRO Ventures. The investment comes less than a year after Privitar secured £31.4m of equity in a round led by Accel in June 2019.

5. Onecom Group

Cyber security company Onecom provides telecommunications services and products including IoT, mobile security and broadband to help companies with threat detection. Founded in 2012, the Hampshire-based firm has over 100k business customers and has partnerships with firms including Apple, Vodafone and Samsung. As one of the UK’s fastest-growing telecommunications providers, Onecom has raised £100m in equity funding. This was secured in a single round back in July 2019; backed by Lloyds Development Capital, North American and European Flexible Capital Fund. With the telecommunications sector experiencing rapid growth, and the general expansion of better digital infrastructure in the UK (including the rolling out of 5G and superfast fibre), OnceCom’s security services ensure it is well placed for further success in the near future.

6. Featurespace

Featurespace has developed an “Adaptive Behaviour Analytics” platform, which learns the behaviour of different online agents. This helps companies discern between genuine customers and potential cyber attacks. Featurespace users include TSYS, Natwest, Danske Bank, and PWC, amongst many others. Originally a spinout from The University of Cambridge, it is now headquartered in Cambridge and Atlanta, with additional offices in London and New York. To date it has secured a total of £83.5m in fundraisings. The most recent fundraising activity was in May 2020, when Merian Chrysalis led a £30m equity fundraising round into the company, along with a number of existing investors. The funding is being used to support Featurespace’s continued development and growth.

7. Digital Shadows

Digital Shadows has developed a suite of online security tools to protect users of social media and cloud computing. Its product ‘SearchLight’ helps minimise cyber risks by detecting data loss and reducing the risk of cyber attack. Founded back in May 2015, Digital Shadows is now jointly headquartered in London and San Francisco, with Accenture, Pret, Human Rights Watch and Regeneron amongst its clientbase. To date the company has secured £53m in equity fundraisings and nearly £500k in grants. The most recent fundraising of £797k was in January 2020. Recently, Digital Shadows announced a new partner program to accelerate its growth in the US, Canada, and Latin America.

8. Tessian

Tessian develops machine learning software designed to detect phishing, unauthorised and misdirected emails. The London-based cybersecurity startup, founded in 2013, helps numerous enterprises across the financial services, law and technology sector to keep data breaches at bay. In February of last year, the cyber security services platform secured £31.8m in funding in a round led by Sequoia Capital along with Latitude Investment Management as well as existing investors Accel and Balderton Capital. To date, Tessian has raised £44.4m through six rounds. In December 2015 the company received a £100k grant as part of the IUK project for Artificial Intelligence Email Security.

9. Garrison Technology

Founded in October 2014, Garrison Technology has engineered a platform that enables internet access whilst mitigating the risks associated with it. It eradicates cyber threats such as malware, ransomware, phishing attacks and drive-by downloads for organisations and governments worldwide. In October 2018 it secured £22.9m in equity fundraising from BGF Growth Capital, Dawn Capital, IP Group, and NM Capital, taking its total fundraisings to £39.2m. In March 2019, Garrison attended Tech Nation’s Future Fifty accelerator programme and was the only cybersecurity company selected. The companies selected for this represent some of the finest late-stage talent from across the UK.

10. Glasswall Solutions

Glasswall Solutions has developed a cybersecurity solution to allow organisations to open, store and share files safely with malware protection. Since it was founded in November 2005, Glasswall Solutions has received £38.8m over a total of eight equity rounds. It’s worth noting that in September 2018, Glasswall Solutions secured its largest fundraising round of £15m. The funding was led by UK entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Spencer through IPGL, his personal investment vehicle. Most recently, in April 2020Glasswall joined Tech Nation’s prestigious Cyber accelerator, amongst 22 other companies. 

11. Immersive Labs

Immersive Labs, led by former GCHQ cybersecurity instructor James Hadley, helps employees to learn new security skills by using real, up-to-date threat intelligence in an immersive ‘gamified’ way. Since its founding in January 2017, it’s security services has gained it a variety of customers including P&G, airbnb, Aviva, Royal Mail and London’s Metropolitan Police. In January 2019 Goldman Sachs led an equity fundraising round of £6.23m into the company and is now one of Immersive Labs most active backers. That same year, in November 2019 it secured a further £31.1m equity fundraising led by Summit Partners,which the company is using to expand further into the US and Canadian markets.

12. Egress Software Technologies

Egress Software Technologies has developed a range of software that allows public and private sector organisations to store and send information with data protection. Its end-to-end email security platform encrypts sensitive data and identifies risky behaviour to prevent breaches. Founded in October 2007, the company has raised a total of £37m through five funding rounds with it’s endpoint protection software. The largest of these was a £31.7m equity fundraising led by AlbionVC and FTV Capital in December 2018. Egress currently secures around 75m emails on a daily basis, and has over 5m people using its software, including the NHS, Ladbrokes, CPS and HCA.

13. Drayson Technologies

Drayson Technologies operates an R&D stage company with a focus on wireless energy transfer technologies, network security and air quality monitoring network. Its subsidiary Freevolt develops tech that recycles energy from radio transmission and uses it to power electrical devices such as smart cards, sensors, and wearables. Since being founded in 2008, it has gone on to receive a total of £34.6m through three funding rounds with contributions from Woodford Investment Management and Lansdowne Partners. The most recent fundraising was worth £10m and secured in July 2017. Since then, Drayson has attended the PwC and Digital Catapult accelerator Programme.

14. Netsparker

Netsparker has developed an online security scanner device that detects web service problems with complete accuracy. First released on the market in 2009, Netsparker has grown into an industry leading web security solution that can be fully integrated, built into workflows and reporting tools for advanced threat protection. Renowned businesses such as Starbucks, Ford, NASA and Cisco use the software to ensure their web applications, web services, and web APIs are secure. Netsparker secured an impressive £29m funding round led by private equity fund Turn/River Capital in March 2018. That same year, the company was featured in The Queen’s Awards for International Trade 2018. 

15. Callsign

Founded in 2012, Callsign’s is a leading cybersecurity company on a mission to seamlessly power the identification of every web, mobile device and physical interaction. Its software uses personal authentication based on learned information to allow the user to be active online without needing passwords. It is used globally by enterprises, financial institutions and consumer-facing digital services including some of the world’s largest banks, such as Lloyds and Deutsche Bank. In July 2017, Callsign secured a £26.6m funding round led by Accel and with contribution from early-stage investors PTB Ventures, Allegis Capital, and NightDragon Security.

16. MIRACL

MIRACL develops cybersecurity solutions designed to enable one step multi-factor authentication as an alternative to passwords (meaning personal data is not stored or transmitted). Founded in January 2011, the company has secured £25.5m through seven funding rounds, with investors including Octopus Ventures, NTT-IP Fund and Pentech Ventures. MIRACL’s most recent transaction was in January 2018, when it secured £5m in equity fundraising. Since then, it has made significant partnerships with Bulgarian Gaming Site, Bulbet (September 2019) and Identity Platform, ForgeRock (April 2020).

17. SafeToNet

SafeToNet develops software that aims to prevent children from being harmed online, by detecting changes in online activity. The company’s software uses a mixture of artificial intelligence, natural language processing and threat management technologies. It provides real-time advice and guidance for children and parents about online issues as they arise. Founded in October 2013, SafeToNet has gone on to raise £23.9m through seven funding rounds, with the latest round of £2.87m secured in January 2020. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, SafeToNet has partnered with the UK Government to provide families with free access to 1 million licences as internet usage surges during lockdown.

18. MyPinPad

MyPinPad is reimagining how payments happen with its PIN on Mobile solution. It allows consumers to securely enter their PIN codes on unsecured devices such as smartphones and laptops when conducting transactions online. In more technical terms, its software suite removes the reliance on PCI certified payment hardware, reducing cost and complexity whilst promoting card acceptance adoption. Founded in April 2012, the company has secured a total of £23.5m in equity fundraising through five rounds. MyPinPad is establishing its presence in an ever-increasing number of international markets, including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

19. Push Technology

Push Technology develops data distribution software that enables mobile applications to be updated rapidly to cope with real-time changes. Founded in 2006 with offices now in London and Silicon Valley, its software ‘Diffusion’ is used in virtual applications within both the public and corporate cloud security to help deliver applications at scale, speed and lower costs. In April it  secured a £10m equity fundraising with Maven Capital Partners, Guinness Asset Management and Stephen Capital, taking its total fundraisings to £22m. In July 2020, Push Technology announced the launch of a new Service API capability for its Diffusion Cloud, Push’s Real-Time API Management Cloud Platform. This will allow Developers to scale application services to tens of thousands of users in minutes.

20. Isode

Isode develops application security software for secure messaging and directory services for the military, aviation and intelligence sectors. Isode’s products provide endpoint security  including client, server and gateway software for email, XMPP instant messaging, directory and constrained networks. Founded in September 2002, its software is at the heart of mission-critical solutions for government, military, and civil aviation customers in over 150 countries. In December 2013, Isode received a 250k grant, the ‘Harrier: An Android email client for Military users’ managed by Innovate UK. To date, it has secured £21.6m through just three fundraising rounds, with the most recent £4.5m equity fundraising secured in September 2018.

21. floLIVE

floLIVE develops cloud based software for enterprise security in the chipset manufacturing and IoT industries, including a billing tool and an identity risk management system. Founded in  December 2015, the platform comprises local core networks for local connections, which are managed and controlled centrally via the cloud. This unique approach enables companies to benefit from a high-performance, and secure connection whilst using the cloud. In total floLIVE has raised £20m in fundraisings through three  rounds. This includes its most recent fundraising of £16.5m backed by 83North, Qualcomm Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, and Saban Ventures. Other investors on the books include Arie Capital and Golden Sunflower Capital, who invested as part of a £3.39mfunding round in 2013.

22. Yoti

Yoti is a service provider that develops an identification application that uses facial recognition to authenticate a user’s identity. The company is committed to making identity checking simpler and safer by providing a cost-effective solution which can prevent fraud, reduce risks and improve customer experience. To help tackle the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Yoti has pledged its services for free to organisations helping on the frontlines. Through the Yoti app you can authenticate staff, credentials suppliers, customers and volunteers quickly and securely. The company recently secured £12m in equity fundraising in June 2020, taking their total fundraisings to £31.4m over five rounds.

23. Quantexa

Cybersecurity firm, Quantexa develops technology to analyse data within a user’s network and flag any illegal activity. Founded in March 2016, Quantexa has been using the latest advancements in big data, entity resolution and AI to provide a 360-degree view of relationship networks. By using  multiple data sources mapped out across the globe, Quantex software uncovers hidden risks and prevents cyber crime. Headquartered in London, Quantexa now has over 100 employees with offices in London, New York, Boston, Canada, Belgium and Sydney. In September 2017 Quantex attended the Microsoft ScaleUp (London) accelerator and in March 2019 Tech Nation’s Future Fifty accelerator. To date, the company has secured £19m through three equity fundraising rounds.

24. CensorNet

CensorNet has developed technology to allow IT departments to control security policies across all devices, whether mobile or fixed-line. Using integrated web and email security, the  threat protection software is designed to ensure businesses are always in automated attack prevention mode. Founded July 2005, Censornet now has over 1,500 organisations registered worldwide, including Capsticks, tangerine and CoVea Insurance. The company has secured a total of £15m in equity fundraisings backed by investors Talis Capital and Entrust Datacard. In November 2019 CensorNet won the ‘SME Security Solution Award’ at the Computing Security Excellence Awards.

25. OneFirewall Alliance

OneFirewall Alliance develops antivirus software that provides cyber protection by preventing malicious cyber activity through data sharing, analysis and distribution. By using its cyber Threats Info Sharing Platform and IP Reputation Score Engine, the company’s mission is to increase security at an affordable cost. Founded in January 2018, the seed-stage company has secured a total of  £14.5m over two fundraisings. Yet it is still relatively early days for OneFirewall, which is using the funding to further develop its incident response products and security services

26. Billon

Billon develops software that uses blockchain technology to enable the storage of money and data whilst eradicating any security risks. Founded in December 2015, the new type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) processes national currency and business documents in a unified manner. Billion has secured a total of £13.2m in equity fundraising across five rounds and is operating offices in London and Warsaw. Investors include Fidelity Information Services (FIS), Envestors, Mencey Capital Management, Rising Tide Fund and VCF III. In 2018, the company joined the FIS Venture Center accelerator, and has recently entered the Elevator Lab accelerator, qualifying to work with Raiffeisen Bank International on e-money transactions.

27. Exonar

Founded in November 2007, Exonar enables companies to understand immediately what data is held across billions of emails, digital archives, documents and databases. To date it has secured £12.1m in fundraisings through six rounds. It’s most recent funding was in January 2019, where Exonar secured £6.5m from investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Beringea, Downing Ventures, Winton Investment Management. They are using the latest round of investment to further enhance Exonar’s product, with the aim to enable businesses to meet current and future data demands such as GDPR and CCPA.

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