Ten cybersecurity start-ups are the latest graduates of the Innovation Cybersecurity Ecosystem at BLOCK71‘s (ICE71) Accelerate programme, which has empowered and supported 25 companies since it launched in March 2018. At the third ICE71 Accelerate Demo Day, the start-ups pitched to more than 150 investors and cybersecurity leaders from several countries to seek funding and business development opportunities.
Founded by Singtel Innov8, the venture capital arm of the Singtel Group, and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), and supported by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA), ICE71 aims to strengthen Singapore’s growing cyber security ecosystem by attracting and developing cybersecurity start-ups with innovative competencies and new technologies.
The start-ups come from diverse backgrounds, originating from seven countries, including Singapore, Australia, Bulgaria, France, India, Nepal and New Zealand. They offer a broad range of cybersecurity solutions that are applicable to consumers, enterprises and governments. Several of them have completed their proof of concept and secured lead customers across different countries. (Information on the ten start-ups can be found in Annex A).
The current batch of start-ups builds on the success of the previous two ICE71 Accelerate cohorts. Many of the start-ups have since raised additional funding, secured new business and expanded internationally. For example, 689Cloud announced last month that it is partnering with Ricoh of Japan to provide its document security technology for Ricoh’s new “RICOH Doc Trace” service. Another start-up, Keyless, which offers a privacy-first biometric authentication and personal identity management platform, has raised US$2.5 million in funding to date from leading venture capitalists in Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Keyless is building a privacy-first biometric authentication and personal identity management platform. Both 689Cloud and Keyless are from the second cohort of ICE71 Accelerate.
Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said, “With an existing vibrant cybersecurity community on campus, NUS continues to expand the cybersecurity ecosystem by creating platforms for business development, networking and learning through ICE71’s programmes and community events. By guiding and connecting our start-ups with investors and other corporates, we hope to accelerate their growth and further develop the cybersecurity ecosystem of start-ups, accelerators, lead demand drivers, government bodies, and institutes of higher learning. We look forward to attracting more cybersecurity entrepreneurs, academics and start-ups from around the world in future cohorts.”
Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8, said, “The growth of the cybersecurity ecosystem has created a fertile environment for start-ups, and we’re pleased to see next-generation ideas and innovations being developed right here in the region. By providing access to valuable resources such as mentorship, investment, partners and customers, and Singtel’s own cybersecurity capabilities, we enable start-ups to go to market and scale to the next level, both locally and internationally. We welcome the talent and energy that each cohort brings with them, and look forward to supporting many more future innovators.”
To deliver the accelerator programme, ICE71 works with CyLon, a dedicated cybersecurity accelerator, originating from London, to support the start-ups in their growth both locally and internationally.
Mr Jonathan Luff, co-founder of CyLon, said, “Singapore is rapidly developing into a global cybersecurity hotspot, as demand increases in the region for sophisticated security products. At CyLon, we are seeing more and more talent emerge from Asia, and the third ICE71 cohort is no exception. Here we have ten new companies building products to keep the region safe and secure. We are confident that the market for cybersecurity products in Asia will continue to grow at speed, and we look forward to working with more exceptional founders in the future.”
After Demo Day, ICE71 will continue to guide and support these start-ups through further fundraising, and commercial expansion. It will also provide access to community events with ecosystem partners, thought leadership programmes, engagements with enterprises and government entities, and opportunities to present at regional cybersecurity conferences.
Applications are now open for ICE71 Accelerate Cohort 4 (taking place from 24 February to 22 May 2020). Interested start-ups and cybersecurity entrepreneurs can find more information at https://ICE71.sg.