Defendify raises $1.6m in pre-seed funding

Cybersecurity startup will use money to grow channel partners and boost product development
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine—Defendify, an all-in-one, SaaS-delivered cybersecurity platform developer based here, announced today $1.6 million in pre-seed funding led by private investors with participation from Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and early stage cybersecurity industry investor 3dot6 Ventures.

Defendify is using proceeds from the round to expand its core product, while increasing partner acquisition given the strong demand from a rapidly growing community of cybersecurity channel partners. Simopoulos told Security Systems News that the funding will allow the company to continue on its significant growth path.

“We are seeing great traction in the marketplace and our growth has been pretty quick,” Simopoulos told SSN. “We have been growing at 14 percent month over month average, and we are in the middle of hiring for a number of different positions, including engineering, sales, as well as marketing, which we have already invested in.” Defendify is currently at 11 employees, with plans to double that number — as well as get into a new and larger office — by year’s end.”

He pointed out that cybersecurity for small businesses is “a huge opportunity — the number is around 29 million small businesses in America, and they all need cybersecurity, so with this type of funding what we can do is continue to grow our distribution channel partnerships.”

He continued, “What we have done is we’ve built our channel partner program across North America here where organizations are taking Defendify and reselling it to their customer base, so we are seeing IT providers, cybersecurity providers and even security integrators who are IT savvy beginning to provide Defendify to their customers to help protect them.”

The Defendify platform, he noted, offers channel partners a competitive cybersecurity solution that’s simple, affordable, flexible and scalable for their diverse small business customer base. Defendify features multiple layers of ongoing protection to continuously improve security posture in a fast-changing threat landscape. As small businesses grow and threats continue to evolve, Defendify scales easily to provide continuous protection.

“SMBs are under immense pressure to find cybersecurity solutions that help meet regulatory needs and satisfy requirements coming from their customers,” Jonathan Dambrot, Investment Partner at 3dot6 Ventures, said in the announcement. “Finding a way to do that holistically and at a reasonable price point has been very challenging, until now. Defendify solves a critical problem in a massive market that is largely ignored.”

Regulatory, insurance and third-party vendor cybersecurity assessments are beginning to play into the daily lives of SMBs. Yet, cybersecurity remains difficult for them to embrace, according to Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2019, which notes that over half of small businesses in the U.S. said they’ve experienced some kind of cyberattack within the past 12 months. SMBs are turning to trusted partners and resources for help.

“The channel brings expertise, dedication and cost-savings to SMBs, but this only works if the cybersecurity solution is easy enough to manage. That’s why we remain committed to the Defendify platform, which is comprehensive enough that our channel partners don’t need to build a technology stack, simple enough that they can onboard their customers in minutes and cost-effective enough that they have a competitive advantage,” Simopoulos explained. “This round of funding allows us to scale Defendify and we look forward to continuing to partner with the channel and investors to transform cybersecurity for small businesses.”

Simopoulos noted that he is seeing increasing interest from security integrators, not only to protect themselves as a starting point but to start to provide the Defendify platform to some of their customer base.

“There are integrators today who are adding cybersecurity to their offering, and we provide that in a really cost effective manner specifically designed for small business,” he explained. “It is really easy to deploy and it also helps the systems integrator develop recurring revenue as part of their business, which many of them are trying to figure out how to do properly. I think there is definitely a convergence going on between physical security and cybersecurity today, and there is a great opportunity for systems integrators to provide cybersecurity services to their customer base, especially since the majority of them today have a seat at the table with an IT decision maker at an end user organization.”

Simopoulos and co-founder Andrew Rinaldi said that they wouldn’t be where they are today without the help of the Maine Technology Institute, a publicly financed, private, nonprofit organization created by the Legislature in 1999 to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors.

“We can’t say enough good things about them,” said Rinaldi. “They have been really supportive and they help foster innovation here in Maine, which has been an awesome thing for companies like ours and other early stage companies that need that support in growing their business fast.”

The company is also excited to have the support of 3dot6 Ventures, a boutique investment firm dedicated to bridging the financing gap between Seed and Series rounds for early-stage, SaaS-enabled cybersecurity startups.