Data security seems to be one of today’s keywords. The media is full of news about security failure and big firms are still a welcome target for data crimes. BalaBit, a Hungarian startup, wants to make an end to security flaws and created a technology monitoring system to enhance IT security for businesses. Recently, they received a funding of eight million dollars from London-based C5 Capital.
Balabit selected their investor carefully. In 2012 they had two potential US investors already but declined due to the claimed amount of influence or investment sum. “Being an Easter-European company also did not help because of the amount of bureaucracy and legal processes,” explained Balabit CEO and cofounder Zoltán Györkő.
A specialised investor for a niche product
It took them one and a half year to complete the deal with C5. Finally, the British Venture Capital was the right investor because they are specialising in Balabit’s market niche, are experienced in security service due to their portfolio companies and have a good network in this area, according to Györkő. “They have already made a number of introductions in the area of sales and marketing.”
C5 Capital is widely known as Europe’s first investor focusing on data security services. The money will help BalaBit to reach out over the big pond as well as to UK, Scandinavia and other European markets. Moreover, their security concept should be developed further and some money will be spent on research: “BalaBit has a strong R&D core with 75 bright developers in Budapest. We plan to augment our capabilities in certain areas especially in Security Intelligence and data,” said Györkő.
With their security product they want to change the way data security works by making it more accessible. “Our aim is to establish a business-friendly IT security with our revolutionary new security concept called Contextual Security Intelligence.” Moreover, they want to establish their product on an international scale.
Balázs Scheidler in London, Photo credit: http://on.fb.me/1mcmzst Founded by roommates with 25K
In 2000, BalaBit was founded by Balázs Scheidler and Zoltán Györkő while they were roommates at the technology University in Veszprém. With the help of two Business Angels, the founders had 25000 dollars at that time to start their business. “This [investment] is our first, A series funding, so before that the company was growing organically, we always invested the profit we realized the year before,” Györkő revealed.
Today BalaBit has offices in France, Germany, Russia, in the UK, the United States and partners in over 40 countries with their main development centre based in Hungary. All in all they currently count about 160 employees.
“Adopting new information technologies is the key factor of competitiveness today, and IT security is often complex for any company or organisation,” Györkő said. With their data security products and their newly gained opportunities BalaBit aims to make IT not only secure but also business friendly.