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12-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Top 20 innovative cybersecurity startups in the UK

The cybersecurity sector in the UK is truly on a tear. According to the latest report from LORCA (London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement), last year, the sector surpassed half a billion pounds for the first time and contributed £8.3bn to the UK economy.

The ongoing pandemic has only served to underscore the resilience of the UK’s cybersecurity companies with cyber startups raising £104m over an eight-week period in 2020 as compared to just £10m in the same period last year.  

As the LORCA report points out, the UK has achieved a critical mass of cyber entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, and corporate innovators, and here are some of the companies that are playing a key role in showcasing the country’s cybersecurity talent on a global stage.


Founder(s): NA

HQ: Belfast

Funding Stage: Private

Context: IoT security, currently the biggest concern among industry leaders, will become more critical with a projected 1 trillion connected devices by 2025 

Angoka is an IoT security startup that provides hardware-based solutions for businesses in autonomous vehicles, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, and critical infrastructure sectors. The focus is on maximizing the safety and resilience of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications with a patented technology that establishes trust between devices to enable secure communication over zero trust networks.

Angoka’s IoT cybersecurity solutions are embedded directly into the hardware, enabling secure device integration and communication and eliminating the need for continuous security updates.


Founder(s): Andrea Carmignani, Fabian Eberle

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Seed

Context: Stolen or compromised credentials are the most frequent cause, as well as the costliest, of malicious data breaches.       


Keyless is a deep-tech cybersecurity company that enables businesses to manage the costs and risks of storing sensitive information such as biometric data, passwords, personal cryptographic keys, etc. The company’s patent-pending zero-knowledge biometric authentication solution uses an innovative cryptographic approach to address the trade-off between security, privacy, and convenience.

Encrypted shares of sensitive data are stored on an array of servers to ensure that private information is not leaked even if any or all the servers are compromised. For businesses, this translates into powerful security and reduced compliance costs while enabling users with seamless access to any digital service from any device at any time.


Founder(s): Justin Leary, Steve Tyrens

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Private

Context: Cyber risk decision-makers are currently flying blind with incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable data from multiple sources, lack of visibility into cyber risk levels, and the complexity of conventional cyber risk-management tools.


Darkbeam offers an agile non-invasive threat reconnaissance platform that delivers accurate and actionable threat intelligence and digital risk insights in seconds. The company’s solutions do not require complicated and extended implementations as they can be accessed via a browser.

The solutions, built on a proprietary persistent crawler and lightning-fast workflows, enable businesses to evaluate the security risks and standards for their own organizations as well as their connected partners. The technology provides a real-time up-to-date hacker's eye view of all exploitable vulnerabilities and also surfaces data breaches, stolen credentials, etc. from the dark surface web.


Founder(s): Ivan Goh, Liad Mizrachi

HQ: London

Funding Stage:

Context: As the enterprise technology perimeter extends beyond on-premise networks, traditional network scanning solutions may not be up to the task of providing comprehensive discovery and visibility.  

Avnos offers a cloud-based security platform that allows companies to extend perimeter defense beyond enterprise networks and across on-premise, hybrid, and cloud environments. The platform’s AI-powered engine automates workload discovery and mapping and provides users with advanced visualization of all enterprise infrastructure and dependencies.

The Avnos Decentralized Software-Defined Firewall eliminates the need for conventional perimeter defense technologies like network firewalls by extending always-on protection even for devices beyond the enterprise network.


Founder(s): Hoon Li Wen

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Private

Context: The increasing frequency of data breaches requires a radical new approach for protecting data & privacy 

Anzen develops patented data privacy and security technology based on the principle of 'data to protect data'. The technology complements existing security investments while adding a unique and comprehensive last line of defense for enterprise data protection.

Anzen’s technology also enables organizations to securely transfer and store sensitive data to any territory without contravening local data privacy and data sovereignty regulations.


Founder(s): Anna Pascu, ???? (unable to locate)

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Private

Context: Bots currently account for 40% of internet traffic and bad bot traffic is on the rise. So, how to block just the bad bots?

VerifiedVisitors is a next-generation, API based, subscription service that enhances the security of online businesses by continuously verifying the authenticity of bots.

The patent-pending service automatically performs multi-factor authentication on every bot to verify their legitimacy and provides an overview of the types of bots that have been visiting a site. The service also uses Machine Learning to provide real-time insights into bot visitors and behaviors.

RedHunt Labs                                                                                                                            

Founder(s): Shubham Mittal, Sudhanshu Chauhan

HQ: Royston

Funding Stage: Private

Context: A third of all successful attacks on the enterprise will be through shadow IT resources and leaked sensitive information. Companies need a solution to continuously discover, monitor and manage their assets.


NVADR is an Attack Surface Management (ASM) product from RedHunt Labs to track and monitor the attack surface of an organization. The SaaS product streamlines the process of discovering publicly exposed assets and helps track a company’s attack surface in real-time. NVADR can also continuously monitor for leakage of sensitive data such as code secrets, credentials, tokens, etc. and immediately notify IT teams. 


Founder(s): NA

HQ: Cardiff

Funding Stage: Private

Context: In an increasingly interconnected world, cyber defense solutions that “check back with the base” may not be enough to protect mission-critical computing nodes.  

Nanotego offers a patent-pending solution that delivers situational self-awareness and autonomous cybersecurity defense capabilities to every computing node. The solution monitors deep layer data streams from device components, system, and application processes to identify anomalous behavior and enables every device to autonomously launch countermeasures without human interaction.

Nanotego’s technology-agnostic platform is currently focused on mobile devices, ATMs, and IoT devices but is easily extended to other applications.


Founder(s): Marco Essomba

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Private

Context: The typical enterprise security stack is an aggregation of multiple endpoint solutions from different vendors.

BlockAPT, formerly iCyber-Security, evolved over time from a toolkit to help enterprises manage security issues to a platform that consolidates threat intelligence, vulnerability management, device management, and proactive incident response management to enable businesses to more efficiently managing cyber risks.

The platform is deeply integrated with leading-edge solution providers and leverages APIs, big data, and machine learning to deliver an intelligent solution to Monitor, Manage, Automate, and Respond (MMAR) digital infrastructure security.


Founder(s): Jamie Akhtar, Mariella Thanner

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Series A

Context: Over 50% of SMEs are hacked every year because they lack the basic tools and technical knowledge to protect themselves. 

CyberSmart offers SMBs an easy way to achieve government standard security certification, and maintain recognized security standards, with a cloud-based smart platform. Customers can use a guided process to achieve government standard certifications in as quickly as 24 hours. The service then continues to check for vulnerabilities every 15 minutes and presents its findings in real-time through a dashboard where issues can be addressed with just a few clicks.


Founder(s): Ali Kaafarani

HQ: Oxford

Funding Stage: Seed

Context: Quantum computing can essentially make conventional security standards obsolete. 


PQShield is a post-quantum cryptography startup pioneering the commercial development of advanced quantum-secure cryptographic solutions to secure hardware, software, and communications in a post-quantum future.

The offerings include a fully configurable System on Chip solution for hardware applications, a cryptographic SDK for mobile and server technologies, and a toolkit for messaging applications and platforms to ensure the privacy of sensitive data.


Founder(s): Imam Hoque, Vishal Marria

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Early Stage VC

Context: Cyber risk management is a strategic imperative as any potential breach can have significant financial, regulatory, and reputational implications. 

Orpheus has developed a cloud-based threat intelligence and cyber risk management platform company to provide predictive and actionable threat intelligence and cyber risk information.

The Orpheus Cyber Risk Management Platform combines cutting edge threat intelligence technology and third party risk management into one solution that can identify and analyze vulnerabilities across the entire enterprise ecosystem including vendors and partners across the supply chain. The platform uses machine learning for attack surface mapping and for continuous real-time monitoring and threat detection. 

OneFirewall Alliance

Founder(s): Sotiraki Sima, Gabriele Ruzzu, Elton Bushati, Salvatore Del Pizzo

HQ: London

Funding Stage: NA

Context: Hackers often pool resources to maximize the impact of their attacks while companies typically defend themselves on their own.


OneFirewall Alliance aims to address and prevent malicious cyber activity and raise industry-wide security standards through data sharing, analysis, and distribution. The company’s threat info sharing platform provides members with real-time threat analysis data derived from security products within the alliance and from OneFirewall provided network sources.

The company also offers OneFirewall Cloud and Enterprise solutions for small businesses and for larger companies.


Founder(s): Konstantin Kamenetsky

HQ: Reading

Funding Stage: Private

Context: Cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging automation to launch and scale-up malicious campaigns.


Variti provides real-time intelligence and deep analytics to identify and mitigate even the most sophisticated automated cyber threats including credential stuffing, account takeover attacks, brute force attacks, unauthorized aggregation, scraping, and ad fraud. The startup’s proprietary

Active Bot Protection? bot mitigation solution is designed for multi-dimensional traffic analysis using fine-tuned algorithms to detect malicious activities. The technology enables real-time protection against DDoS attacks by only blocking automated malicious requests while allowing legitimate traffic.

Immersive Labs

Founder(s): James Hadley

HQ: Bristol

Funding Stage: Series B

Context: The global cybersecurity skills shortage impacts 70% of businesses.


Immersive Labs is an on-demand cyber skills platform that prioritizes the role of humans, along with automation and AI technologies, in responding to cyber threats.

The company offers hands-on, challenge-based skill experiences designed to align an organization’s human capability with its actual cyber risks, to empower and test enterprise teams with real-world techniques and threats, and to measure a company’s cyber expertise.

Earlier this year, Immersive Labs launched the Cyber Crisis Simulator, an industry-first solution that allows businesses to virtually test their organization’s capabilities against the latest real-world attacks.


Founder(s): Assaf Hefetz, Danny Grander, Guy Podjarny

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Series D

Context: The growth of open source components in modern applications is outstripping the availability of tools to manage the associated security risks.


Snyk is a developer-first open source security management solution that automatically identifies, prioritizes, and fixes vulnerabilities in your open source dependencies throughout the development process.

The company’s other products include Snyk Container, a developer-first approach to fixing vulnerabilities in containers and Kubernetes applications, and Snyk Infrastructure as Code for cloud-native configuration security. Snyk’s latest funding round values the company at more than $2.6 billion.


Founder(s): Flavius Plesu

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Seed

Context: In 2019, human error caused 90% of cyber data breaches. The next level of security will require an indicators-of-behavior approach that focuses on events generated by users interacting with data and applications. 

OutThink is a “By CISOs, for CISOs” human risk management platform that enables companies to deliver targeted training to educate their personnel as well as learn from them. The SaaS platform focuses on identifying and measuring human risk and affecting behavior change. 

The predictive human risk intelligence solution combines human intelligence with data from existing security systems to identify unique patterns of risk across the organization and to target interventions to prevent data breaches.


Founder(s): David Atkinson

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Seed

Context: According to a recent Capgemini study, 69% of senior executives believe AI and machine learning are necessary to respond to cyberattacks. 

Senseon is a self-driving AI cyber defense platform that automates the process of threat detection, investigation, and response. The all-in-one cyber defense platform enables companies to simplify their security stacks by eliminating the need for multiple tools and its automated capabilities free security teams from the burden of exhaustive analysis, alert fatigue, and false positives.

Senseon’s unique ‘AI Triangulation’ blends outputs from reasoning frameworks, compares them to real-world hypotheses and then triggers automated actions to examine the validity of the hypotheses and the presence of malicious activity. 


Founder(s): Omar Yaacoubi

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Seed

Context: Two-thirds of all malware delivered in Q1 2020 arrived encrypted, and inspecting encrypted traffic without decrypting and assembling is a big challenge.


Barac provides a unique solution to inspect inbound and outbound encrypted network traffic for malicious threats, in real-time, while eliminating the need to decrypt. The company’s ETV (Encrypted Traffic Visibility) Platform combines AI, ML, and behavioral analytics to analyze over 100 million events per second and detect attacks and abnormal traffic with 99.997% accuracy and a false positive rate of just 0.00006%. 

Red Sift

Founder(s): Rahul Powar, Randal Pinto

HQ: London

Funding Stage: Series A

Context: According to Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses and only 14% have the capabilities to defend themselves. 

Red Sift is an open-cloud, data analysis platform that uses machine learning to help organizations of all sizes, from sole trader to enterprise, address day-to-day security challenges.

The company’s mission is to democratize the technology essential for cybersecurity by bringing a consumer-first self-service approach to the function. Red Sift offers an evolving suite of ready to go cybersecurity products including OnDMARC for email protection, OnINBOX for anti-phishing, and InGRAIN for data monitoring.


These are just 20 of the most promising cybersecurity startups in the UK out of the 633 identified in the LORCA report. Each one of these startups combines a unique approach to cracking the cybersecurity challenges with proprietary technological innovations.

Considering that a majority of UK cybersecurity startups are still in the seed stage, the sector definitely has the potential to make the UK the cybersecurity capital of the world. 


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