Acton Capital
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COVID19 fuels demand for cyber security training company SoSafe

German cyber security awareness startup from Cologne secures seven-digit funding from Acton Capital and GFC

SoSafe founders Lukas Schaefer, Niklas Hellemann, Felix Schürholz (image source: SoSafe)
  • Seven times more phishing attacks since February 2020 — Corona crisis and remote work increase security risks for companies
  • Focus on the human factor: SoSafe expects corporate customers with over 350,000 end users and quadrupling of sales
  • Accelerating growth: fresh capital for internationalization and product expansion from Munich

Cologne/Munich, July 22, 2020 — SoSafe GmbH closed a substantial seven figures Pre-Series-A round as European vc investor Acton Capital joins existing shareholder Global Founders Capital. Founded by Niklas Hellemann, Felix Schürholz and Lukas Schaefer in 2018, SoSafe’s automated cyber security awareness platform supports meanwhile more than 200 corporate customers like Avira, Vattenfall or Ceconomy to increase their cyber resilience. With the fresh capital from Munich, the startup from Cologne will expand its cyber security training platform and its local team.

Focus on the human factor: as 9 out of 10 cyber attacks are targeting end users, SoSafe’s automated cyber security awareness platform increases cyber resilience by assessing risks, training staff and creating secure habits. “The transition towards working from home and the dramatically increased attack volume in the context of COVID19 makes our solutions even more relevant,“ says SoSafe’s co-founder Niklas Hellemann. “Companies had to quickly put their teams into a remote work mode, which increases the risk of cyber attacks enormously. Unfortunately, the attackers immediately identified this increased vulnerability. The European Cyber Security Agency ENISA reports a 600% increase in the volume of phishing emails since February 2020. Security officers and CIOs are therefore urgently looking for a quick and effective solution to get their teams on board in terms of IT security within compliance obligations,” explains Hellemann.

Ready to scale and create value for the long run: “More than 70% of companies are planning to increase their investments in IT security. Training and awareness of their staff will play a large part. We can also see this from the fact that market estimates have been revised strongly upwards,” says Christoph Braun, Managing Partner at Acton Capital. “We are very pleased to support a team that is working on a highly relevant topic: because protecting organizations from the massive number of human-based cyber attacks is not only important in times of crisis, but will also make a lasting contribution to securing value creation.”

SoSafe is hiring: “Within this year, we expect to quadruple our turnover compared to 2019,” says Niklas Hellemann. Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, SoSafe is also massively looking for new employees for its current team of 55 employees — ranging from IT security experts to educational psychologists.

Creating a sustainable cyber security culture: SoSafe’s awareness platform sensitizes, trains and tests employees in dealing with all kinds of cyber threats. “The interactive training is a 100% data protection compliant, which means that the solution is also extremely well received by works councils and employees,” says Niklas Hellemann. “SoSafe puts employee privacy first: our sending engine enables fully anonymous phishing simulations — a fact that is even more important in the context of the latest decision by the European Court of Justice’s dismissal of “Privacy Shield”, supporting staff data protection. This really puts us ahead of our mostly US-based competitors.”

A rethink in IT security: With comprehensible KPIs and detailed reporting dashboards, the success of cyber security training measures finally becomes measurable and visible. At the same time, SoSafe’s cyber security solutions and its platform is designed in full focus on its customers’ needs — both on IT admins and end users. “This is a rethink in the area of IT security, where usability and user centricity have been the exception rather than the rule,” says SoSafe co-founder Niklas Hellemann.



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Bettina Engert

Bettina Engert

Shaped FlixBus’ story from startup to corporate. Now in VC with ACTON Capital, writing about tech-enabled business models, ready to scale & built to last.