IAG backs UpGuard in US$17 million fundraising

IAG backs UpGuard in US$17 million fundraising | Insurance Business

IAG backs UpGuard in US$17 million fundraising
A Sydney-founded, San Francisco-based cyber security startup has raised US$ 17 million in the Series B fundraising round, which was joined by insurance giant IAG and venture capital firms Square Peg Capital and Pelion Capital Partners, it has been reported.

The fund will be used by UpGuard (née ScriptRock) to further grow its software platform and double the size of its team to 120 employees by early next year, Financial Times (FT) reported.

UpGuard’s digital resilience platform is a system for identifying the weak spots in a company’s tech system and ranking its overall level of risk in a scale of zero to 950. The tool, marketed as the Cybersecurity Threat Assessment Rating (CSTAR), aims to become the cyber risk benchmark for companies, insurance providers, and consumers, said the report.

Ron Arnold, IAG GM of Venturing, said the US$14.7 billion ASX-listed insurer decided to back UpGuard because its technology holds possible future applications to IAG’s own business.

"CSTAR has the potential to help insurance companies like IAG better assess, and therefore price, a customer's cyber risk," Arnold told FT.

The recent 2016 census debacle highlights the massive market opportunity for UpGuard, which boasts of being fast growing and profitable, the report said.

"We have a goal to increase both revenue and profit by 400 per cent annually, and this year we hit that target in April," said Mike Baukes, who co-founded UpGuard with Alan Sharp-Paul in 2012. Baukes said the latest funding valued the business as "somewhere sub $100 million."

Sharp-Paul and Baukes told The Australian Financial Review, on the other hand, of a possible sharemarket listing in the future.

"An IPO is something we are constantly thinking about but there is still lots to do first ... I don't know when it would be," Baukes said.

"Even though the business is now based in Silicon Valley we sort of have a natural inclination to want to list in Australia."

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