Last summer, Cape Breton’s Securicy quietly raised its first round of institutional investment -- a US$4.1 million or C$5.2 million deal that was never publicized. As the 35-person company works to grow its staff to between 42 and 44, CEO Darren Gallop told Entrevestor in an interview he's decided to reveal the raise now to help draw the interest of potential employees.
The raise, which Securicy initially defined as a pre-seed round before expanding it into a seed round, was led by Indianapolis- and Cincinnati-based Allos Ventures and Halifax’s own Build Ventures. Local seed-stage fund Concrete Ventures and the Boston-based Hub Angels Investment Group -- both prior investors -- also participated.
“We did a really small friend and family round and then a pre-seed, and we extended that pre-seed in the following year (2021),” said Gallop. “So we consider this a seed round.”
Gallop and co-founder Laird Wilton, now Chief Operating Officer, started Securicy in 2016 after losing out on a major business deal at their previous company because they could not demonstrate a strong information security strategy.
They now sell a SaaS product that partly automates the creation of information security strategies, such as complying with HIPAA regulations in the United States, and offers feedback about how companies can improve their security practices.
Securicy’s customers are mostly small and medium-sized businesses, including startups, and are spread across much of the English-speaking world.
The company doubled its client roster in 2021. Gallop credits much of that growth to two side effects of the pandemic: remote work culture and changes in the healthcare economy.
Remote work, according to Gallop, is an ideal paradigm for a SaaS company because it largely eliminates geography as a limiting factor for salespeople.
Of healthcare, Gallop said: “The antiquated government-run healthcare business has been forced to adopt technology in a big way.
“We have companies that do testing for COVID... We have companies that handle mental health scenarios, companies that build tools that help clinics manage patients.”
As each of those businesses digitizes, the players are faced with the need to comply with newly relevant data privacy laws, creating a pain point that Gallop said Securicy helps solve.
Next on Gallop and Wilton’s agenda is a rebranding of Securicy to a newly announced name, Carbide, which will happen later this month.
“Since we released the first version of our information security and data privacy platform in 2018, both the company and the platform... have gone through a transformation,” the company said in a press release. “And that old name, while it’s served us well, no longer quite fits who we’ve become and our vision for the future.”
Next year, Gallop said there could be another funding raise on the horizon.
And despite having already doubled its employee-count in the past year, Gallop said the fully remote Securicy has not been hit badly by the technology-sector labour shortage affecting many Atlantic Canadian startups.
“Almost all of (our hiring) -- not all of it, but almost all of it -- is coming from our network,” said Gallop. “And that's also really great for us because it means that we're getting more trusted and reliable insight on people, versus calling the references that they put on their resume, which are the ones they’re willing to introduce you to.”