Riverside Acceleration Capital (RAC) is proud to announce our investment in Cyber Guru, a software company based out of Rome, Italy that offers a security awareness training platform designed to help organizations and their employees identify and prevent common cyber attacks.
The investment marks the first of what we hope will be many investments into Italy’s growing startup community.
A recent report by the World Economic Forum found that 95% of cybersecurity issues originate from human error, while 43% of breaches stem from intentional or accidental insider threats.
These human errors include poor password hygiene, improper data disposal, connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, and clicking on unknown links or attachments – each of which can open the door for a potential breach or attack.
Cyber Guru helps companies minimize this human risk factor.
The company’s comprehensive training platform aims to empower an organization’s employees to understand the importance of cybersecurity, identify common threats, and adopt the right set of behaviours to minimize the risk of error-induced cyber attacks. The Cyber Guru platform consists of three separate, yet complementary programs: Cognitive training, inductive training, and experiential training.
The first of these programs is the e-learning path of the platform that teaches employees foundational cybersecurity knowledge through interactive lessons, each followed by a learning assessment quiz. The second brings these concepts to the real world through a TV-like video series designed to help employees recognize threats and the actions they can take to mitigate these risks. The third training program fosters an employee’s readiness to act in the face of danger through simulated phishing or smishing attacks of varying difficulty levels based on an individual’s prior performance and perceived weaknesses. These three training programs complement one another, and with the latest release of their v2.0 platform, the company has introduced an exclusive adaptive Machine Learning model that sends personalized simulations tailored to each individual to further transform user behaviour effectively. To date, over 430 businesses have incorporated Cyber Guru’s training platform, collectively delivering over 3.5M lessons for their employees. Customers include government agencies (the Italian Ministry of Labor, the Italian Air Force), major banks (Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena), large enterprises (Eni, Pirelli, TIM), and a host of small and medium businesses. The bulk of the company’s customers are in Italy, although the company is expanding throughout Europe through initiatives like its partnership with Lidera for distribution across Spain and Portugal.
In our view, Cyber Guru addresses an increasingly important concern and competes in a relatively blue ocean, with only a few direct competitors focused on southern Europe. Their growth and ability to innovate over the last few years serve as a testament to both their product and leadership, and we look forward to seeing where their journey takes them.
This partnership marks RAC’s first investment in the Italian tech ecosystem, which has experienced an increase in activity in recent years despite a historic lack of capital availability compared to the rest of Europe. This combination has given rise to a host of capital-efficient startups demonstrating strong unit economics and the ability to grow with minimal outside capital – key characteristics that make companies likely fit for RAC’s right-sized and non-dilutive growth loans.
For those companies looking to add additional capital to a proven go-to-market approach, we also make traditional growth equity investments, with the ability to invest $5-20M either as a lead or a follower in an existing equity round. We encourage companies looking to explore a partnership with RAC to get in touch with our team using the form below. You can also browse some of our case studies and read more about our model for flexible growth capital.