Government-backed innovation programme delivered by Plexal selects 20 companies to join its fourth cohort
Automation, zero-trust defence and supply chain risk emerge as prominent themes among the cutting-edge solutions. The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) today announces the 20 scaleups selected to join its fourth cohort of cyber innovators. The latest group is LORCA’s largest and most international yet, including companies using technologies such as automation and quantum to protect UK industry against the latest threats.
Automation and AI-based products recur regularly throughout the list of chosen cohort members, as industry searches for more efficient methods to fight off machine-speed threats, while quantum and cryptography, zero-trust technologies and supply chain risk analysis solutions are also prevalent.
Although the majority of businesses selected are British, the fourth iteration of the programme also saw a number of international applications reflected in the final cohort, which includes firms from Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Singapore and the US.
Delivered by Plexal, the innovation centre at Here East in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the year-long programme will support the 20 new companies to scale, secure investment, access new markets and participate in overseas trade missions, with the ultimate aim of growing the British cybersecurity industry and making the UK the safest place to be online.
LORCA takes zero equity or IP in the scaleups, which will also receive technical and commercial support from the programme’s delivery partner Deloitte and engineering expertise from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast. They will also benefit from engaging closely with industry, including directly with LORCA’s corporate partners as well as through events, LORCA’s forums and through introductions to LORCA’s international network.
After launching in June 2018 with backing from the Department from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, LORCA has gone from strength to strength and has now enrolled 55 companies into its programme, which have collectively gone on to secure £58m in investment. For example, notable LORCA successes during 2019 included Privitar and Crypto Quantique securing $40m and $8m funding rounds respectively. ThinkCyber was also selected as a finalist in the NYCx Moonshot Cyber Challenge, while CyberOwl won a contract with the Ministry of Defence.
The latest cohort includes scaleups with a range of cutting-edge solutions, which were invited to apply based on three innovation themes identified by industry leaders from various sectors:
- Connected Economy: Our post-breach economy is more connected than ever, presenting new challenges for businesses that must stay resilient against threats targeting them directly, but also those impacting their supply chains and networks. Cybersecurity isn’t just about data protection – it’s key to enabling sustainable growth.
- Connected Everything: The challenge of securing millions of devices is stark, but this is heightening exponentially as the digital and physical worlds converge. From transport systems to the National Grid, the world around us must be secured at every access point if society is to adopt a digitally enabled, efficient infrastructure without risking human safety.
- Connected Everyone: From disinformation to political interference, cyber threats have evolved beyond issues of corporate reputation and are having an increasing impact on society. Cybersecurity technologies must adapt to this shift, as a crucial part of the solution to some of the biggest ethical questions facing us. As data becomes the new currency for today’s digital citizen, cybersecurity must build trust in technology among the population.
Saj Huq, Programme Director, LORCA, said: “LORCA exists to bring cutting-edge technology to market and to enable the most promising cyber innovators become globally competitive businesses. The international reach and the variety of solutions within our incoming fourth cohort is an exciting demonstration of both the strength and attractiveness of the UK market, as well as an illustration of the increasingly prominent role that LORCA plays as a convener and collaborator within the global innovation ecosystem.”
The full list of companies enrolling in the latest cohort can be found below:
Acreto delivers a Security-as-a-Utility capability that protects distributed and mobile platforms. It can help you protect any technology, operating on any type of network, from anywhere.
The company’s patented technology allows organisations to securely move highly sensitive or classified data from on-premises storage to the public cloud, while retaining their data sovereignty.
This cloud-based security platform can expand perimeter defence beyond the enterprise network, providing cloud-delivered protection for devices.
Contingent is an AI-powered enterprise platform that quickly reduces the enormous burden of collecting, verifying and monitoring supply chain risk data.
Continuum Security helps companies build secure software by embedding security in the design of their systems.
Darkbeam’s non-invasive threat reconnaissance platform gives you digital risk insights in seconds.
This cyber company builds products that anticipate threatscape trends. Its proactive security suite helps individuals and organisations protect their valuable data.
Keyless is a deeptech cybersecurity company that’s building the world’s first privacy-preserving biometric authentication and personal identity management platform which eliminates the need for businesses to centrally store and manage biometric data, passwords, and any other sensitive information without compromising on convenience or privacy.
The data security company equips organisations with the tools they need to secure and protect highly confidential documents and data.
The company’s solution autonomously monitors, detects and blocks API attacks to a very high level of accuracy, freeing security teams from managing endless configurations and rules.
The company’s award-winning technologies collect huge volumes of cyber risk data, which they analyse using machine learning and a highly skilled team to enable you to stop your cyber risks before they happen.
Specialising in privileged access security, the company’s software allows customers to securely and cost-effectively manage all privileged access and automate complex business and IT processes.
Risk Ledger’s vendor risk management solution combines a secure social network with a risk management platform. This enables organisations to run a gold standard risk assurance programme against their vendors while making it easy for vendors to respond.
ShieldIOT enables integrators and service providers to secure large-scale critical IoT networks in settings such as smart cities, smart grid and transportation.
SureCert’s digital identity platform makes background checking for recruitment and ID verification quicker and more efficient. Like a credit check, it turns personal information into a score, making sure that sensitive personal information is kept securely.
Helping companies monitor and manage their cyber protection in real time, ThreatAware is a single pane of glass on every aspect of an organisation’s cybersecurity – including all hardware, software, cloud services and IT compliance standards.
The company provides application shielding solutions to clients around the world, from fintech to government to medtech, military, aerospace and beyond.
Variti specialises in malicious bot detection and associated shielding technologies, especially for the verticals most at risk such as ecommerce, media, entertainment and financial sectors. It protects websites, apps and APIs from fraud and attacks without affecting the end user.
VIVIDA combines storytelling and interactive virtual reality to develop the most impactful cybersecurity awareness and education. Its VR experiences are designed to change attitudes and behaviour, make cybersecurity play a bigger role in a company’s culture and reduce the risk factor.
The company helps organisations darken their networks and prevent cyber attacks with invisible network access gates which only materialise when certain trust standards are met. Its technology makes connectivity within enterprises (and their supply chains) easier to arrange and safer to operate by ensuring connecting systems are completely invisible to third parties.
Paul Branley, Director of Strategy, Innovation & Testing at Lloyds Banking Group, said:
“Lloyds Banking Group partnered with the London Office for Rapid Cyber Security Advancement (LORCA) in June 2018 and have most recently been involved in the cohort 4 selection of cyber companies. These innovators have highlighted the current quality and breadth of cyber skills within the UK market. Lloyds Banking Group continues to collaborate and partner with LORCA as we recognise that incremental change isn’t enough and we need a transformative approach to keep ahead of the threat. The cohort selection event allows us early access to cutting edge technologies and innovators, ultimately supporting our ambition to solve cybersecurity challenges and support our business strategy to Help Britain Prosper.”
Stephen Wray, Director of Cyber Risk Services, Deloitte, said: “We continue to be impressed and inspired by the quality and volume of applicants to LORCA. This fourth cohort highlights some outstanding products and solutions that seek to address the complex cyber challenges facing our clients today. Deloitte’s dedicated cyber team will continue to provide technical and market expertise to the latest cohort, supporting the development of cyber innovation.”
Louise Cushnahan, Head of Innovation, CSIT, said:
“Our academic and engineering staff have a strong track record in supporting UK cyber security companies. In recent years almost 100 have benefited from our expertise to scale-up and deliver truly novel solutions to global markets with recent government figures showing that UK cyber security exports topped £2bn for the first time. The breadth of this cohort represents a rich opportunity to deliver further economic, technological and societal outcomes for CSIT’s cutting edge research and innovation in the area of Secure Connected Intelligence.”
Notes to editors
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LORCA’s objective is to grow the UK’s cybersecurity sector and make the internet safer for everyone by supporting the most promising later-stage companies. Through its forums, programmes and events, it convenes academia, innovators, government, investors and industry (including partners Lloyds Banking Group, Dell Technologies, Kudelski Security and the Global Cyber Alliance) into a cross-sector, non-competitive and collaborative ecosystem.
Designed and delivered by the Plexal innovation team, LORCA’s 12-month accelerator programmes are matched to each cohort’s needs. Members benefit from international trade delegations, opportunities to engage with industry, mentoring and workshops on everything from marketing to scaling globally. They also benefit from engineering, commercial and technical support from delivery partners Deloitte and CSIT.
LORCA launched in June 2018 with backing from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as part of the Government’s five-year, £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy. LORCA is tasked with supporting 72 scaling companies, creating up to 2,000 jobs and securing £40m in investment by 2021.
Since then, companies from cohorts one, two and three have raised over £58m in investment and won 514 contracts. Notable success stories include cyber company ZoneFox being acquired by Fortinet, CyberOwl winning a contract with the Ministry of Defence as a result of being involved with the programme and working with delivery partner Deloitte and Privatar raising $40m in a Series B round.
Plexal is an innovation centre and coworking space located in the fast-growing Here East technology and innovation campus in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Collaboration is at the heart of Plexal’s approach to innovation. Its innovation team delivers bespoke programmes for clients like Innovate UK and Transport for London, and specialises in forging connections between industry, academia, investors, startups and scaleups to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society while getting ideas market-ready.
Plexal has been appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to deliver the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA): an innovation programme aimed at scaling cybersecurity solutions that are needed most by industry.
It’s also delivered OpenDoor: an inclusion accelerator aimed at scaling solutions that can make society and our economy more inclusive while addressing the challenges of under-represented groups.
Designed as a mini-city (it has its own indoor park, a high street, indoor street food and a prototyping workshop), startup and scaleup members of Plexal’s workspace benefit from a comprehensive programme of events and in-house professional services. Members work in areas like mobility, AI, healthtech, cybersecurity, fintech, the Internet of Things, VR and more.
Plexal was launched in 2017 and was founded by clients of specialist real estate investment advisory company Delancey.
For more information visit: plexal.com
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About the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)
The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Queen’s University Belfast, is the UK’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for cybersecurity, and the UK’s largest cybersecurity focused university technology research, development and innovation centre. The theme of CSIT’s research roadmap is “Secure Connected Intelligence”. CSIT is researching the new technologies needed for the seamless integration of electronic security into future Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT), including:
• quantum-safe cryptographic architectures
• malware detection methods that can counteract advanced evasion technologies
• securing highly distributed networks for critical infrastructures
• AI-enabled security analytics to provide to real-time threat indicators
CSIT brings a unique approach to academic engagement and delivering impact with industry in the UK and further afield. An Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of companies and strategic government partners plays a key role in defining the research challenges undertaken by CSIT, whilst a cadre of industrially experienced engineers help accelerate innovation to market. This creates collaborative opportunities for researchers to work with start-ups, scale-ups and large corporations and on solving societal challenges. CSIT is involved in delivering three national cyber security innovation programmes namely; CSIT Labs, HutZero and Cyber101.
For more information, visit: https://www.qub.ac.uk/ecit/CSIT/