Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based new age cybersecurity company, WeSecure App, which provides security testing, auditing, and consulting services, is among the 50 innovative companies globally, which had been inducted into the 2018 Global Class of Startups Program being held at Redwood City, California in the US. The startup is the only company representing cybersecurity space while a majority of them are into FinTech and HealthTech.
K Venu Rao, CEO, WeSecureApp told Telangana Today in a telephonic interview from the US, “It is the program organized by the Startup Grind powered by Google to empower startups. The program recognizes the top 50 companies selected out of over 6,000 companies from 115 countries around the world.”
Startup Grind is an independent startup community involved in educating, inspiring and connecting 10,00,000 founders in over 400 chapters. It nurtures the startup ecosystem in 115 countries through events and partnerships with organizations such as Google.
The current programme is developed to provide greater recognition and awareness about innovative, rising entrepreneurial stars around the world. The latest class represents an exclusive class of pre-seed and seed-stage companies. Of over 6,000 applications received for the programme, 130 were selected to represent the Startup Grind community across 80 countries. From the pared-down list of 130, the top 50 were inducted into the programme.
Together, these top 50 companies have raised over $40 million. These startups represent countries such as India, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Australia, and Guatemala. Numerous US states are represented in this new class of startups, including those headquartered in New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Nevada, and California.
Rao explains, “The startups have access to mentors, investors, and other resources within Startup Grind’s expansive network. They get access to the company’s global audience through media and onsite interaction at the annual Startup Grind Global Event. The event is being held from February 12 through February 14. We are getting an opportunity to pitch in front of investors here.”
WeSecureApp began its operations two years ago with three co-founders Venu Rao, Akhil Renikuntla (hacker) and Srini Dhara. The founders realised that though there is the availability of automation tools, there still exists vulnerability. There is a need for penetration testing. The company today serves over 50 clients that include online platforms such as MakeMyTrip, Goibibo besides organisations such as ICICI Bank, CallHealth and eVaidya in the app security space.
Rao explains, “We have made a beta release and our solution will help to automate manual testing of apps. This will bring down both the cost and time in testing the apps. Usually, the solutions and tools are used by the cybersecurity professionals but our offering helps app developers to use them. This will allow the app release time. We provide a dashboard that will help developers use the bug tracking tool. And the management will be able the get to know and understand the whole cybersecurity health index with the needed insights and analytics.”
The bootstrapped startup is planning to raise $1 million. The funds will be used in developing the product, technology enhancements and market positioning. “We are looking for strategic investors who will also provide us the industry connect and mentorship besides bringing in capital,” he informed.
With a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 per cent, the company plans steady growth in the coming years. The company’s revenues have gone up from $97,000 in 2016 to $330,000 in 2017. The domestic business accounted for two-thirds of its revenues while its overseas business accounted for the one-third in 2017 and the company expects to reverse the contribution ratio this year. It is aiming to clock $1 million business in 2018. The company plans to tap Europe and South Asia in the next 1-2 years and is eyeing for $5 million in revenues by 2019.
Indian market space
When asked about the adoption and demand for app security products and solutions in India, Rao explains, “India is not yet matured in this space. The way the insurance sector took time to evolve, cybersecurity is still evolving in the country. The growth is slow compared to other advanced markets. It is still difficult to convince chief financial officers why their companies should invest in cybersecurity.”
As of now, there is adoption seen more in e-commerce and new-age companies. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) remain the largest sector where there is a huge market in India, followed by healthcare and telecom.
“Startups are also a big market for us as the Indian startup ecosystem is evolving. We are targeting funded startups such as Lendingkart,” he added.