Sydney cyber start-up Devicie lands $14m from US VC giant

Devicie, a Sydney-based software start-up that helps companies secure their workers’ laptops, has landed $14 million in series A funding from New York-based private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with participation from leading Australian cybersecurity firm CyberCX.

Founded by Martin McGregor, Jason Fairburn and José Schenardie, Devicie has signed up customers such as PointsBetJohn Holland and Nine Network since launching in late 2019.

Mr McGregor said that even before the pandemic hit, the software that companies used to manage employee devices wasn’t keeping up with the rise in cybersecurity threats and the growing work from home movement.

A long time IT engineer and consultant, Mr McGregor said companies previously needed to put together large teams to secure employee devices as part of slow, expensive projects that often failed.

I’d often go to companies when they failed to deliver these sorts of solutions multiple times, and I’d be called to resolve them. It just wasn’t practical for most businesses to maintain this kind of infrastructure,” Mr McGregor told The Australian Financial Review.

Having previously raised $1.3 million in seed funding from angel investors and the cybersecurity venture accelerator program CyRise, the fresh cash injection will be used to further develop Devicie’s product and grow its existing customer base in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Term sheets for the capital raise were signed in April, but the deal closed in the last few weeks, with the caretaker government period slowing down approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

With the money through the door, the founders can breathe a sigh of relief and start hiring positions to double Devicie’s headcount from 15 to 30 over the next year.

Launched in December 2019, the business had one customer before the pandemic hit, which stalled its growth for a few months while companies froze their spending plans.

On the back of the remote work boom, which has created a greater risk of cyberattacks, Mr McGregor said Devicie is well suited for the tighter economic conditions.

Devicie is a good technology for times like this because businesses are cutting costs, and it’s really not practical for them to hire and assemble the kind of teams that you need to solve this problem,” Mr McGregor said.

“It’s really hard to find skilled people who can do this in the first place.”

Philine Huizing, Principal at Insight Partners said Devicie had taken a “novel approach” to end-user device management, built around the Microsoft Intune ecosystem.

“Devicie has quickly made a name for itself within the industry. With the heightened risk of cyberattacks from global bad actors seeking to exploit current tensions, Devicie is a mission-critical solution across enterprises and managed service providers,” Ms Huizing said.

CyberCX – which is run by former Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis and former head of the Australian Cyber Centre Centre Alastair MacGibbon – also backed the company in the latest round.

“As the region’s leading cybersecurity services provider, CyberCX is committed to backing innovative Australian cybersecurity technology companies like Devicie to grow, accelerate and blaze a trail into overseas markets,” Mr Paitaridis said.