28 Jul Cybersecurity Made in Europe – Mapping the European Cybersecurity Scale-Up Ecosystem V 1.0
Cybersecurity is a pillar of European sovereignty for the future
A blogpost by Andrea Vaugan, Sophia Linnenkohl, Ingo Franz, Dominique Tessier and Luis Peysson
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “Cybersecurity is not an isolated challenge; rather we should view it as a critical component of how we live our lives and do business online. Since it is also constantly changing to respond to new and evolving threats, it requires a holistic approach – increasing our cyber-resilience and working together on all levels, from citizens and companies to Member States. Europe has the expertise to lead in the field.”
The mission of the European Champions Alliance is to contribute to the strengthening of the European tech ecosystem by supporting the growth of the European tech champions of tomorrow.
To be strong and relevant, an ecosystem needs transparency, the members need to be aware of each other and ideally share the goal of collaboration and mutual support. The aim of the ECA Focus Groups is to gather those stakeholders and to support networking, collaboration and joint business perspectives.
A sectorial mapping of the most important members of the ecosystem is the starting point for all of our Focus Groups. We start with a restricted geographical focus (in this case France + DACH) and will enlarge our mapping over time with the help of the ecosystem.
The key objectives of the present mapping are
- Promote the European cybersecurity offering and promote the European tech ecosystem in general.
- Connect the relevant stakeholders, invite them to get to know each other, learn from each other, and collaborate.
- Raise awareness with potential buyers in all types of corporations on the best possibility to identify and acquire European Cybersecurity technology.
Cybersecurity made in Europe
The European cybersecurity offering is vibrant and Europe provides a very fertile environment: leading industrial and technological groups, world-class R&D capabilities, as well as incredible talent, give Europe the potential to be frontrunning in the cybersecurity sector in the world.
The more our world goes digital and the more digitalization progresses, the more we are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. We need to protect our markets, citizens, economies and
society from outside threats and gain a sufficient level of sovereignty to be able to rely on our security on European technology built with European funding and European values.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this digitalization, with a sudden and large-scale move to teleworking, the use of digital services in hospitals, laboratories, and government services, and the explosion in online schooling.
In a speech to the European Parliament, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that “cybersecurity and digitalization are two sides of the same coin. This is why cybersecurity is a top priority.”
Sécurité à la Française
France has created two of the oldest Firewall companies, Netasq and Arkoon, now merged and renamed Stormshield, and part of the pan-European Airbus Group. But the story does not stop at firewalls. As threats have soared, so has the Cybersecurity offering. New companies have risen, in fields such as data protection, email, and anti-malware security, endpoint protection, IoT and industrial systems security, code analysis, and cleansing.
As some of those new companies, now 8 or 10 years old, are scaling up, newborn startups emerge and bring new technologies and ideas to the surface. Some of them are possibly the future cybersecurity champions of tomorrow.
On the other hand, France is home to very large digital integrators, some of them being worldwide groups. It will be interesting to look at the evolution of the Cybersecurity solutions they provide to customers, with a probable if not that fast shift from US products to European ones. This move will be encouraged by the trend by some big decision-makers to consider “local” digital (and cybersecurity) offerings.
Counting French-born products only, more than 50 cybersecurity editors are represented in our mapping, As some of them are complementary, an ecosystem could emerge. This view seems even more valid at the European scale, to start with France and Germany. The ECA cybersecurity mapping is not only designed to spread useful information, we see it as a good tool for fostering the Cybersecurity business at an unprecedented scale.
Sicherheit made in Germany
There is traditionally a solid stack of German IT Security in all classical fields of government security, business IT and consumer-oriented security. We can visit this every year at Europe’s leading gathering for IT security, the “ITSA” trade fair in Nuernberg. So everything in order? It took a few prominent data hacks and security breaches to realize that the unprecedented level of internet connectivity poses a different level of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Companies but also the Germany government has finally made cybersecurity a key priority topic of their policy “agenda”.
Germany’s start-up scene is on the move alongside the new paradigms of cloud-based infrastructures & services, protecting big data applications and vast IoT connectivity and the number of companies has been tripling in the last 5 years. Established players such as Genua, Rhode & Schwartz, or Bundesdruckerei have also made significant efforts, as well in M&A. Industrial partners and VC investors make courageous investments – all these are elements that suggest that the “security boom” can be sustainable.
In this mapping, we have included around 70 companies from Germany, hereof about 40 scale-ups and 30 startups “to watch”. As in the French market, our focus laid on Independent software vendors, cloud applications and platforms, and SaaS companies. We have not included a large number of professional service companies and software houses.
The map includes as well a number of innovative SMEs that have grown without excessive venture funding and are now at scale-up or established company size. Companies are owner-driven SMEs that are growing within their own cash flows or are backed by bank loans. In some cases, PE investors are providing buy-out and growth funding for international development at a later stage of the company. We think it is important to include such innovative companies that would not show up on VC rankings.
The initial analysis shows that most companies are focused to grow & scale in their home market first. The ECA network could help these high-potential companies to find their way to the European scale as fast as possible. We found that, despite the geographic proximity, scale-ups & start-ups look rarely for partnerships and customers in other European markets and industry clusters. We want to encourage them to open up for such a European perspective, as large Customers and Partners look more and more outside its national borders for fast-moving tech.
In Germany and France, we see relevant companies in key areas of cybersecurity. Still, one key topic to watch is “Industrial Cyber Security”. Here, Germany, but also France are the frontrunners in Europe and provide a thriving ecosystem of industrial groups, technology leaders, and research capabilities that are looking out for European solutions to their cybersecurity challenges. The call for more European regulation and data sovereignty is an opportunity for European scale-ups.
Choosing the right companies
The ECA and the Vectorpilot team has screened more than 400 European Start-ups, Scale-ups, and SMEs in Cybersecurity in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and in France. Surely, we have missed some companies or had not enough information to assess them properly. The mapping will need constant input & insights from the ecosystem to make it actual and relevant for all stakeholders such as start-ups, scale-ups, VCs, and large tech groups and corporates.
The criteria for this mapping:
- General criteria:
- All companies have their headquarter in Europe
- Not all companies have full European funding, one of the topics we’d like to tackle.
- Dynamic scale up’s that
- have already achieved a significant turnover of several million €
- consist of a significant team of more than 40 staff
- are either profitably growing or have raised significant venture funding to secure future growth plans
- should have the capacity to provide their technology at a European scale
- We’ve also looked for start-up companies
- with significant potential which have been able to attract A-round VC funding
- which are positioned on most innovative and novel fields of cybersecurity for our “Watchlist”.
- These Start-ups can be the future European Champions driving innovation and disruption with new digital products and approaches such as artificial intelligence.
What happens next?
The European Champions Alliance is aiming to publish an updated second version of this mapping after the summer.
We are planning on including several other categories:
- all players that are missing on the mapping and are grateful to our community to help us complete the map
- the most relevant professional service companies
- companies that have been founded in Europe but left to other markets to grow quicker
- a European Market Readiness index, showing the European development level for each company
We are eager to partner with actors that help us map other European markets like Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux-Region, UK, and southern Europe. Please get in touch.
The mapping that is available as a snapshot to the public is available as a database to the members of the ECA. The database includes all relevant information and also provides the possibility to filter and export the selected companies. If you want to become a member please read this page and apply.
The ECA team has also reached out to all companies on this mapping to better know them and provide guidance for European Development.
The ECA Cybersecurity Focus Group is working on a Cybersecurity Buyers Guide that will provide operational guidance to decision-makers. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute to this project.
We are looking for several technologies to make this mapping even more accessible:
- a European mapping software (not Google maps ;)) to provide geographical maps for better visualization
- a database software with filter possibilities to provide access to the database our members
If you have ideas please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to either modify your company’s information on this map or apply for your company to be included, you can fill out our Cybersecurity Survey here.
Another great way to get involved is to become an official ECA member! View all membership information and options on our website.
If you would like to receive the mapping as a PDF document or address any other question or remark, you can get in contact with the European Champions Alliance by writing a mail to email@example.com