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Mobile Security Startup Appknox Raises $671K In Pre Series A To Expand In Southeast Asia Market

Mobile Security Startup Appknox Raises $671K In Pre Series A To Expand In Southeast Asia Market

When information of the records breach of the cell debts of 10 Mn StarBucks customers got here in 2014, it left each person suffering with one query – “Is it better for mobile apps to be ‘Convenient’ or to be ‘Secure’?”

Three engineering graduates then decided to determine out a manner to expand protection offerings into a product which is easy to recognize and easy in use for people who don’t have a safety background.

Harshit Agarwal, Subho Halder, and Prateek Panda laid the inspiration of Appknox – a cloud-based mobile security solution – in January 2014, beneath XYSec Labs Pte. Ltd, a enterprise centered in Singapore.

The startup lately secured $651K (S$875K) funds in a Pre-Series A spherical. The funding turned into led by means of SeedPlus, a seed level VC company subsidized by way of Jungle Ventures, Infocomm Investments, Accel Partners, and RNT Associates. The raised finances will be used to mark its access in the Southeast Asia marketplace.

The Bug Hunters’ Journey: From Singapore To India

Appknox essentially gives agencies a cloud-based ‘audit device’ for mobile app vulnerability detection and safety certification. Developers can add their utility inside the backend on Google play keep. It then undergoes static and real-time safety testing where the app runs on Appknox’s simulated cloud gadgets. It has also launched an ‘automated dynamic emulation engine for the iOS platform to help address problems with analysis of iOS packages.

The founders to begin with began with finding safety insects in companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft for rewards and popularity. Eventually, additionally they held workshops for SME’s to assist them manage security requirements. But things had been set in movement while multiple essential hacks have been suggested like the Snapchat and StarBucks leaks. That’s while the idea to launch Appknox struck their thoughts.

Their first 4 months have been spent with JFDI in Singapore wherein they labored on the preliminary idea and built the product prototype. Then, every other 4 months had been spent at Microsoft Accelerator in Bangalore. “There we get our early set of 5-6 beta clients who supplied a variety of remarks. We labored on our future roadmap, approach and in the end released Appknox in India in January 2015,” tells Prateek.


In 2014, the team also grabbed $25K from Singapore’s The Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) and an undisclosed quantity of seed funding from Jungle Ventures together with Google India head Rajan Anandan also taking part.

In India, it's miles currently running with clients consisting of Paytm, Times Internet, BigBasket, CitrusPay, and more. While in Singapore, it counts Redmart and HOOQ as its clients. It has an R&D office in Bengaluru with a crew of 19 humans.

Singapore vs Indian Markets: Where Lies The Difference?

According to Prateek, Indian markets are not mature sufficient in phrases of the security enterprise. The cellular apps garnering tens of millions of installs on a daily foundation spend major money on patron acquisition, marketing, and promotions, but infrequently some thing on security.

“The purpose behind this is the absence of robust legal guidelines towards records privateness. Even if there is a breach, there may be infrequently anything that purchaser can do to the business so they hardly have something to fear approximately,” said Prateek. “Initially, this became the largest task we faced – to educate businesses to take precautionary measures for safety and no longer to wait until the hack takes place,” he introduced.

With the brand new finances, Appknox desires to tap into the capability of SouthEast Asian Markets.

According to Harshit, Southeast Asia is one of the fastest developing areas in the world in terms of the Internet economic system. “With the growth of ecommerce and digital payments, protection can be the most important pillar of help. With the Governments of Singapore and Malaysia pronouncing their Smart Nation objectives, now could be the great time for corporations to start making plans protection on a everyday foundation,” he brought.

Prateek believes that Singapore is a miles extra mature market in terms of security due to the fact it's far dominated by means of finance and economic services companies which help set up a robust context about safety. Also, the authorities in Singapore and Malaysia has sturdy guidelines in vicinity for privateness and statistics safety and imposes up to a million dollar high-quality on groups who do no longer store statistics nicely.

“Since the government and businesses are becoming sincerely lively toward the safety factor, we notion it’s the fine time for us to come lower back here and explore the marketplace, cognizance extra on the Southeast Asia area. That’s why we increase a few investment to help us establish a small group here, and dedicate our assets in the direction of running on this place,” delivered Prateek.

Market Opportunity In Singapore Market

Research by way of Google and Temasek suggests that the digital financial system will grow to round $two hundred Bn via 2025. However, this boom has resulted in more cybersecurity dangers, consistent with Vivian Balakrishnan, minister-in-charge of Singapore’s Smart Nation programme. “The greater digital technologies grow to be embedded into the cloth of real existence, you’ve were given to take the essential precautions,” he brought.


Ninety% of mobile apps in Singapore do not effectively claim what purchaser records is accrued or how it's far used. A recent file via Gartner additionally state that by using 2017 extra than seventy five% of cellular apps will fail primary safety assessments. Also, Appknox’s study of over 100K Google Playstore apps discovered eighty five% of them already failing the simple protection assessments.

Appknox has garnered sure expertise by being at the board of OWASP and other western inspired security agencies. It will use it to create a commonplace assist gadget to create a cozy enterprise environment for both authorities and enterprise of all sizes in Singapore.

The Appknox founders similarly plan to raise their Series A round of funding within the next six-8 months, with an aim to target the US and European markets next. As explained by using Prateek, the United States and European markets are some of the maximum sought-after markets for protection functions, not just in phrases of commercial enterprise but additionally because the talent available there.

“It helps in building a far higher product through higher pleasant of research. Our plan is to attempt to reach some Series A metrics with the aid of December in order that January onwards we are able to boost Series A, and release subsequent 12 months inside the US,” ended Prateek.

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