L7 Defense raises $4m in a Series A funding round //15.03.21
As research by Plexal and Beauhurst shows, overall investment into the UK’s cyber innovation ecosystem is increasing but early-stage startups are finding it more challenging to secure funding for the first time. In fact, funding for companies raising their first round from March-December 2020 was 96% lower than the same period the previous year. So it’s particularly impressive that cyber startup L7 Defense, which has just graduated from LORCA’s fourth accelerator programme, has raised $4m in a Series A round.
The round was led by Germany-based TRUMPF Venture with participation from India-based Quick Heal Technologies. L7 Defense plans to use the injection of cash to solidify its technological leadership, boost awareness of its core technology and grow in international markets.
The company‘s award-winning Ammune is an enterprise-grade API (application programming interface) security solution. It autonomously monitors, detects and blocks API attacks to a very high level of accuracy, freeing security teams from managing endless configurations and rules.
As the company gears up for global growth, we caught up with co-founder Yisrael Gross to learn more about the challenges of raising your first round during a pandemic and how the startup built trust with investors.
On raising a first round during a pandemic
Yisrael told us it was already challenging for L7 Defense to raise its first round, then Covid-19 made things harder.
Winning trust from investors by acquiring customers
Yisrael said what investors really want to know if that the market wants to buy your product and that you’re able to close deals. This is especially important for startups. “Early-stage companies have to prove themselves all the time,” he said.
Why L7 Defense was determined to grow rather than stay still
Although he admits that “it wasn’t easy”, Yisrael knew L7 Defense couldn’t afford to do wait the pandemic out. He noted that many companies that stood still or acted cautiously have since closed shop entirely.
Focus on the value you bring, rather than your tech
Reflecting on L7 Defense’s startup journey so far, Yisrael said the company initially focused too much on its technology. It’s since learned that “the customer is looking for value”.