US networking helps tech-security company gain global footprint
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Melbourne-based cyber security startup Datasec Solutions has scored a
global breakthrough in securing data on connected printers. With the help
of Austrade connections and the San Francisco Landing Pad, it networked
intensively in Silicon Valley over a two-year period, and is now
strategically working with HP Inc. to take its technology to an
Data security is a big issue across the globe. We never see, or interact
with, most of the people with whom we share data. So, can we trust them?
That’s the question Datasec Solutions Director, Paul Waite, and his team
have grappled with – trusted data sharing with untrusted parties.
‘People discard their old printers, put them out in the street, give them
to a friend or sell them online and all that information still resides on
the hard drive,’ he says. ‘If you can access that hard drive, you can see
all that information, be it from a doctor, an accountancy firm or a real
Tech startup cracks global security issue
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Datasec Solutions Pty Ltd (Datasec) is an IT
security company that helps solve security and privacy issues when
organisations transmit sensitive information.
Over the last four years,
Datasec has refined its data sharing platform, Cryptix, to ensure personal
or business data that is shared is not compromised or accessed by unknown
parties. ‘We pick up the information on the device and encrypt it
off-device,’ he says. ‘Nothing resides on the hard drive.’
This capability caught the attention of tech giant HP Inc., and Datasec was
able to secure a global relationship to load Cryptix on their multifunction
printers to protect the information scanned and reproduced by the devices.
Moving forward, Datasec hopes to have 100,000 devices in use by
printer-manufacturing companies by the end of 2022. Estimating a fee of $1
per day per device to use the technology, Waite says the company could
potentially make $100,000 a day.
The lead up to a global relationship
For the Australian technology company, the size of the US market has always
beckoned. Waite estimates there are at least twenty times the HP printers
in the US as compared to Australia – signalling huge market potential.
In a bid to learn more about the US, Datasec took part in two cyber
security missions led by Austrade and AustCyber and the 2019 San Francisco
Landing Pads program.
‘In 2018, we participated in the Cyber Security Mission
to the USA which gave us an inside look at the
market, and introductions to corporates and
customers: it confirmed that there was an opportuntiy
for us,’ Waite says.
It was following the 2018 cyber security mission that
Datasec signed a developer agreement with HP Inc.,
which promised to be a world-first for the computer
In 2019, Datasec was selected for the second Cyber
Security Mission in San Francisco, which proved key
to following up on leads they had generated, as well
as cementing key relationships in the US.
San Francisco Landing Pad helps fund
Another boost to networking in the US was the
Landing Pads program, administered by Austrade and
supported by AustCyber. The program helps
Australian market-ready startups and scaleups take
their business global in five innovation hubs
worldwide: Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai,
Singapore and Tel Aviv.
In early 2019, Datasec participated in a three-month
Landing Pad residency in San Francisco. During the
residency, Datasec worked closely with entrepreneurin-
residence, Mick Luibinskas. The company has
since engaged him to work with Datasec on the US
‘He’s provided us with fantastic input into how we go
about raising money there, and he’s helped us fine
tune our market entry strategy,’ Waite says.
One outcome from the Landing Pad program – and
immersion in world of the San Francisco tech – was a
realisation that to expand in the US, the company
would need more capital.
‘Being part of the Landing Pad made us realise that
we had to raise more money than we anticipated to
establish a US presence,’ he adds.
By mid-2020, Datasec plans to list on the Australian
Securities Exchange (ASX). Currently, Datasec is
looking to raise funding in Australia to fund their
Guided networking in Silicon Valley
Waite describes the networking opportunities provided
by the Landing Pad as excellent.
‘We were able to meet a variety of different people
and learn to structure things for the US, which was a
fantastic takeaway,’ Waite says.
‘Austrade not only provided introductions, it helped us
understand the corporate side of things, such as
governance and taxation.
‘Because of our US experience, we’ve also been
talking to Austrade about setting up in Singapore and
establishing an Asia-Pacific-Japan network.’
Advice for Australian tech startups looking at US: engage with Austrade
Datasec is now on a global roll. The company and HP
Inc. will launch their technology in October 2019 for
global roll out. As a result, Waite anticipates his
headcount will rise significantly from four permanent
employees. The scale of this success leads Waite to
advise Australian tech companies to start small – and
‘You’ve got to really take time to build networks and
touchpoints,’ he says. ‘I think a lot of Aussie
companies don’t venture into some of the larger
markets because it takes them a long time to get
established, so there’s a fair bit of cash burn before
getting to that stage.’
He advises tech companies to engage with Austrade
to make expansion in the US easier. This is because
the US market itself is highly complex.
‘If you do business in 50 states, you’ve got 50 different
types of legislation, 50 tax laws, 50 HR laws and 50
different ways in which you need to interact,’ he says.
It’s reassuring that Austrade has offices across the US
to facilitate that next interaction.’
Waite says the Landing Pad and the cyber missions
taught him that preparation is vital to success. ‘The
biggest thing we learned from our participation in the
Landing Pad in San Francisco is that everything is still
possible if you are working with the right people.’
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission
(Austrade) is the Australian Government’s
international trade promotion and investment
We deliver quality trade and investment services to
businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. We do this
by generating and providing market information and
insights, promoting Australian capability, and
facilitating connections through our extensive global
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency.
We deliver quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. We do this by providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability, and facilitating connections through our extensive global network.
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