Tessian announces $13M Series A round

UK-based email security startup Tessian (formerly CheckRecipient) announced today that it has raised $13 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Balderton Capital and brings total disclosed investment in the company to $16.8 million.

Tessian, founded in 2013, uses machine learning to analyse patterns and behaviours in email sending and detect anomalies.

“With the recent report from the ICO that misaddressed emails are now the number one data security incident reported to them and GDPR now in full swing, companies should make addressing this risk a top security priority,” said Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of Tessian. “It’s human nature to fear scary things like hackers or malware, but we often don’t think twice about the dangers behind something as familiar and ingrained as sending an email. In reality that’s where an overwhelming threat lies.”

Since its seed round last year, the company has grown from 13 to 50 people, while annual recurring revenue is up by over 400 per cent in the last 12 months. It plans to use the Series A investment to expand its product offering and grow its business by expanding its sales and marketing teams.

It’s human nature to fear scary things like hackers or malware, but we often don’t think twice about the dangers behind something as familiar and ingrained as sending an email.

– Tim Sadler, CEO and Co-founder, Tessian

According to a press release, organisations such as Schroders, Man Group and Dentons and over 70 of the UK’s leading law firms have adopted the platform already.

“With GDPR at the forefront of every organisation’s minds, Clyde & Co is focused on building a resilient approach to keep our client data confidential and secure,” said Chris White, global CIO at Clyde & Co.

He went on to say: “The speed and ease of deployment of Tessian has been unparalleled by any other solution we’ve dealt with, and has been our quickest GDPR win to date. Misaddressed emails are a major cybersecurity problem that all organisations have to deal with, but trying to train human error out of employees is near impossible. Tessian’s machine intelligence plays a vital role in helping mitigate these kinds of errors and ensure that customer data remains secure and private.”

“What Tessian have done – and this is why we are so excited about them – is apply machine intelligence to understand how humans communicate with each other and use that deeper understanding to secure enterprise email networks,” said Balderton Capital partner Suranga Chandratillake. “The genius of this approach is that while the product focus today is on email – by far the most used communication channel in the corporate enterprise – their technology can be applied to all communication channels in time. And, as we all communicate in larger volumes and on more channels, that represents a vast opportunity.”

Accel partner Luciana Lixandru added: “The effectiveness of Tessian’s product attracted our attention at an early stage. Since our seed investment just over a year ago, the company’s ability to address a fundamental data security risk has been reflected in its strong growth and a string of blue chip client wins. I’m excited to be working even more closely with the team, as it rolls out its solution to an even greater number of businesses.”

As part of the investment, both Chandratillake and Lixandru will be joining Tessian’s board of directors.

Researcher, writer, recovering medievalist. Currently particularly interested in the cybersecurity solutions market, cyber insurance/risk modelling, and IoT security.

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