French start-ups and companies in the cybersecurity sector attract a lot of envy due to their advanced skills. The recent takeover of Alsid for 98 million euros by the American Tenable illustrates the attractiveness of a sector where nuggets have been multiplying for several years. Entrepreneurs like Pierre Polette (co-founder of Alsid, member of the board of Hackuity and CEO of Talentia Software) participate in the emergence of these French start-ups.
Young cybersecurity shoots are now relying on entrepreneurs who have already made a first exit. Like Silicon Valley, which displays start-upers who have already sold their companies several times and are able to invest in new entities, the French ecosystem is starting to include entrepreneurs like Patrick Ragaru, CEO of Hackuity and Pierre Polette, co-founder, both early business angels and present on Alsid boards.
These personalities bring their expertise, their financial and HR skills to accelerate start-ups and quickly build entities, which in this case allow the emergence of a player like Hackuity in a few months. Pierre Polette is now president of Talentia Software, one of the main French players in the digitization of HR and corporate financial management.
Alsid: nearly 100 million euros for the Active Directory expert
It is one of the great acquisitions of the year in the small world of tech and cybersecurity. The Alsid start-up, ultra-specialized in the field of securing the Active Directory (the tool for implementing Microsoft’s services, present in almost all computers), was bought by the American Tenable for 98 million euros. Founded in 2016 by two former engineers from ANSSI, Luc Delsalle and Emmanuel Gras, it specializes in reducing the risks of intrusion into corporate networks, using a real-time analysis and security solution for Active Directory (AD) infrastructures.
While some deplore seeing a new French tech nugget pass under the Yankee flag, we can also congratulate ourselves on the attractiveness of the sector, and in particular of French cybersecurity players, who are starting to make a small reputation for themselves through the world. A few months ago, it was the Lyon start-up Sentryo, specialist in the security of industrial control system networks, that the giant Cisco bought.
Pierre Polette also notes: “ Emmanuel and Luc, the two directors of Alsid, combine a simple and robust idea, exceptional work capacities and a certain talent. The ideal combination of qualities to rub shoulders with the best global entrepreneurs. We are fortunate in the French ecosystem to be able rely on leading entrepreneurs, who, well financed and supported, are capable of building businesses of Alsid’s quality. “
FIC start-up award: French excellence in cybersecurity
The International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC) this year rewarded three French start-ups: GitGuardian, which received the FIC startup prize, Hackuity, which was awarded the Jury Prize and Ubble, which received the Favorite of the Jury. Three start-ups that have in common are young cybersecurity shoots.
GitGuardian is a cybersecurity start-up providing solutions against the leakage of secrets via source code. Jérémy Thomas, CEO of GitGuardian did not hesitate to mention a ” ambition, whether at European or global level “. For Patrick Ragaru, the founder of Hackuity, specialist in fault correction, the FIC award comes ” confirm our growth ambitions, validate the relevance of our investments in terms of deeptech innovation and our vision for an automated and intelligent approach to a fundamental cybersecurity practice “.
The development of a dynamic cyber ecosystem
The Alsid adventure was financed by several representatives of the French venture capital ecosystem: Idinvest (Sigfox, Criteo, Happn, Deezer, Dailymotion…), 360 Capital and Axeleo. This ecosystem clearly manages today to support the deployment of first-level entities. There is no doubt that Tenable won in the competition for Alsid’s development by offering ambitious development prospects to the start-up.
Last subject: The FIC continues each year to play its role of unifying the sector. The French ecosystem, supported by the BPI, today brings together a set of dynamic players. Another hot cybersecurity start-up, Cybelangel, is featured in the recent next40 of the forty start-ups deemed to be the most promising.
Other companies, such as Tehtris, Gatewatcher or Sqreen have made promising paths. Good news for the French cyber ecosystem.