Investments

Tale of a 15-Second Pitch That Left Ex-Cisco Chairman John Chambers Impressed

Lucideus rose $5 Million in Series A funding led by Cisco's Chairman Emeritus, John Chambers from his personal venture arm JC2 Ventures
Tale of a 15-Second Pitch That Left Ex-Cisco Chairman John Chambers Impressed
Image credit: Tom Upton Studio
Saket Modi with John Chambers
Entrepreneur Staff
Features Writer
5 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The influx of technology might have changed our lives for better but it has intensified the range of cyber threats one comes across every day. Today, a well-equipped hacker has the power to break through the security walls of your smartphone and steal your personal data without even you knowing. As they say, everything comes with a boon and a bane.

Not just individuals but the big and small enterprises also face the problem of security while saving their company secrets online. The threat looming over their digital system has generated the need for trustworthy cybersecurity services & solutions. Cyber Security in India has evolved immensely over the past years, so are the ways enterprises deal with the lack of it.

Among the pioneers of Enterprise Cyber Security services & solutions in India, today is Lucideus Technologies Pvt Ltd, which recently rose $5 Million in Series A funding led by Cisco’s Chairman Emeritus, John Chambers from his personal venture arm JC2 Ventures. The venture has also picked a little over 10 per cent stake in the Indian startup.

Modi-Chambers Meet

The eighth Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Hyderabad in November 2017 became historically relevant for India in more ways than one. The event not only brought forth the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit but also became a birthing ground for many strategic partnerships, one of them being of Lucideus CEO Saket Modi and former Cisco chairman John Chambers.

While Modi was one of the many entrepreneurs who reached to attend the summit, Chambers came as the chairman of US-India Strategic Business Forum. Both well acquainted with Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar were then introduced, which followed a 15-second impromptu pitch that changed the direction of Lucideus Technologies forever.

The Big Investment

A crisp introduction, email exchanges, a few meetings, Cisco’s Chief Security Officer John Stewart and former Chief Development Officer Pankaj Patel’s approval later, the Delhi-based cybersecurity firm secured $5 million from John Chambers’ personal venture arm JC2 Ventures. The funds would be used to strengthen Lucideus’ Security Assessment Framework for Enterprises (SAFE).

Commenting on the funding, John Chambers stated, “Lucideus is becoming the leader in answering the number one question that CEOs and Government Leaders have about their environment i.e. to clearly understand the degree of exposure to their cybersecurity issues and have a realistic view of how they stand versus others, both in terms of continuous monitoring but more importantly, what actions do they need to take to close the gaps. Their cutting-edge SAFE platform could transform the entire cybersecurity industry.”

SAFE, as Modi describes it, provides the cyber risk score on the scale of 0 to 5 to enterprises. “It helps you quantify the cyber risk and derive actionable insights to improve the security posture,” Modi told Entrepreneur India. The artificial intelligence and machine learning backed cybersecurity solutions is a Real-Time Enterprise platform that helps measure and mitigate cyber risk.

Chambers has earlier invested an undisclosed amount in Uniphore Software Systems against a 10% stake in November 2017. Expressing his joy over having the former Cisco chief as their mentor and strategic advisor, Modi described him as, “the man who predicted and championed over a dozen such transitions over the last 3 decades.”

Government & Global Connect

Being one of the leaders of cyber security services in India, Lucideus serves 160 customers and secures over 11% of India’s urban GDP. With a laser sharp focus on the United States of America due to it being the largest market for enterprise security products, Modi boosted, “We want to replicate our success in the US.”

Lucideus has been responsible for handling the end-to-end cyber security assessment of the BHIM Payments Application launched by the Prime Minister of India for the past 3 years. The firm has the highest market share of over 60% for the complete security assessments of UPI Payments enabled applications such as Whatsapp, Google Tez, BookMyShow, MiPay, Truecaller among others.

Inception Story

Incubated out of IIT Bombay in 2012 by Saket Modi, Vidit Baxi and Rahul Tyagi, Lucideus provides a cybersecurity platform to enterprises and governments across the globe. The firm currently claims to have a presence across Palo Alto, California and Boston in the US and Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi in India. Lucideus has seen a triple-digit revenue growth year on year, over the last few years.

In terms of funding, Lucideus has raised a total of $6.5 million; $1.5 million from angel investors and $5 million from the recent Series A funding. In its last funding round held in May 2017, the startup raised money from Google’s Rajan Anandan, Facebook Messenger executive Anand Chandrasekaran and former FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan, among others. The firm has names like National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), ICICI Bank, Freshworks, Quikr, Goibibo and Tatasky in its portfolio.

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