Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc
Investment in Tessian
Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc (the "Company") is pleased to announce it has made a $6.75m investment into cybersecurity company, Tessian Limited ("Tessian"), as part of its $65m Series C funding round to accelerate its mission of quantifying and preventing human risk in enterprises across the globe. This represents the first new investment for the Company since the appointment of Schroder Investment Management Ltd as Portfolio Manager on 13 December 2019 and a major milestone.
Tessian's Series C round was led by March Capital, a U.S.-based venture growth firm, with participation from existing shareholders including Sequoia Capital, Accel, Balderton Capital and Latitude. The deal values Tessian at $500m.
Tessian is pioneering a new approach to cybersecurity and is defining a new category of security software called Human Layer Security. For decades, cybersecurity software has focused on the machine layer - the networks, endpoints, and devices of an organization - but not the people. But employees are the gatekeepers to companies' most sensitive systems and according to a CybSafe analysis of data from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), human error was the cause of approximately 90 percent of data breaches in 2019. To overcome the so-called "people problem" in security, Tessian uses machine learning to stop security threats and data breaches caused by people, without disrupting their workflow. It builds Behavioral Intelligence Models, tailored to every employee, by understanding each individual's communication patterns and behaviours online. Tessian uses the models to automatically detect security threats and prevent them from turning into breaches by notifying the employee in-the-moment. Over time, these alerts help employees improve their security behaviours. When software company Adobe surveyed over 1,000 American workers for its annual email usage study, they found that people on average spend more than five hours per day checking their email. Today, Tessian secures people on email and automatically prevents threats such as phishing, business email compromise, data exfiltration and accidental data loss.
In the last year, Tessian has tripled its Fortune 500-level customer base and now has 350 customers around the world across the legal, financial services, healthcare and technology sectors including Affirm, Investec and Schroders.
With the new funding, Tessian will continue to expand its platform's capabilities and plans to secure other interfaces like messaging, web and collaboration platforms. Tessian will also use the funding to triple its rapidly growing employee base, with a particular focus on growing its sales team.
This investment is in line with the Company's focus on backing innovative businesses founded in the UK with disruptive innovations, significant global growth potential, high quality management teams and supported by credible co-investors. The Company is committed to improving its sustainability profile hence, as communicated in the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2020, the Portfolio Manager intends to disclose where appropriate the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") associated with new investments. The investment in Tessian is in line with SDG 16 "Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions" and Target 16.4 "By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime".
Tim Creed and Ben Wicks, Portfolio Managers of the Company, jointly commented: "It is with great pleasure that we announce the first new investment since our appointment as Portfolio Manager, a major milestone for the Company that reflects the progress that has been made. We see Tessian as a great fit for the portfolio - a high quality, UK-headquartered technology business, with highly reputable co-investors, that is pioneering a disruptive new approach to cybersecurity that is scaling internationally. We couldn't be more excited by the opportunity that lies ahead of this high-growth innovative business".
Schroder Investment Management Limited
Estelle Bibby (Press)
0207 658 3431
Gareth Faith (Company Secretary)
020 7658 5264
Tessian's mission is to secure the human layer by empowering people to do their best work, without security getting in their way. Using machine learning technology, Tessian automatically predicts and eliminates advanced threats on email caused by human error - like data exfiltration, accidental data loss, business email compromise and phishing attacks - with minimal disruption to employees' workflow. Founded in 2013, Tessian is backed by renowned investors like Sequoia, Accel, March Capital and Balderton, and has offices in San Francisco and London.