BECO Capital Invests in the First MENA Cybersecurity Startup

Alexis Baghdadi, Mar 09 2016

At Arabnet Beirut 2016, BECO Capital announced it has made a seed investment in MYKI, a Beirut-based cybersecurity startup that has developed the first advanced password and online identity manager in the region.

MYKI’s solution provides smartphone users with secured access to online services without the need to manually type in their credentials every time they log in to a different account online, as well as secure password management.

Antoine Vincent Jebara, co-founder of MYKI said the startup will use its seed capital to accelerate product development and go-to-market time: “This early stage investment […] will help us enhance our solution and grow and scale the company in the region and abroad.”

“Our goal was not just to take the project from the concept to the execution stage, but to touch people by simplifying their everyday lives and showing them the possibilities. With the help and back up of BECO Capital, we will be able to do that on a wider scale,” said Priscilla Elora Sharuk, co-founder of MYKI.

This marks BECO Capital’s first investment in a cybersecurity technology firm since it was launched four years ago. Lebanon-based B&Y Venture Partners also took part in this seed investment round.

Investors Are Hot for Cybersecurity

The stars (and market indicators) favor this investment that comes at an opportune time. As smartphone and internet penetration rampages across all industry sectors, so will the need to address cyber threats. Individuals, enterprises, and governments are allocating more funds and investments in private companies across the cybersecurity ecosystem - a trend that investors in Silicon Valley are watching closely.

Over the last five years, $7.3 billion were invested in cybersecurity startups, according to CB Insights. “Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are affecting nearly 90% of individuals and large organisations around the world,” said Amir Farha, co-founder and Managing Partner at BECO Capital. He added that this is costing consumers and companies more than $445 billion annually, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) - a figure which is only expected to grow.

“With MYKI, we are starting to witness local innovations for global problems,” he said. “The founders are exceptional Arab entrepreneurs who are passionate about their original invention and are building a transformational solution targeting a large and rapidly growing market.”

Opportunities Galore

Figures indicate the global cybersecurity market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% from 2015 to 2020, and reach a total value of $170 billion by 2020. The Middle East and Africa’s share of this market is expected to reach $13.43 billion by 2019, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

The Middle Eastern region, in general, has witnessed a surge in the number of requests to develop robust and resilient solutions to help in the quest for better internet security. The region has great potential to graduate winners such as MYKI with products able to tackle these issues.

The market that MYKI is tackling is the multi factor authentication market, which is forecasted to be worth $5.5 billion by 2017. The market is still nascent but shows great potential to move in an upward trajectory. This represents a great opportunity for MYKI and BECO Capital to lead this growth.

See related: Top 10 Digital Predictions for 2016


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