I’m publishing this series on LinkedIn called Colors to explore a topic that I care deeply about: the Renaissance Mind. I am just as passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, and business, as I am about Art and Culture. In this series, I will typically publish a piece of Art – a painting, a poem, a piece of music, so forth – and I request you to spend a minute or two deeply meditating on it. I urge you to watch your feelings, thoughts, reactions to the piece, and write what comes to you, what thoughts it triggers, in the dialog area. Let us see what stimulation this interaction yields. For today – Le Village de l’Orient
Le Village de l’Orient | Sramana Mitra, 2017 | Watercolor, Brush Pen, Ink and Pastel | 9 x 12, On Paper
For those of you rushing to raise venture capital with a deck of slides or a minimum viable product, let me offer you a challenge: How can you get to a $20 million pre-money valuation in Series A, raise $5 million, and keep control of 80% of the equity?
That’s what Christian Chabot, founder of Tableau Software, can teach you from his real-life experience. Chabot, needless to say, did so by bootstrapping the early stages of his company, validating the customer need, building a great product in the domain of analytics and visualization, and generating serious revenue and OEM partnerships before going out to raise any venture financing at all.
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 454th FREE online 1Mby1M mentoring roundtable on Thursday, August 29, 2019, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/5 p.m. CEST/8:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea. You’ll receive straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and answers to any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
You can learn more here and register to pitch or attend here. Everyone who registers will receive a recording of the event. Please share with any entrepreneurs in your circle who may be interested. All are welcome!
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:
Kris Lahiri: We’ve had a company that specializes in just drone pictures. They take live pictures of a site by drones and keeps that integrated. It uses this as an update to see how that project is progressing and roll that up into whatever reporting they want.
It doesn’t have to separately figure out what to do with the data from the company that works on drone. That is integrated through Egnyte. Similarly, there are these ecosystems that are built out for many industries. Life sciences is a good example.>>>
Sramana Mitra: What about other countries in Southern Europe? What else are you tracking and where do you see activities that are interesting?
Luis Gutierrez Roy: We just made an investment in a company that was actually started in the US but eventually moved to Bulgaria. The founding team was in the US. When they finished the program, they decided to move back to Bulgaria where their product and development team is based.>>>
According to a McKinsey report, the global payments market is estimated to grow from $1.9 trillion in 2017 at 9% CAGR to $2.9 trillion by 2022. Portsmouth-based Bottomline Technologies (Nasdaq: EPAY) is a leading player in the B2B world of digital payments.>>>
In this edition of the TLCS interview series, we discuss the immense vulnerabilities in B2C security.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience briefly to Avast. We’ve covered the company before and we’ll put that in context. From your perspective, do provide a little bit of summary and also a bit about yourself.
Ondrej Vlcek: I’m the CEO of Avast since July 1 – just 12 days now. The company is the world’s largest consumer cyber security company these days. We protect more people around the world than anyone else.
The company was founded in Prague 30 years ago. It has grown over the years. It’s protecting 435 million people to be more concrete. The company is public in London, even though the headquarters is in Prague.
We have most of our engineering and most of our product people in Prague. It’s about two-thirds of our global headcount, which is about 1,700. We’ve got multiple locations outside of Prague as well including the US.
Sramana Mitra: You have been with Avast for a long time, right?
Ondrej Vlcek: Yes. I started here as a part-time developer intern in the mid-90’s. I was hired as employee number six. It’s a tiny company to co-develop the first version of the security product for Windows 95. That’s a very long time ago. The world was very different, especially when it comes to cyber security.
My role has changed quite a bit over the years. From an intern, I became a full developer after finishing my studies. Eventually, I became the lead developer and then the CTO. Next, I became the COO to now being the CEO.
Sramana Mitra: Very, very interesting, and very impressive. Congratulations.
Ondrej Vlcek: Thank you.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about trends. What are you seeing in the consumer security space? You have been in this space for a long time. How has the industry evolved? What are the trends currently?
Ondrej Vlcek: The biggest trend is that cyber crime has become incredibly professionalized and incredibly well-funded. When I started in the ’90s, most of these attacks were viruses or worms.
It was for bragging rights that the author could do something more than their colleague. It wasn’t much for the financial incentive. It was more of a hobby. That’s 25% years ago.
Today, cyber crime is the largest in terms of dollar value. The FBI has estimated it to be larger than drug trafficking globally. As you can imagine, once this becomes a huge business, it becomes much better organized and much more professionalized.
The sophistication of these attacks cannot be compared. We are seeing cutting-edge technologies being used in these attacks. If I were to pinpoint the biggest crimes that we have been seeing, security companies have used AI for defensive purposes for some years now.
Probably since 2011 to 2012, the leading security companies have relied on machine learning to simplify their lives and to provide more scalability or accuracy. What we are seeing now is AI being used on the offensive side as well. The bad guys are starting to use the same tricks and innovation to level the game again.
We have AI in protecting and attacking. It’s becoming the war of the machines. We are still far from a Terminator type of situation because most of it is happening in a transactional way. The easiest attack where we see AI being used on a regular basis is on a social engineering type of attack.
Phishing is a means for people to get tricked into clicking links or opening attachments. Traditionally, click-through rates haven’t been very good. The credibility of these phishing messages has never been high.