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B2C Cyber

    Cyber security solution for SMBs and individual creators

    ֿDomain B2C Cyber
    Status reached: Validation
    When: 3 months in 2022
    Team skillset: Two founders: one with deep business and cyber experience, the other with deep tech experience in cyber

    Thesis/Idea

    In 2022, my co-founder and I embarked on a venture in the B2C Cyber domain, targeting SMBs and individual creators with innovative cybersecurity solutions. With my background in business and cyber, coupled with my partner’s deep tech expertise, we identified a significant gap in digital security for small businesses and freelancers, especially those relying heavily on digital assets like social media and e-commerce platforms.

    Our thesis centered on creating a cybersecurity solution that could serve both individual creators and SMBs, with a special focus on digital assets protection. After consulting industry experts, including the CEO of LifeLock, we decided on a model that combined security services with a self-provided warranty, leveraging Gmail accounts for quick integration and a faster go-to-market strategy.

    Marketing opportunity

    • Influencer marketing was on the rise, with spending projected to reach $13.8 billion in 2021, per Influencer Marketing Hub.
    • The creator economy was exploding, with SignalFire reporting over 50 million global creators, half of whom monetize their content. 

    Validation

    • Conducted over 50 interviews with micro-influencers, including fitness trainers, youtubers, foodies, gamers, etc..
    • Engaged with five major global digital advertising firms to understand the ecosystem and challenges faced by digital creators.
    • Uncovered a common vulnerability among digital assets accounts hacked, with attackers sometimes demanding ransoms tied to follower counts.

    Despite a thorough validation process and clear market need, we faced several hurdles:

    • VC Skepticism: Our B2C cyber concept struggled to attract venture capitalists, who were wary of the risks and unfamiliar with the cyber-B2C intersection plus the startup scene was already getting crowded with similar ideas.
    • Technological Differentiation: We found it difficult to establish a significant tech moat, which is crucial for long-term success.
    • Founder-Market Fit: Lacking a co-founder with direct B2C experience hindered our ability to fundraise, even though we had it in our financial plan key hires.
    • Economic Climate: A tough macroeconomic environment compounded our challenges, affecting our ability to secure funding and advance our project.

    Insights

    Reflecting on our journey, I’ve gained several insights:

    • The need for B2C cybersecurity is real and underserved, but addressing it requires clear differentiation and a strong technological foundation.
    • A diverse founding team, including members with direct B2C experience, is crucial for navigating the consumer market effectively.
    • The risk of large platforms taking care of the mid/high-end influencers by providing VIP customer support is real and automation is bound to enable enhanced customer support for the mid-low as well.
    • Future ventures should be prepared to pivot and adapt their strategies based on market feedback and evolving challenges.

    Our venture did not progress as hoped, but the lessons learned were invaluable for future endeavors.