[Startup Bharat] How this Coimbatore-based cybersecurity firm caught the eye of Copenhagen's Zacco

The 150-year-old Denmark-based Zacco, a consultancy-driven intellectual property software firm, has acquired Coimbatore-based cybersecurity startup Lakhshya in an all-cash deal. The startup will now serve as the cybersecurity R&D Centre of Excellence for Zacco India R&D.

24th Apr 2019
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As we move towards a digital economy, cybersecurity is one of the top concerns for most companies in India, and across the world. And in order to secure itself from such threats, 

Zacco India R&D has acquired a 100-percent stake in Coimbatore-based startup Lakhshya Cyber Security Labs in an all-cash deal. The amount of the deal, however, is undisclosed. 


Founded by Premchand Kurup and Pradeep Menon in 2017, Lakhshya Cybersecurity Labs will continue to be led by Pradeep after the acquisition. Co-founder Premchand, however, has resigned from the Board, but will continue to act as an advisor to the company.


Lakhshya will now serve as the cybersecurity R&D Centre of Excellence for the 150-year-old Zacco, which is based in Stockholm. The Centre of Excellence will focus on developing state-of-the-art solutions and services in the area of malware analysis, threat hunting and intelligence, managed security operations centre monitoring and response, security incident investigation, breach response support, smart city security, devsecops, and smart grid security, leveraging its capability in artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 


On the acquisition, Mats Boström, CEO, Zacco Group, said,


In the digitalised world, cybercrime and digital threats are unfortunately an increasing challenge for many organisations and individuals. Data, algorithms, and all types of digital technology are today significant Intellectual Property and strategic assets. India is today a world-leading hub for advanced digital technology. Lakhshya is adding unique expertise to our current R&D Centre in Bengaluru and we are very glad to welcome Pradeep Menon and his team to Zacco.”



Also read: How fraud detection firm Simility became the star of PayPal’s India plans



Zacco, cybersecurity

Pradeep Menon, Co-founder Lakhshya, and Ravi Sunderrajan, MD Zacco India R&D


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Why Lakhshya?


Speaking of the acquisition, Ravi Sunderrajan, Managing Director, Zacco India R&D, says, 


“Lakhshya Labs will add a team of more than 40 professionals with expertise across banking, financial services and insurance, aviation, government, automotive, manufacturing, and trading verticals, with real-time 24/7 monitoring services through its SOC facility. This combination will be able to add significant value to Zacco, and enable the combined entity to address the clients’ Digital Asset Protection in a holistic manner. We plan to grow this team significantly over time, and will continue to build on our existing offerings, both organically and inorganically.”


Explaining why Zacco chose to acquire Lakhshya Labs, Ravi said India is currently growing into a big technology R&D hub. Enterprises here, he says, are in a race to go digital. This race could sometimes cause companies to overlook critical aspects like cybercrime and digital threats, which are, more often than not, front and centre.


“Data, algorithms, and all types of digital technology are significant today. Intellectual property and strategic assets must be protected. This is the critical area where we see Lakhshya adding a unique expertise to our existing R&D centre in Bengaluru,” says Ravi. 


Also, over the past two years, Lakhshya has built considerable experience in niche areas of cybersecurity such as malware analysis, cyber breach investigation, red teaming and Devsecops.


Premchand Kurup, CEO of Paramount Computer Systems and one of the founders of Lakhshya Labs says, “This combination will be able to add significant expertise and value to Zacco and enable the combined entity to address clients’ Digital Asset Protection in a holistic manner.”


What does it do? 


Lakhshya Labs has been focussing on compliance, cybersecurity, and IP. The team comprises researchers and technologists who have been in the space for close to two decades now. 


Pradeep has spent over 20 years in the cybersecurity and information security space. He has also worked extensively in the North American and the Middle East regions. 


He is the cybersecurity advisor to the Board of Directors of various organisations in India and abroad. He is also the member of Board of Governors in National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, appointed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development.



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Being a part of Zacco


Lakhshya was initially set up as the team felt it was important to address future cybersecurity problems, given the rapid digitisation and technology adoption. 


Speaking of the acquisition, Pradeep says, the team, powered by Zacco, will now look forward to influence and transform the cybersecurity strategies and operations of organisations globally. 


“Zacco’s 360-degree protection of digital assets is in perfect synergy with our vision of digital asset protection for tomorrow’s organisations. This opportunity enables us to rapidly accelerate our research and development initiatives, expand our 24x7 managed services offerings, build new competencies and solutions, and become a cybersecurity R&D Centre of Excellence for Zacco,” says Pradeep. 


Focus on cybersecurity 


There is a growing need for cybersecurity and fraud detection across the world. Reports suggest that between 2005 and 2018, close to 1.1 billion records were compromised in the US alone. These included tax details, individual IDs, and other details. 


India too has seen its fair share of data breaches. Be it startups, banks, or companies, data security has become an important aspect for anyone collecting any data. 


Looking at this, several large corporates have started looking at startups that are using unique technological solutions to solve the problem. Last June, fintech giant Paypal acquired Simility for $120 million, to focus on security and fraud detection. 


Pradeep says rapid digitalisation of assets across industries coupled with disruptive technologies are placing digital assets at the centre of every organisation’s strategy.

 

He believes that a 360-degree protection of these digital assets is not just essential for organisations to thrive and maintain a competitive advantage, but also for their survival. In this scenario, Zacco has great plans for Lakhshya, says Ravi. 


“Zacco India’s R&D centre was started 15 months ago, and has more than 100 employees now. This acquisition is an important milestone for Zacco in India, and will significantly enhance our capabilities in the cybersecurity space. We will integrate Lakhshya into our cybersecurity division, and enhance our current offerings for our customers globally. We will work with the team at Lakhshya Research Labs to innovate and grow our technology services in the intellectual property space.” 



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