Behind the scenes of year two at a venture-backed cybersecurity startup

Avertro just turned two. These are some of the real moments from our second year.

Avertro Team in August 2021

5th September 2020

“Oh s***, we’re a year old,” I thought to myself. “It’s a Saturday, so we can’t really have a team meeting to celebrate.”

Late 2020

Recruitment

We’re hiring for a software engineer again. Come to think of it, we never stopped trying to hire engineers in year two because we always needed more.

You have to proactively look for the right people.

The sequence of events outlined in the following sections have been edited for brevity.

Outreach

This is how one of our current team members joined us.

Inbound

Another team member was someone I’d first met at an event some time ago. So, it wasn’t a cold message they were sending me.

Referral

Another team member was recommended by someone I trust.

Job ads

The three examples mentioned above did not come via the traditional job ad. But it doesn’t mean we should stop putting job ads up. We still use them, and have found some of our best team members that way.

Disruption

Like every other company, not everyone sticks around for the long haul. Some people are only able to be part of the story for a short amount of time.

Visibility

We’d been relatively visible in our first year, getting our fair share of press as well as presenting on stage and at virtual events. In year two, we had to keep the momentum and find new ways to stand out.

Media

We maintained a steady stream of press appearances, but ramped it up in year two. Avertro continued to appear in multiple top tier media outlets. Here is one example.

Photo credit: ABC The Business 12 May 2021

Our first real conference

May 2021 marked the first time we’d exhibited at an actual conference. The fact it was at the iconic AusCERT Conference on the Gold Coast made it all the more special.

The AustCyber booth at AusCERT2021
Avertro merch at AusCERT2021

CyberWest keynote

Thanks to some fantastic work from Farrell (our Business Solutions Director), the organisers at the CyberWest Summit offered Sophia and Priyal a keynote speaking slot alongside other luminaries.

Photo credit: CyberWest Summit 2021

Cyber leadership

In building the CyberWest presentation, we wanted strong independent research to support our points.

Growth

Being only two years in means we are still very early in our journey. But we’ve been able to achieve things in our second year that we could only dream about in our first.

Going global

Earlier in 2021, we were accepted to the NSW Government’s Going Global Export Program. It provided us with government support and additional credibility for our expansion outside of Australia. In this particular instance, it was into Singapore.

NSW Going Global networking event on 17 June 2021 (Photo credit: Investment NSW)

14x

We hit 14-times ARR growth in July/August 2021 when compared to the exact same time last year. This is extraordinary traction by almost anyone’s measure.

Horizon

We begin year three in lockdown again. It’s been this way for months, which is not ideal for business. It is important for us as a B2B company to be able to get out there. To build relationships, both new and existing.

But we are thankful.

To our customers, supporters, and partners.

We remain committed.

To delivering the things we’ve promised.

We will continue.

To adapt to disruptive change, one day at a time.

We persist.

Because our team truly cares about what we do.

Cyber Risk. Cybersecurity. Business. Tech. Entrepreneur. CEO at Avertro. Former CTO at McAfee Asia Pacific.