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Case 23.11.2020

SharkGate – on a quest to revolutionize website protection

Open business culture, respect for ICT expertise and skilled resources – these are the things that led SharkGate to establish its office to Finland. The startup is ready to revolutionize the global website protection market with support from Helsinki Business Hub and Business Finland.

We know from the news that websites get hacked all the time, but do we understand how big the financial losses and brand damage really are? Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that they will be $6 trillion a year globally by 2021.

Many websites are unprotected towards cyber attacks, but also the current website protection services fall short. Nowadays, as with all industries, data is gold, and the website security vendors keep it private.

So, there is a need to bring a new approach to the cybersecurity market – and SharkGate, a Finnish startup, is ready for the challenge.

The company states in their whitepaper that ”even a one percent share of the total market would make SharkGate a leading global company – we are aiming for much more.” The market is worth $123 billion in 2020 according to Gartner.

”Computer, mobile, and server protection has evolved to become standard practice in 20 years, and the same will happen for website protection as more and more businesses shift to e-commerce,” says Tomi Kervinen, COO of SharkGate.

How are they going to do it?

Sharing for common good

SharkGate has developed ground-breaking technologies forming a website protection system that uses the hackers’ own attacks against them. The new solution is based on a decentralized and distributed firewall ecosystem powered with AI and distributed ledger technology instead of traditional centralized firewall solutions.

”Our website protection system identifies and blocks website attacks as well as constantly shares attack data with other websites in the distributed SharkGate network. This means that each new type of hacker attack in the network enables a global immunity to protect all websites from similar attacks,” explains Kervinen. He adds that setting up protection is made easy for the client, who just has to install a plugin to the company website.

An important part of the solution is compensation. To ensure that website owners are willing share their threat data and contribute to the ecosystem, SharkGate uses incentives. The company provides rewards in cryptocurrency utility tokens, which can be used, for instance, to purchase additional services.

Finland has it all – culture, expertise and image

It was clear from the start that SharkGate will set up its office in Greater Helsinki in Finland. One of the founders, namely Kervinen, is a Finn and has worked for over 10 years at Nokia together with the two other founders. They have cooperated ever since in the cybersecurity business.

”We like the open business culture and respect for ICT expertise here. It is an advantage that Finland has a frontrunner image in ICT thanks to the heritage of Nokia,” says Kervinen.

SharkGate also values the fact that they can use the skilled resources in Finland. One of the great sources is the network of ex-Nokians where former employees share their career stories, learnings, and contacts.

Valuable business help

Even if Kervinen et co. knew Finland well, it came as a surprise how much they have got free help from Helsinki Business Hub and Business Finland.

”I met the representative of Helsinki Business Hub in Slush 19. He was very excited to hear more about our business and offered help, so we started the discussions to establish a new business to Finland. This was followed by meetings with Helsinki Business Hub and later on, funding negotiations with Business Finland. All of these experts have been really helpful,” says Kervinen.

As a first step, SharkGate was granted Tempo funding, which is intended for Finnish startups, SMEs and mid cap companies aiming for international growth in innovative ways. The funding helps SharkGate to prepare a business plan and roadmaps for research and development and sales and marketing and pilot a prototype solution with 100 client websites.

“We are confident in proceeding with further funding steps with Business Finland,” says Kervinen.

R&D in Finland

In unison with the business plan, SharkGate has been further developing the website protection solution aiming to launch the first commercial version to the market in Spring 2021. The first plugin will be available for WordPress, the most popular content management system these days.

”We have already hired two developers to develop the prototype, and we will need more when we proceed full steam ahead with R&D projects next year. Once the product is ready for sale, we will also need more B2B sales experts to get our plugin to service providers’ portfolios, as well as support staff,” says Kervinen.

The goal is that SharkGate will be a 10–20 employee company in two years, and Kervinen, in turn, has a great story to share with ex-Nokians.

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