With technology playing an increasingly critical role in our everyday lives, security is now more important than ever. Cybersecurity (the practice of protecting systems, networks and programs from digital attacks) is usually aimed at accessing, changing or destroying sensitive information; extorting money; and/or interrupting normal business procedures. The 5C's of cybersecurity include change, compliance, cost, continuity and coverage. These are all basic considerations for any organization. In utilizing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by 3,000+ family offices worldwide, we explore three family offices making direct investments in the cybersecurity space.
1. Celeres Investments
Established in 2012, Celeres Investments is a Kowloon, Hong Kong-based single-family office with an additional office in London, UK. Celeres serves as the investment vehicle for an undisclosed high-net-worth individual. The firm employs a multi-disciplinary investment strategy and seeks long-term capital appreciation. Celeres allocates to a number of asset classes with a core focus on real estate, private equity, venture capital, direct investments, and debt finance. Celeres targets investments in scalable and innovative businesses and seeks to invest in a small number of companies each year. For venture capital investments, Celeres targets startups and scale-up businesses across a number of sectors including cybersecurity, internet marketplaces, FinTech, SaaS, artificial intelligence, AdTech, cannabis, and AgTech.
In November of 2018, Celeres Investments directly invested in Acceptto, a Portland, Oregon-based cybersecurity company driving a paradigm shift in identity access management by treating authentication not as a single event, but rather as a continuum. Acceptto delivers breach-proof identity validation technology commercially available today for web, mobile, cloud, and IoT platforms. With regard to real estate, Celeres makes direct investments in UK real estate opportunities with long-term real income growth potential. Their real estate investments are focused on the areas of purpose-built student accommodation, sale and leasebacks, professional housing, distressed assets, and tenant arbitrage. With more than $250 million in assets under management, Celeres targets investment opportunities mostly throughout the United Kingdom.
2. Wipro Ventures (Venture Arm of Azim Premji Family Office)
Founded in 2015, Wipro Ventures is a Bangalore, India-based single-family office (with an additional office in Mountain View, CA) managing the assets of Mohamed Premji and his family. Premji made his wealth as the founder of information technology services provider Wipro. The firm invests in public and private equity across a range of sectors, regions, and asset classes with a primary interest in venture capital opportunities. Wipro Ventures specifically focuses its $100 million pool of family capital on early-to mid-stage startups and has a particular interest in tech-enabled companies. Main sectors of interest include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, big data, enterprise software, cloud infrastructure, digital services, financial technology, healthcare information technology, and IoT.
In July of 2020, Wipro Ventures directly invested in CloudKnox Security, the only multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud permissions management platform that provides granular visibility, automated remediation, and continuous monitoring. This approach offers a non-intrusive way to manage identity privileges and protect organizations' critical infrastructure from malicious and accidental credential abuse. Wipro Ventures provides direct capital and is open to co-investment opportunities alongside other investment firms. Geographic regions of interest include the United States, India, and Israel. The firm is keen to fund early-to mid-stage opportunities.
3. Portage Partners Family Office
First established in 2010 as a single family office, Portage Partners Family Office is a New York City, New York-based family office managing the wealth of former multi-strategy hedge fund manager Michael Leffell. Today, Portage Partners acts as a multi-family office serving the Leffell family and a select group of high-net-worth clients. The firm invests in both public and private equity across a range of sectors, regions, and asset classes including direct investments, fund of funds, hedge funds, long-only, and real estate opportunities. Portage Partners takes interest in United States-based security, technology, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence companies and looks to global markets on an opportunistic basis.
The firm will consider a wide variety of strategies when evaluating potential investment opportunities for its clientele. In January of 2018, Portage Partners directly invested an undisclosed amount in artificial intelligence-cybersecurity data software company Allure Security Technology, Inc. Allure Security was founded to protect customer information from cybercriminals by visually examining millions of sites every day to detect online impersonation of your brand. Portage Partners is driven by shared intellectual capital, alignment of interests, and collectively sourced opportunities. Due to the firm's privately owned status, Portage Partners does not disclose its AUM.
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