TIMIA’s investment in Echosec will help them showcase the great work they do to a wider audience.
In April, TIMIA Capital announced a $2 million investment facility for Echosec, a Victoria, BC-based software company. Following the announcement of the partnership, we spoke to CEO, Karl Swannie, to dive a little deeper into where the company came from—and where it’s going.
As CEO, Karl oversees all aspects of Echosec’s operations including product direction, corporate development, and partner relations. Karl has a background in Geographic Information Science and Cartography and has built on this knowledge to create a solution that protects people and things, as well as places.
Echosec is a web-based data discovery platform that helps organizations detect online data for threat intelligence. By aggregating and mapping content from hundreds of sources including social media, blogs, news, and the Dark Web (with Beacon), Echosec gives users instant visibility into any place on earth through a digital window.
Where it all began
Karl launched Echosec as a side project back in 2014. Sir Terence (Terry) Matthews, a Welsh-Canadian business magnate, became Echosec’s first investor. Terry commissioned Echosec to secure the 2014 NATO summit which was held at one of his properties, the Celtic Manor Resort, in Wales. The event was groundbreaking for Echosec and gave them a platform from which they’ve continued to grow.
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From product-market fit to sales and marketing automation
In year one, the team set everything up and focused on the NATO event. In years two and three, they used their resources to refine the product and ensure a strong market fit. In years four and five, they turned the focus to sales and marketing.
“We are a group of engineers who are passionate about building a great product. The sales and marketing skills did not come as naturally to us. Where our engineering gave us an advantage though, was in building outstanding processes and automation around both of these functions,” said Karl.
“We hired a killer Director of Marketing and Communications, Paula Hingley, and we’re doing some amazing things. TIMIA’s investment will help us reach even further with these efforts, particularly on the ads and events side so we can get in front of more people and showcase the amazing technologies that we’ve built.”
And they’re certainly reaping the rewards on the sales front. From February 2018 to January 2019, Echosec recorded a 260% growth in recurring revenue and 340% growth in enterprise sales. By 2023, the global geospatial/proximity-based analytics market is expected to be worth US$52 billion and Echosec has its eye on a piece of that pie.
The investment from TIMIA will be used to expand pipeline on the front end. They already have a steady inbound pipeline from their intelligence blog and training strategies. They’ve fine-tuned the engine and now they just need to add a little more fuel to the fire to drive more growth.
Echosec displays valuable information driven by all of us. Consumers, bloggers, social media users, and newsmakers create billions of publicly available data points every day.
Alternative data, such as social media & darknet data is being analyzed by organizations worldwide to extract crucial intelligence. With quick access to these alternative sources, organizations and security teams can get sharper insights, react faster and make better decisions.
Compliance is a key consideration for Echosec. Because of the sensitive nature of the work they do, it’s imperative that they have strong policies and end user licence agreements in place to protect their customers and the public as a whole.
Capital efficiency and scaling
Echosec’s capital efficiency is evident. They’ve had some outstanding achievements with a small team of just 14 employees split between Victoria, BC and satellite offices in the US and UK.
Now, as they onboard more companies, they’re focusing on cash flow. Karl said, “As a scaling company, one thing you forget is that you need money to service customers. The TIMIA investment will also help to cover accounts receivable for 30-50 days and help with cash flow.”
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“Finding flexible and non-dilutive financing solutions was our goal, and TIMIA provided the capital within a framework that worked for us and our team. We look forward to working with TIMIA going forward as a financial partner,” said Karl.