The Lithuania-based cybersecurity startup Cyber Upgrade has secured €650k in pre-seed funding, joined by venture capital firms FIRSTPICK, NGL Ventures and other business angels. This marks a major step in its mission to provide inclusive and accessible cybersecurity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fintechs.
This pre-seed funding will enable Cyber Upgrade to accelerate their development speed, enhance their market visibility, and further refine their products, to ensure their alignment with market needs. The company is currently focused on future-proofing its solution, further developing its AI chatbot, and improving the platform’s dashboard to provide an easily manageable overview of all events.
Founded in 2023, Cyber Upgrade is lead by Aurimas Bakas and Andrius Minkevičius, both formerly of Paysolut, a core banking system provider they co-founded and recently sold to SumUp after a successful multi-year partnership.
“This investment opens exciting growth opportunities, allowing us to develop the latest technologies into next-generation operational level defenses against emerging cybersecurity threats,” said Bakas, CEO at Cyber Upgrade. “In ten years of building critical banking infrastructures at Paysolut, we learned a great deal about securing and strengthening banking systems against cyber attacks. We are now in a position to combine our years of experience with all the latest AI-driven solutions to make Cyber Upgrade the first line of defense in cybersecurity.”
Cyber Upgrade is developing a dynamic AI-driven platform built to address the specific cybersecurity needs of SMEs, particularly with regard to accessibility and inclusivity. The platform is a gamified system, including an AI chatbot that acts as a virtual cybersecurity officer that guides each SME in implementing its own real-world cybersecurity solutions. The platform also integrates an educational aspect, using an interactive game-like interface to keep team members up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity practices.
“You can build great cyber defense lines, but if your team is not on board, then willingly or unwillingly there will be a weak link somewhere in the chain,” Bakas added. “Our goal is to provide companies with a comprehensive set of tools that bring everyone into the process, making high-level security manageable, simple to navigate, and available at an affordable price.”
The company’s platform also offers benefits to established fintechs, providing tools for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to monitor and manage their in-house cybersecurity processes and maintain regulatory compliance. In the face of emerging cyber threats and upcoming cybersecurity regulations like DORA, MiCA, and NIS2, fintechs are in need of future-proof solutions that can dynamically adapt to external changes, all while mitigating ongoing threats.
The company’s long-term goals include adding news features like phishing drills, a “panic button” for urgent incidents, and nano services for enhanced security coverage, a premium offering that is typically out of reach for SMEs.