Founded in 2013, Detectify is a Sweden-based company which scans potential website vulnerabilities with the help of a global white-hat hacker community. Rickard Carlsson, CEO of Detectify, shares the story of their successful Series A funding round, with some valuable advice on how to convey a message through pitching.
Rickard, who had previously participated at a panel discussion on cyber security at Slush, first met Teddie Wardi from Insight Venture Partners at the main event in Helsinki last year. Teddie, who had heard of Detectify but never met any of the crew, approached Rickard to learn more about their unique crowd-based security program. Rickard – who thought that Detectify was perhaps in a too early phase for Insight Ventures to take interest in – frankly asked Teddie whether the pair was wasting their time, as the global venture capital firm is known for investing in larger deals. However, as Teddie told Rickard, they sometimes do earlier-stage investments, if the company seems like a right kind of fit.
“They were very quick to show interest”, Rickard told us. “I guess we closed down at 20 minutes, then we had a few follow-up calls, then added them to our list of potential investors”. After Slush, Detectify crew and Insight Ventures continued to have follow-up video meetings with company introductions, further providing data and information on their performance. After a management presentation and a team dinner held in New York, Insight Ventures went on to lead the Detectify funding round of €5M on March.
“Slush is a great place for both first meetings as well as catch-ups with founders you’ve been tracking for longer. It can be a really productive few days as everyone is there, the logistics of meetings are very well organized, and the whole vibe just puts you in a focused mindset”, Teddy described.
No Presentations: Pitching as Storytelling
We also asked Rickard about the best kept secret ingredients behind his success story. What advice does he have to give to enthusiastic founders who are trying to attract the right kind of attention at Slush this year?
“You need to have your story straight”, Rickard advises. “You need to have tested it. I always adjust the agenda to the person I am talking to. You need to ensure that the agenda of the meeting is to connect with the person you are talking to.”
Rickard highlights the importance of making the person you’re talking to excited about you and the situation. It is much better to set your goal to be to awake excitement and genuine curiosity in your conversation partner than to merely aim to pitch your company. You can do your pitch a hundred times, but if you do not attempt to involve the person to your story with captivating narrative, evaluating your success by your ability to visibly engage them – those hundred pitches won’t count for much. “There’s no need to flip through twenty pages”, Rickard concludes. “My goal is to convey a message.”
Congratulations, Detectify crew – hope to see you at Slush later this year!
Got a Slush success story to share? We’d love to hear. Tweet us at @slushhq!
The Sweden-based web security company has power in numbers. They crowdsource wisdom and knowledge from their vast community of ethical hackers. Since 2013, Detectify has gained international recognition for their research on security vulnerabilities, attracting customers from a wide range of industries.
About Insight Ventures:
Insight Ventures is known for investing in high-growth software companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight has raised more than $18 billion and invested in over 300 companies worldwide. Their mission is to find, fund and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on growth expertise to foster long-term success. Across our people and our portfolio, we encourage a culture around a core belief: growth equals opportunity.