Start-Up Series Winner: Zobi

Company: Zobi

Description: Patent pending cybersecurity using artificial intelligence to discern between routine and non-routine communication between Internet of Things (IoT) devices on a network.

Founders: Scott Lever

Website: zobi.ai

Can you tell me a bit more about your business?

I ran a small IT consultancy service for over 20 years with clients across multiple sectors including local councils, central government, retail, banking and insurance.A previous business include a Destination Management Company for Las Vegas using a bespoke tech platform to offer VIP trips to groups of high net worth.

Also I had interests in two e-commerce companies as an equity advisor, creating and implementing social media strategies, business processes and tech platform for the end to end customer sales journey.

Where did the idea for the business come from? Was there a moment or experience that made you feel a need for it?

My journey really started during my work as Head of End User Computing and Infrastructure at UK Houses of Parliament where I was heavily involved in the cyber security programme and also during the well publicised cyber-attack in June 2017.

The original idea for zobi was a dark web monitoring tool for individuals to see when their data had been breached and was for sale to cyber criminals. We had some success with 18,000 sign ups but users were left wanting to know how to better secure themselves.

It was during a meeting with our advisor, a growth hacker who has exited a business to HPe that we identified a space in the cyber security market for IoT and specially Smart Home IoT devices such as tablets, voice assistants, doorbells, nanny cams, security cameras, webcams, smart TVs and more.

What is the business’ USP?

Whilst there are currently no direct competitors, there are others in the space of parental controls, firewall and anti-virus for the consumer and connected home users.

However, none of these monitor the broadband network and attached devices like us, using A.I. to spot suspicious activity, alerting the user and self-healing where possible

What has your experience with raising funding been like in the past? Had you ever tried to raise funding for this business (or another business) before entering the Start-Up Series?

This was my fourth attempt at fundraising, first with family and friends but I always felt awkward asking. Second was through an Angel’s network which was looking productive, but the backlog of pitches meant it could be 9-12 months before I got to pitch.

The third and fourth was Start-Up series, I applied twice, the first time unsuccessfully but the second was successful after pivoting the business to an improved product and business model.

How did you find the ‘deep dive’ with Worth Capital?

I found the deep dive both extremely beneficial and taxing. The questions were relevant and really helped to tease out any weaknesses in the team and business model.

How do you feel about winning the competition?

This is an easy one. Thrilled and excited to be working with our new Investment Director and Advisor.

A lot of businesses entered – what do you think made your business stand out and win?

I’d like to think my passion for business and cybersecurity and drive to success stood out as much as my startup.

What stage is the business at currently?

We are pre-revenue and in development of our cybersecurity tech for the connected home.

What do you plan to use the Start-Up Series investment for?

Design, development, copywriting and some marketing.

Finally, what’s your ultimate vision for the business?

By 2025, our vision it to protect at least 2 million homes and families from cyber-attacks, generating $100 million annual recurring revenue.

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