Abhaya Secure is a cybersecurity start-up on a mission to enable SMBs to be secure in the digital world and make cybersecurity accessible. The start-up scans for vulnerability risks using a Vulnerability Scanner helps identify the security threats and provides specific fixes. Abhaya was the result of several years of research in IFSCR led by Prof. Prasad Honnavalli.
The start-up is incubated under PESU Venture Labs, a venture studio set up in collaboration with PES University and Cocreate Ventures, an idea stage venture capital fund. PVL has currently committed up to $200k to make the startup scale its solution to SMBs. PES University is a pioneer in engineering and management education which attracts premium talent from across India. It prepares students to be industry-ready and to focus on entrepreneurship.
“Teachers can become entrepreneurs too. They can monetize their academic research and the funding from Pesu Venture Labs has shown confidence that deep tech companies can be born out of Universities in India. India itself has 50 million SMBs and less than five percent of them have access to robust Cyber Security Services,” said Prof. Prasad Honnavali, the founder of the startup.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cybercrime would increase by 15 per cent annually, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025. Companies are facing cybersecurity threats at both an organizational and an individual level. In fact, lack of individual employee cybersecurity is also a leading cause of vulnerability attracting cyber threats in SMBs.
According to an Ovum Asia-Pacific cloud security report, SMBs in India with upwards of a workforce of 200 are severely unprepared for cloud-related cybersecurity threats and harbor the belief that public clouds are secure on their own, without additional preventative measures. Sophos conducted another study that revealed that 66 percent of key decision-makers in the SMB industry lack awareness regarding the purpose and necessity of functional and adequate cybersecurity.
While large organizations can invest in large teams and expensive technologies to address these threats, SMBs and startups, especially those from India, in particular, are left in the lurch when it comes to cyber security. SMBs lack the awareness, resources & expertise in fixing issues related to cyber security.
“This is a great example of how academia should startup and convert their research from their respective Centers of Excellence into business ventures. Abhaya is a great example of how Universities can become a hotbed for venture scale for deep tech companies,” said Suresh Narasimha, Managing partner of Cocreate Ventures.
CoCreate Ventures is an idea stage fund. The fund operates in partnership with universities like PESU, GTTC, SVyasa, and Jain. CoCreate is also working with public forums, Govt institutions and universities to create a culture and expertise in building global startups from India. It has a particular focus on deep tech & social impact ventures with commercial viability.
Abhaya provides a comprehensive Cyber Situational Awareness solution for SMBs & startups to protect their digital assets. Prasad Honnavalli, the founder of Abhaya, is an industry veteran with more than three decades of work behind him and has worked with some of the best IT companies in the world. After his three-decade corporate stint, Prasad turned to academics and launched the Centre for Information Security, Forensics and Cyber Resilience at PES University. C-ISFCR is into deep research and trains students on advanced technologies around cyber security.
Abhaya was born at PES University when Prasad met serial entrepreneur Suresh Narasimha from Pesu Venture Labs (PVL), in early 2021. Suresh Narasimha is also the founder of CoCreate Ventures. The duo decided to take research, from the field of academics, to market as they spotted a clear opportunity for global SMBs with this cyber security product. Abhaya is currently managed by Rahul Reddy, a student entrepreneur from PESU & has a core team of security enthusiasts and experts building on further research.
Abhaya offers Cloud Security, and System Security, along with any specific requirement as needed. The start-up has already been incorporated into businesses such as EOX Vantage, Just Books, and Bonhomia.