Cyber Pop-up

Early Stage

Security experts on demand. $2M Priced Round on $8M Post-Money Valuation.

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $200,000

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

Wefunder

Start Date

03/24/2022

Close Date

04/14/2022

Min. Goal

$50,000

Max. Goal

$200,132

Min. Investment

$1,000

Security Type

Equity - Preferred

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Seed

Price Per Share

$0.47

Pre-Money Valuation

$8,050,300

Rolling Commitments $

Status
Funded
Reporting Date

04/30/2022

Days Remaining
Funded
% of Min. Goal

400%

% of Max. Goal

100%

Likelihood of Max
Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$9,524

Momentum
Funded
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Location

Chicago, Illinois

Industry

Business Services, Software, & Applications

Tech Sector

EnterpriseTech

Distribution Model

B2B

Margin

Medium

Capital Intensity

Low

Business Type

High Growth

Cyber Pop-up, with a valuation of $8.05 million, is raising funds on Wefunder. The company provides cybersecurity experts on-demand. The users get to request to connect with specialized cyber experts or get standard services through the customer portal anytime. Cyber Pop-up works on a highly flexible model with no long-term contracts or cancellation fees. Christine Izuakor founded Cyber Pop-up in December 2018. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $50,000 and a maximum target of $200,132. The campaign proceeds will be used for hiring, product development, and operations.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$105,120

$12,590

COGS

$0

$0

Tax

$2,353

$0

 

 

Net Income

$48,626

$7,614

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$41,095

$8,832

Accounts Receivable

$2,800

$0

Total Assets

$43,895

$8,832

Short-Term Debt

$20,650

$2,590

Long-Term Debt

$0

$0

Total Liabilities

$20,650

$2,590

Financials as of: 03/24/2022
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

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Synopsis

Cyberattacks have been on the rise. Thi is partly due to COVID-19 shifting work online. In the last year or so, 42% of small businesses experienced a cyberattack. And the impact is deadly — 60% of small businesses that have been victims to cyberattacks shut down around six months after the attack. Many small businesses simply can’t recover financially, as even just one cyberattack can cost them around $200,000. That makes cybersecurity increasingly crucial. But for most small businesses, cybersecurity is prohibitively expensive.

Cyber Pop-up is trying to solve this problem. The company is a cybersecurity marketplace that connects small- and medium-sized businesses to cybersecurity experts through a subscription model that starts at $99 a month. Despite only having a minimum viable product, the company has undergone trials with major clients such as Dow Jones and has achieved $180,000 in total from its trial projects, according to its raise pitch. Cyber Pop-up has also shown good traction, with 500 cybersecurity professionals on its waitlist.

Cyber Pop-up’s current Wefunder raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team. 

Price

Cyber Pop-up is raising via preferred equity with a pre-money valuation of $8.05 million and a liquidation preference of 1X. In 2020, the company reported revenue of $105,000, which yields a valuation-to-revenue multiple of 76x. This is above the average of the cybersecurity industry, which has a median multiple of 8.8x. However, the valuations of other crowdfunding companies in the cybersecurity market stand at around $11.5 million. So compared to the crowdfunding ecosystem, Cyber Pop-up is not overvalued. Adding the fact that the company has little revenue and only a minimum viable product, the company’s price is average.

Market

The US cybersecurity services market is estimated to reach $41.4 billion in 2022, with a decent growth rate of 10.2%. In 2020, 43% of cyberattacks targeted small businesses. Since Cyber Pop-up’s service is directed mostly toward small businesses, this would put the market at $17.8 billion. Another source estimates the cybersecurity market for small to medium-sized businesses is around $40 billion and growing at an 8% annual rate. Even at the lower $17.8 billion estimate, the market is a very good size. Capturing only 10% of it would put the company’s revenue at more than $1 billion. 

The growth of the cybersecurity market is driven by the increased number of breaches and attacks over the past few years due in part to the pandemic shifting work online. Since the pandemic began, cyber threats against organizations across the world shot up by 81%. Cybersecurity has also become important in different fields, such as  e-commerce, where the market grew by 14.2% between 2020 and 2021. With increasing digital connectedness, cybersecurity is becoming more crucial than ever. It is especially important in fields that deal with sensitive information, including healthcare, financial technology and banking, energy, and more. Therefore, Cyber Pop-up is operating in a steadily growing market with high demand.

Team

Cyber Pop-up founder and CEO Christine Izuakor is the company’s sole team member. Izuakor holds a master’s degree from the University of Houston in information systems security. She also holds a doctorate of philosophy in security engineering from University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Izuakor is a certified information systems security professional, which demonstrates her knowledge in the cybersecurity field and is essential for many IT professionals. Izuakor worked with United Airlines for nine years, eight of which she served as its global security strategy and awareness leader. She has also been teaching cybersecurity as a part-time adjunct professor.

Izuakor has a strong academic background in cybersecurity, which is valuable for a highly technical field. She also brings nine years of experience to the table working in security for a large company. That said, she has never founded a company and has very little direct experience when it comes to business acumen. Her lack of entrepreneurial experience could impact the growth and success of the company.

A main concern with the team is that the founder is the only team member. This creates a risk that the company could go under if anything happened to Izuakor. The company has a good network of advisors, including Emily Heath, a board member of several cybersecurity companies and the former chief trust and security officer of DocuSign, a publicly traded company. Nevertheless, a good network of advisors doesn’t make up for the lack of a good team, especially given that Cyber Pop-up is only a few years old. If the team doesn’t expand soon, it could affect the company’s success in developing the product, attracting customers, and meeting its milestones.

Differentiators

Two-sided marketplaces that connect freelance professionals with customers, such as Fiverr or Upwork, are not new. But Cyber Pop-up is the only marketplace connecting small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) with cybersecurity professionals using an affordable subscription model. Cyber Pop-up’s laser focus on SMB cybersecurity could help it provide a superior experience than other marketplaces.

Cyber Pop-up also claims to be affordable, starting at $99 a month. Managed security provider TrustNet can cost a minimum of $1,500 per month for small businesses, which is too expensive for many small businesses — especially for new businesses trying to minimize spend. Upwork might not be a viable option either, as it can cost more than $100 per hour to hire one professional.

Although Cyber Pop-up’s product is differentiated, one concern is that the company operates in a market with a low barrier to entry. The company has not secured any patents yet and is in its early stage. It has not established itself as a leading competitor, and thus nothing prevents another competitor from entering and dominating the market.

Performance

Although Cyber Pop-up only has a minimum viable product (MVP) and hasn’t fully launched its platform, it has 500 cybersecurity professionals on its waitlist. Cyber Pop-up has also been recognized with multiple awards. It has won Verizon Startup Battles twice and has been an Industry Disruptor Award finalist for 1871’s accelerator program. Additionally, and perhaps most impressively, the company has been selected for the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund portfolio. This is a huge testament to Izuakor as a founder and the potential of the company. The company has also raised $2.3 million so far, which will go toward launching the product, expanding the team, and acquiring customers.

In 2019, Cyber Pop-up’s revenue was more than $12,000. Revenue grew to more than $105,000 in 2020. According to the raise’s pitch deck, the company has now earned $180,000 in total from trial projects. Its clients include Dow Jones and Paltalk. The company has just $20,650 in short-term debt. Although low debt can be a good sign that the company is managing its finances well, for a company in its early stage, having debt can actually be a good sign that the company is scaling. It means that the company is using capital to build the business. It is actually a concern that the company hasn’t burned any cash in the last two years, which could be stunting product development. But all in all, even though Cyber Pop-up is still in the MVP phase, it has shown good traction by way of trials, which makes its performance decent.

Risks

Most risks in a Cyber Pop-up investment come from the product and the team. Although the company has done paid trials with established companies, the product has not launched officially yet, and the company still doesn’t have subscribed customers or tech freelancers. It is uncertain what the quality of the service would be and whether there would be enough freelancers to meet clients’ demands and vice versa.

The company’s vision is to build its product in the next six months. However, with the small team that consists of only the founder, this might not be as feasible. A committed team helps tremendously with the launch of a product and is also important if any issues come up when the product is launched. It’s also healthier for a company to have a strong team with diverse skills so that members can be delegated to different tasks.

Bearish Outlook

Cyber Pop-up’s concept of a two-sided cybersecurity marketplace is not very defensible. It is a software company with no patents, which makes it easy for competitors to snag market share. Software companies typically don’t require a lot of capital to launch a viable product. For Cyber Pop-up to be defensible, it has to establish a strong presence and become the leading authority in the cybersecurity marketplace. Acquiring customers and establishing loyalty and brand recognition will make it harder for other companies to capture the market. Although Cyber Pop-up is planning to build a product in the next six months, with no team and little cash on hand, it might not be easy to meet this goal.

Legal risk is another concern for Cyber Pop-up. The company doesn’t have a legal team yet and doesn’t mention how it plans to hire freelancers and ensure the freelancers’ quality of work. Cyber Pop-up could be held accountable for failing to protect a client’s data and information if a data breach or a cyberattack occurs while a customer is using its services. While cybersecurity providers are rarely held accountable for breaches in the US, this could change. For example, Marriott sued its cybersecurity provider, Accenture, over a data breach in 2019. With little cash on hand and no legal team, Cyber Pop-up might not be able to handle the cost of a lawsuit. 

Bullish Outlook

Even though founder Christine Izuakor is Cyber Pop-up’s sole team member, she has managed to build a minimum viable product and underwent trials with well-known companies, including Dow Jones. These trials have generated $180,000 in revenue for the company. The company also has a strong vision for the future. Izuakor has managed to raise more than $2 million and is ready to bring in more team members to launch and scale the product. 

Cyber Pop-up is the first cybersecurity marketplace that offers an affordable subscription model targeting small- and medium-sized businesses, so it should not have a problem attracting customers once it’s launched. Being the first mover has its advantages. For instance, Lyft was founded in 2012, three years after Uber was founded. Both companies offer high-quality services and have dominated the market. However, because Uber had already established itself as a leading company in the ridesharing market, it succeeded despite the emergence of another strong competitor and managed to go public in 2019. Low defensibility doesn’t necessarily mean a company will fail when another company enters the same market.

It is also important to mention that Cyber Pop-up recruits cybersecurity professionals as part of the gig economy. The gig economy has been growing at a rate of 17.4% annually. This offers flexibility for workers to take control over their work and time, so Cyber Pop-up might be an attractive option for high-quality cybersecurity freelancers.

Executive Summary

Cyber Pop-up is developing an online marketplace that connects small- and medium-sized businesses to cybersecurity professionals. The company operates on a subscription model, beginning at $99 per month for cybersecurity services. Cyber Pop-up operates in the high-demand and steadily growing cybersecurity market. With a minimum viable product and no team aside from the founder, the company has managed to earn $180,000 from well-known companies through trial projects. Additionally, founder Christine Izuakor has raised more than $2 million to date and is part of the Google for Startups accelerator program. Finally, the company’s current pre-money valuation is a decent deal for investors.

However, investing in Cyber Pop-up still comes with risks. Having a single team member makes it harder for the company to launch its product, scale, and attract customers. The founder can’t do everything herself, so it’s crucial for her to build a team to expand and bring different skill sets to the company. It’s also important to note that Cyber Pop-up’s cybersecurity marketplace is not defensible and is easy to replicate, especially since the company hasn’t established itself as an authority in the market. Nothing prevents customers or freelancers from turning to another platform. In sum, Cyber Pop-up has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd analyst report or rating for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com.

Analysis written by Yasmin Sharbaf, April 2, 2022.

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Cyber Pop-up on Wefunder 2022
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Platform: Wefunder
Security Type: Equity - Preferred
Valuation: $8,050,300

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