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Lorca security scaleups hit funding milestone

£153m of investment has been raised by Lorca cohort companies in just two years, almost four times the original target

Cyber security scaleups participating in the government-backed London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (Lorca) accelerator scheme have blown past their funding targets, raising £153m of investment in just two years, 380% of the original target of £40m and 12 months ahead of schedule.

Lorca, which is marking its second anniversary during London Tech Week, said this sum accounted for 76% of the funds raised by all cyber security businesses participating in government scaleup programmes, and 69% of all cyber security investment made since the UK went into lockdown in March 2020.

Participating firms have already generated more than £26m in sales and are set to create over 800 new jobs in the next two years.

“Never before has cyber security been of such economic and strategic national importance. In the context of the global health pandemic, the UK’s cyber entrepreneurs have continued to drive job creation, attract investment and consolidate the country’s position as a global hub for cyber security innovation,” said Lorca director Saj Huq.

“Breaking the milestone of raising £153m in just two years is testament to the quality and potential of the cyber startup ecosystem that exists across the UK and the centrality of it to the UK’s long-term prosperity.”

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden, who toured Lorca’s facility at Plexal in Stratford, East London on 10 September, added: “Good cyber security is the bedrock of our digital economy – giving people the confidence to shop, work and play online and keeping businesses safe from cyber crime.

“London Tech Week is a fitting time to mark the government’s investment in Lorca, as its network of cutting-edge UK startups smashes investment targets and creates jobs across the country.”

Since its inception, 72 startups and scaleups have moved through Lorca’s programme in five different cohorts, all gaining access to innovation and commercialisation consultancy, product development services, and industry access through Plexal, as well as other partners including Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and Deloitte.

Its cohort companies are not all located in London, either, with 36% of them based at other cyber clusters including in Belfast, Cheltenham, Manchester and Edinburgh, and around a fifth come from outside the UK.

Louise Cushnahan, head of innovation at CSIT, said: “The diverse range of startups and scaleups that have taken part in Lorca presented a rich opportunity to deliver further economic, technological and societal outcomes for CSIT’s cutting edge research and innovation in the area of secure connected intelligence, and it’s fantastic to see the investment and employment opportunities that these companies have generated.”

Stephen Wray, director of cyber risk services at Deloitte, added: “Refining emerging market challenges has been central to Lorca and we are delighted to see the impact of our market-led innovators. Reaching this milestone of collective investment in just two years shows the scale of the journey ahead and we look forward to supporting the continued growth of the UK cyber ecosystem.”

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