Press Release on ECSO's 9th Cyber Investor Days

Activities & Initiatives -Porto, Portugal -17 June 2021

Highlights from the 2021 virtual edition held in Porto

17 June 2021

ECSO held its 9th Cyber Investor Days on the 15-16 June, which attracted more than 100 cybersecurity investors from Europe and beyond. Virtual event was organised together with the National Cybersecurity Centre of Portugal (CNCS), ScaleUp Porto, S21Sec, Bright Pixel, and Maxive as part of the C-DAYS Annual Cybersecurity Conference in Porto.

 The event kicked off with the high-level investors’ workshop on strengthening cybersecurity investors community in Europe and the potential consequences of the inaction in this regard. In their welcoming remarks, André de Aragão, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Digital Transition, and Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of ECSO, highlighted the importance of cooperating internationally and having clear, focused priorities in European cybersecurity.

The two keynotes, delivered by Ali Kumcu, Head of Cyber Services and Innovation at Munich Re and Carlos Alberto Silva, Managing Director at Sonae-IM and co-chair of the ECSO Working Group ‘Private Investments and Innovative Business Models” focused on the impacts of cybercrime from an insurance perspective, and the role of private investment in cybersecurity.

According to Ali Kumcu, a universal vaccine to safeguard digital operations will never be in place. We need to continue to stay vigilant and invest in safeguarding our increasingly digital lives.”

Carlos Alberto Silva emphasised that “In Europe we have the right assets in terms of R&D, the sufficient critical mass in terms of number of developers, the Pan-European scale but we currently also have a very fragmented market made of small local companies. We need to urgently provide investment capacity and expert support to the European startups ambitioning to became large global cybersecurity players.

 In the ensuing discussion, industry leaders shared their perspectives on the current situation in Europe as well as the main economic, societal and political consequences if the European Union would not sufficiently support the growth of an attractive cyber ecosystem.

The investors’ workshop concluded with the announcement by Javier Dieguez, the Director of the Basque Cyber Security Centre and co-Chair of the ECSO Working Group ‘International cooperation”. He shared that the Basque Region, with support from ECSO and the EIB Advisory Hub, would be conducting a feasibility study for the design of a European Cybersecurity Investment Platform. This marks a historic opportunity to reinforce the whole cybersecurity investment chain, develop Europe’s strategic solutions and stimulate the emergence of new pan-European specialised cybersecurity fund. 

“…we have a need to support security which could be national security, security of the economy or the society, so there are many good reasons for moving on with investments and I think that private investors have understood that well.” – said Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of ECSO.

 The 16 June was dedicated to online pitch sessions with 12 European cybersecurity start-ups, leading to the nominations of Probely (Portugal) and Keyless (United Kingdom) for the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award.

Before moving onto the B2B meetings in the afternoon, a panel discussion with the founders of the leading European cybersecurity took place. The discussion provided first-hand insights into the challenges to scaling up in Europe and internationally and the lessons that the speakers had learnt from their personal experiences in scaling up their start-ups.

Since 2017, ECSO has organised successful cybersecurity business matchmaking events in Tallinn, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, Luxembourg, Brussels, Bochum and now Porto, attended by more than 500 cybersecurity stakeholders. With several investment deals successfully closed as a result of these events, it has already contributed to the consolidation of the European cybersecurity landscape. ECSO held its 9th Cyber Investor Days on the 15-16 June, which attracted more than 100 cybersecurity investors from Europe and beyond.


If you missed the event or wish to rewatch the discussions, a live recording of the investors’ workshop is available here, while the recording of the scaleup discussion is available here (from 2:36:18).


Presentation on "The current status of private investment in cybersecurity and effort until now at European level" delivered by Carlos Alberto Silva, Managing Director, Sonae-IM & co-Chair of ECSO sub-Working Group “Investments and innovative business models”, is available here