First Watch secures NZ$3.5 million in second round of equity funding

Thursday, 18 November, 2021

First Watch secures NZ$3.5 million in second round of equity funding

First Watch, a New Zealand-based provider of cybersecurity solutions for the industrial networking and critical infrastructure market, has secured a second round of equity funding of $3.5 million.

The company said the funds will enable it to continue enhancing its patent-pending platform designed to protect endpoints and equipment at the core of industrial networks and also build on early sales successes.

Industrial cybersecurity is a multi-billion-dollar market, which is growing rapidly as cyber hackers increasingly target industrial plants that are complex, difficult to maintain, and often have ageing infrastructure.

Formed in October 2019, under a strategic partnership between New Zealand automation company CTEK and the University of Waikato, First Watch raised NZ$3.2 million in its seed round of equity funding in May 2020.

The company says the First Watch platform can be rapidly deployed into complex industrial environments, providing immediate value to customers with deep insights into the status of their network and assets, and providing real-time cybersecurity protection for critical assets and computers.

First Watch customers are supported by a specialist OT Security Operations Centre — alongside a range of additional value-add offerings including cybersecurity training, detailed cybersecurity assessments and security engineering.

First Watch Managing Director Bob Stokes is pleased that this funding will allow the company to capitalise on early customer acquisition to further grow the customer base in New Zealand and support an expansion into the Australian market over the next 12 months.

“The cybersecurity posture of most OT operations in New Zealand and Australia [is] in desperate need of improvement,” he said. “With our solution you can be sure your core is protected from bad actors and our managed service will rapidly identify and help mitigate misconfigurations, unauthorised users, and early signs of cyber attacks.”

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