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Edinburgh startup that busts online crimes pockets £5M; bullish to grow in two years

Cyan Forensics

Edinburgh-based Cyan Forensics helps law enforcement, social media and cloud companies find and block harmful content. In a recent development, the company pocketed £5 million in Series A funding.

Fuels ambitious global growth plans

The investment round was led by Par Equity along with participation from existing investors including Mercia, Triple Point, SIS Ventures, Scottish Enterprise and the MacLeod Family Trust. With this round, the overall funding pumped into the company to date totals to £8 million. Cyan Forensics announced that it will use the investment to fuel its ambitious global growth plan over the next two years.

Ian Stevenson, CEO of Cyan, said: “We’re delighted that Par is joining us as a lead investor, and that we continue to attract support from those investors that have backed us since the start. We believe globally we are at an inflection point, and that the UK is at the forefront of online safety tech and has a significant role to play in the global picture.”

Paul Munn, Managing Partner of Par Equity, said: “Cyan aspires to solve a serious and growing issue facing our digital society. We’re delighted to be working with the Cyan team to help scale the business and are proud to lead this Series A round. The funding will help Cyan scale up, strengthen their position in global markets and build out further applications for the Contraband Filter technology in social media, cloud and other online use cases.”

Chris Kilroy, Investment Director for Mercia Asset Management, said: “After having seeded the business in late 2016, Mercia is delighted to continue to support Cyan alongside Par Equity and existing investors. Cyan has significant growth potential across a number of markets and we’re looking forward to continuing to support Ian and the team moving forward.”

Ian McLennan, Head of Ventures at Triple Point, said: “ We’re excited to continue our involvement with Cyan, a business that combines innovation and a strong growth story with the potential to make a significant positive social impact contribution as well.”

Jill Arnold, Head of SIS Ventures, said: “As one of SIS Ventures’ first investments in mission-led businesses, we’re very happy to continue our support for Cyan and play a part in its ongoing success story. Ian and the team have consistently demonstrated their commitment to making a positive social impact through the innovative use of technology. Following Series A completion, as Lead Impact Investor, we’re looking forward to helping them scale this impact in line with further growth.”

Will focus on Cyan Protect

Founded in 2016 by Bruce Ramsay and Ian Stevenson, Cyan Forensics’ tools enable police to quickly find evidence of child abuse or terrorist activity on suspect’s computers within minutes. It replaces the previous processes that are time-consuming and happened only in a forensics lab weeks or months after an arrest.

Cyan Forensics will focus on Cyan Protect, its ultra-fast moderation and blocking of criminal content over the next 12 months. Deploying powerful cutting edge technology, Cyan Protect helps social media platforms, messaging and cloud content sharing companies find and block child abuse and terrorist content. It also provides a vital first line of defence. This technology lets better regulation, data sharing and works in end-to-end encrypted messages sans any compromise on the user privacy.

Cyan Forensics has a contract with the UK’s Home Office to provide tools to police forces across the UK as part of the Child Abuse Image Database.