Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro launches $100 million venture fund targeting IoT startups

- June 27, 2017 2 MIN READ
Eva Chen - Trend Micro

Global cybersecurity software company Trend Micro has announced the launch of a $100 million corporate venture fund designed to support emerging technology markets, with Internet of Things (IoT) one of the key focuses.

In addition to financial backing, the company’s venture fund will offer its recipients access to Trend Micro’s 28,000-large network of partners, the opportunity for strategic partnerships, and the ability to tap into the company’s global cybersecurity information base.

For Trend Micro, the company said the investment in startups would help it uncover unique insights into upcoming opportunities in the market, disruptive business models, market gaps and any existing skillset shortages.

Insight gained from investments will help inform Trend Micro’s cybersecurity solution planning across the board and allow them the “freedom” to explore new areas without disrupting core resources, as the company looks to get a step ahead of the next big technological trend.

Trend Micro’s chief executive officer, Eva Chen, said anticipating technology trends has been a focus for the company for 29 years, and has formed part of their identity.

“The first mega wave we caught was the growth of the PC marketplace; we committed early on to endpoint protection and remain a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms today.”

“The second mega wave was all about the cloud; we made a bet early on to securing the cloud and so far we have secured over two billion workload hours on Amazon Web Services alone. Now, we believe the next wave has arrived with IoT; our fund will help us harness this opportunity.”

A study from Gartner predicts that 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020, with Chen saying this “explosion of devices” is a trend that the company has had it sights on for a while.

“Trend Micro’s vision has always been to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. It is clear that the ecosystem is still evolving and there is work to do to ensure organisations and individuals can operate and live safely in this new reality,” she said.

The global company’s interest in IoT reflects the growing amount of startups entering the space in Australia, as the IoT market continues to grow.

A study conducted by local research firm Telsyte this year estimates the IoT market will reach $4.7 billion in the next four years, with more than 40 percent of Australian households found to have at least one IoT device.

With concerns around energy prices growing and renewables growing in popularity, IoT solutions focused on electricity have boomed. Among the startups developing IoT solutions for Australian households are Wattcost and Reposit Power, who have both developed devices that connect to a homeowner’s electricity box to help them save on their electricity bill.

Meanwhile, other IoT startups are looking to the security space, with Perth-based startup Spectur developing an IoT solar powered security camera designed to function in remote areas, and Elsight an IoT surveillance device for us in defence.

Image: Eva Chen. Source: AFR.