Regtech startup 6clicks has secured $2.2 million in funding from a group of high-net-worth individuals, as it sets out to become the “operating system” of business risk and compliance.
The startup offers a cloud-based product designed to help businesses automate and manage their risk assessment, risk management, cybersecurity and compliance operations, with solutions based on sector-specific regulations, the jurisdiction and their own company policies.
Founded by former KPMG partner and chief digital officer Anthony Stevens, along with former KPMG digital consultant Louis Strauss and TrustyGate founder Andrew Robinson, the Melbourne-based startup launched into the market in November last year.
Since then, it’s already expanded into India and Singapore, Stevens tells SmartCompany, and he’s looking to move into the US market within a matter of months.
He doesn’t disclose any specifics, but “we’re certainly generating revenue”, the founder says.
“It’s been a great six months.”
The $2.2 million has come from a consortium of high-net worth investors. Stevens isn’t able to name any names, but they’re “very high-profile Australian business people”, he says.
“These are people with extensive networks and business opportunities that we’re looking to dovetail into,” he hints.
“We’re delighted with the investors that have come on board,” he adds.
“It’s been a dream come true.”
The funding is pegged to fuel the continuation of the startup’s global growth trajectory, and to “help us grow quicker than we already are”, Stevens says.
It will also be pumped into technology development. The business has been investing in the AI space, and investigating how different technologies can have an impact on business risk and compliance, he says.
A cyber inflection point
Like everyone else, 6clicks has had a peculiar few months, as Australia has grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis that comes with it.
In the first few weeks of March, “everyone went into pause mode,” Stevens says.
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“There was a degree of shock.”
But, the crisis has highlighted companies’ dependency on technology. It’s also made business leaders suddenly very aware of their cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
“When technology becomes more critical to your business and you become more dependent on it, of course things like cybersecurity climb up the priorities list,” Stevens says.
And, there’s something of a pattern emerging among 6clicks clients, he adds. Executive boards are recognising they need to “be more mature in terms of general enterprise risk management practices”.
This is a shift that’s not going away, the founder argues; we’re at an inflection point.
“It’s going to get stronger and stronger,” he suggests.
“The themes that have come out of COVID-19 are certainly that tech is very much a business issue, as distinct from something that’s relegated to the IT department,” he explains.
“They can’t even manage their own workforce without it.”
But, the economic squeeze for many businesses has forced them to think about how they can be more efficient. That includes in managing risk and compliance obligations.
“That’s where we come in,” he says.
Of course, Stevens sees 6clicks as being well-placed to meet this demand, and he’s thinking on a global scale.
“We’re really excited about establishing our platform as effectively the operating system for risk and compliance for businesses around the world,” he says.
“That’s the vision we’re working towards really quickly.”