From its earliest days, cyber security provider, Zimbani, had its foot in the door at the big end of town.
The company’s founding partners, Rene Morel and Jason Paul, had both worked for Australia’s big four banks before striking out under the Zimbani name.
This history has imbued the Melbourne-based business with a pedigree that has helped it hit top-tier market players from the beginning, with its revenues rising year after year.
More recently, Zimbani placed number 57 in the BRW Fast Starters 2016 tally, which lists Australia’s top 100 fastest growing startup businesses, boasting revenues of $3.08 million for the year ending 2016.
“Jason used to work with me when I was contracting to the banks, prior to starting this company,” explained Morel, who operates as the company’s CEO. “We are both traditionally technical people. So, we didn’t go into this business with all the business contacts.
“But off the back of our technical abilities, we built a reputation. Subsequently we’ve become more of a fully-fledged business, with new contacts and a marketing operation.”
Now, Australia’s four top banks - Westpac, ANZ, CBA, and NAB - are Zimbani customers, along with a couple of the country’s tier-two banks, some of the larger universities, a couple of state governments, and a number of insurance players.
For Morel, it all comes down to experience, reputation, and the rapidly-growing need for cutting-edge cyber security among large enterprises.
“Individual experience - that’s the number one thing,” he said. “We’re known entities, we’re not just randoms and that has helped also.
“Security’s a very small, tightly-knit community, so having that sort of trust amongst your peers actually means a lot.”
With vendors such as Palo Alto Networks, PhishMe, Accellion, CyberArk and FireEye populating its portfolio of security products and services, Zimbani has no end of tools at its disposal to woo Australia’s financial services elite or local government technology leads.
Regardless of its technical prowess and vendor stack however, Zimbani’s relatively swift rise over its short life-span has not come without a few growing pains.
“It’s very hard to sustain that level of growth and maintain the way you do things,” Morel acknowledged. “It can be a bit frantic to be honest but that’s the double-edged sword of growing rapidly.
“Now we’ve come to the end of that and have gotten the right people on board to help us with our growth.”
With new hires and a greater pool of resources to draw from, the company is taking a shot at the potentially huge market opportunities in the United Kingdom.
As a starting point, it has kicked off a cyber security project with tier-one publisher, Pearson.
Morel makes no secret of his desire for Zimbani to expand in the UK, where it currently maintains a satellite office.
In fact, from Morel’s perspective, Europe could present a new frontier for the company’s next chapter.
“We are doing some work in Germany for a large, global insurance company,” he said.
“My business partner is there now. There are a lot of opportunities in Europe generally, and we are working on a couple of things to capitalise on that.”
FOUNDED – 2012
HEADCOUNT – 18
KEY TECH – Security
KEY VENDORS – CyberArk, FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Accellion and PhishMe
KEY CUSTOMERS – Westpac, ANZ, CBA and NAB
This article originally appeared in the December issue of ARN magazine - to subscribe, please click here