Startup Fair participants: a cloud-based cyber security and network management device “Loki”
Please meet Sercan Tarakçıoğlu, COO at “Loki”. This startup stood out from the crowd at Startup Lithuania Roadshow Pitch Battle in Izmir, Turkey a week ago and won a lucky ticket to Startup Fair. Now we can’t wait to see them on Pitch Battle stage. In this interview Sercan shares some insights about the “Loki” and their business.
What is “Loki”? What problems does your product solve?
LOKI is a cloud-based cyber security and network management device, being developed for SMEs which have no or minimum IT staff of their own and are dependent to third parties when it comes to network management. We have developed LOKI in a way that anyone who has basic computer knowledge would be able to manage and secure their own network.
With LOKI, we are changing the general approach to network management. Until now, cyber security and network management were over-technical for ordinary people and could only be managed by IT staff who has the necessary education and trainings. With the management portal of LOKI, one can manage his/her own network by using a clear and understandable terms. And it is as easy as managing a Facebook proﬁle. There is just normal human language instead of unclear and complex technical information.
LOKI is a product which is secure by default, no additional setting is necessary. It is connected to cloud and constantly updated. It presents a complete solution for SMEs.
When exactly did you launch?
We started to work on LOKI in 2016. After receiving a seed investment from business angels, we have established our company on June, 2017. Since then, we have been working very hard to develop LOKI. As of April, 2018 we are releasing beta products to our ﬁrst customers.
Who/what are your target customers?
The main target customers of LOKI are small and medium sized enterprises. In general, these companies don’t have their own IT departments or IT staff. Even if they have necessary awareness about cyber security, they are dependent to external service providers for their needs. This means a huge amount of expenses for them annually.
LOKI, gives these companies an opportunity to setup, secure and manage their own network with no technical IT knowledge.
How has business been so far?
We have spent the time developing and developing since we have established the company. There is an interest from resellers and service providers to add LOKI to their portfolio and we also have customer interests. There are people waiting for us to start series production which is very exciting for us. We have even received our ﬁrst official order from one of our customers who has been using our alpha product for some time. So far, business shows promise and we are very excited for market launch.
So what‘s next for “Loki” then?
Our plans for the next steps start with beta product release which is projected to be at the end of April, 2018. Then, we are going to grow the team and start series production as well as sales and marketing operations . We are also planning to expand our operations to Europe. To cover the expenses, we are looking for international business partners and investors based in EU.
What are your main challenges while working on your product and how are you overcoming them?
Resources, for sure. As a startup, you should be able to work with a limited budget which does not help much if you are developing both hardware and software. Limited budget also means limited human resources. But the challenging part is also what makes a startup exciting. What we do is basically two things. Our team is small, but multidisciplinary. Everyone is very focused and working hard to cover the gap. On the other hand, we believe in collaboration, especially between startups. Knowledge grows when shared. A big challenge for any startup might be an easy problem to solve for another and collaboration would help them grow together.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
We have funded the project by receiving a seed investment from business angels. The ﬁrst funding was used to cover all the expenses during r&d period. We are looking for a new funding to start series production and for further product development.
Who does your team consist of?
The team consists of ﬁve core team members. In addition to three co-founders, there are two full-time software development engineers. In addition to the core team, there are interns coming from different backgrounds such as software development, electronics, and mechanical designers.
What do you expect to learn from the prize you have won – lucky ticket to Startup Fair 2018?
We are really looking forward to attend to Startup Fair 2018. Being on the stage with all other startups is going to be fun. But we would have wanted to attend the event even if did not win the prize. There are really valuable keynote speakers and there is also the chance to present our project to international investors and potential business partners. We believe the lucky ticket is going to more exciting than we expect.
Thank you for the answers!