Investment in Avatao
This is a blog post I wrote for 212 Venture Capital’s blog on Medium. You may view the original post here.
Investment in Avatao
We are excited to announce our investment in Avatao. Co-founded by Mark & Gabor, the team develops gamified, secure-coding training for software developers and other technology roles using real-life scenarios.
Companies from a variety of industries are racing to move into the Cloud in order to digitalize their critical processes. In 2021, companies and individuals provide online systems with critical information, which requires trust in order to safeguard social and financial wealth.
Since the dawn of the Internet age, the idea of an anonymous hacker hiding behind a computer screen has infiltrated collective imagination. It is a natural instinct to seek and demand safe online systems. How is it possible to understand, though, whether the systems are trustworthy and safe?
We at 212 believe that the builders of Avatao really know how to create secure systems. This belief is resonated in their approach: Identifying security as one of the fundamental features that define the quality of software engineering, they design playful and practice-oriented training solutions for developers to internalize the principles of secure coding. This helps organizations grow the skill sets of their developers, build more reliable systems, improve their services and avoid large fines as well as business losses.
Avatao’s flagship product helps developers combat scenario after scenario, providing step-by-step instructions and a conversational learning interface in parallel. Scenarios make up entire learning modules that are customizable to the client organization’s specific use case and technology stack. In a playful manner, developers learn ways to act against some of the most widespread security issues such as injection attacks, cross-site scripting, broken authentication issues or configuration problems, and learn about the different aspects around third-party vulnerabilities, API- and smart-contract security; just to name a few. This targeted practice builds the foundation of a successful security program and also allows customers to pass critical compliance requirements, for example, in ISO 27001 or PCI-DSS audits. Composed of both SME- and enterprise-level players, Avatao’s clientele spans the full range of industries around the world and includes the fastest-growing technology companies in last-mile delivery as well as incumbents in travel and entertainment across Europe.
Avatao will use the funds for increasing go-to-market efforts in Europe and in the US. Also, it will expand an exciting content library to include more exercises covering secure coding best practices and secure DevOps.
Looking beyond the subject matter of security that is of utmost importance nowadays, at 212 we also appreciate how Avatao enables professional growth, both on an organizational and an individual level.
As Socrates posits: Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. 212 always strives to kindle new flames.