BearingPoint invests in South Korea based software start-up Insignary

20 August 2018 Authored by Consultancy.asia

The Ventures division of BearingPoint has completed an investment in Insignary, an Asia-based start-up that provides open source software for security and compliance processes. The investment, which will enable Insignary to expand its services across Asia, Europe and the United States, comes on the back of a successful one-year relationship. 

Founded in 2016 in South Korea, Insignary provides a solution that helps companies gain visibility into the binary code they use, helping them identify security vulnerabilities/issues and potential license compliance issues. Leveraging the firm’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology, named ‘Insignary Clarity’, organisations – enterprises, but also value added resellers (VAR), systems integrators and security Managed Service Providers – can enhance their security and compliance maturity.

Insignary’s solution has been in hot demand since launching, enabling the Seoul-based start-up to attract venture capital and grow its team to around ten. In January this year, Insignary secured $2 million in Series A funding from three parties (Mega Investment, Samho Green Investment and Innopolis Partners), taking its accumulated venture funding to $4 million, following the initial $2 million seed round closed during its launch.

Joining the list of investors is BearingPoint, a European-origin management and technology consultancy with over 3,900 employees. “We see this as an extraordinary opportunity. Insignary has a unique capability of coping with one of the most pressing challenges companies face today: identifying and addressing known security vulnerabilities,” said Patrick Palmgren, Chief Development Officer at the consulting firm. 

BearingPoint invests in Asian software start-up Insignary

The Insignary Clarity solution scans for 'fingerprints' from a binary to examine and then compares them against the fingerprints collected from open source components hosted in numerous open source repositories. These fingerprints are then compared against more than 180,000 known security vulnerabilities catalogued in databases such as NVD and VulnDB. “With open-source software used in critical enterprise platforms, web and mobile apps, as well as IoT, blockchain, cloud, open container and other fast-growth technologies, Insignary is at the forefront with its security solutions.”

BearingPoint's investment comes within one year of a partnership agreement between the two firms. In November last year, the management consultancy announced that it had partnered with Insignary to deliver the “first managed binary code scanning service in Europe”, by integrating Insignary’s Clarity into its Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) portfolio of services. “The collaboration enables a very effective means of discovering open source licenses and addressing known open source security vulnerabilities in binaries without the need to scan source code or reverse engineering of binary code,” said Matthias Loebich, a Partner at the firm, at the time. 

Building on a partnership

Over the past ten months, BearingPoint has offered the joint solution to European clients, with a focus on the supply chain realm, helping them with FOSS managed services while “not having to worry about the complex processes and tools for managing their software supply chain”.

With the latest investment – financial details have not been disclosed – Insignary aims at accelerating its internationalisation trajectory. Tae-Jin (TJ) Kang, CEO of Insignary: “Having the financial and strategic support of such a leader in enterprise managed security services validates Insignary’s technology and go-to-market strategy, and fuels our momentum as a company.”

Fuelling demand for the start-up’s services is the rapid adoption of (emerging) technologies such as Internet of Things, web/mobile, blockchain and cloud. “These and other fast-growth technologies makes it increasingly important to be able to identify and address known security vulnerabilities,” explained Kim, as companies are increasingly being exposed to risks that may expose them to cyber-attacks.

For BearingPoint, the investment marks its first in an Asian start-up, following earlier capital injections into among others Norway-based startup Tribe. “We look to invest in companies that have a unique capability to address a fast growing market. As the only fingerprint-based, binary code scanner, Insignary fits perfectly with our investment strategy,” remarked Palmgren. 

Last month BearingPoint won a large tax implementation and managed services engagement with Standard Chartered in Asia.

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