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Tessian Raises $13m to Make Enterprise Email Safe With Machine Learning

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Tessian Raises $13m to Make Enterprise Email Safe With Machine Learning

Series A round led by Balderton Capital and Accel
Annual revenues up by 400 per cent year-on-year
Clients include Schroders, Man Group & 70+ leading UK law firms

Tessian, the UK-based machine intelligence start-up transforming the way enterprises secure email, today announces that it has raised $13 million (£9 million) in a Series A round led by Balderton Capital and existing investors, Accel. Amadeus Capital Partners, Crane, LocalGlobe, Winton Ventures and Walking Ventures also participated in the round.

Against a backdrop where enterprises are creating a growing share of the world’s data – in 2015 businesses created 30 percent of all data globally, but this is expected to soar to almost 60 per cent by 2025 – Tessian’s mission is to automatically protect individuals and enterprises from cybersecurity threats in order to keep the world’s most sensitive data and systems private and secure.

Contrary to the popular belief that organisations are most likely to lose their data through being hacked, misaddressed emails are currently the number one data security incident reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Furthermore, under GDPR, it’s now mandatory for organisations to report such breaches involving personal information to the ICO, with the resulting fines as high as 4 percent of global turnover for the worst data breaches.

Tessian’s founders, Tom Adams, Ed Bishop and Tim Sadler, met as engineering students at Imperial College before they started their careers in investment banking for some of the world’s largest financial institutions. It was while working in finance that they saw a gap in the market to protect companies against the problem of highly sensitive information being sent to the wrong person on email, which can have severe business consequences and cause lasting reputational damage.

“With the recent report from the ICO that misaddressed emails are now the number one data security incident reported to them and GDPR now in full swing, companies should make addressing this risk a top security priority,” says Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of Tessian (formerly Checkrecipient). “It’s human nature to fear scary things like hackers or malware, but we often don’t think twice about the dangers behind something as familiar and ingrained as sending an email. In reality that’s where an overwhelming threat lies.”

Machine intelligence

Since their seed round last year, the Tessian team has grown from 13 to 50 people, while annual recurring revenue is up by over 400 per cent in the last 12 months. The company will use the Series A investment to rapidly expand its product offering and grow its business by increasing the size of its sales and marketing teams.

After installation, Tessian’s machine intelligence technology analyses enterprise email networks to understand normal and abnormal email sending patterns and behaviours. Tessian then detects anomalies in outgoing emails and warns users about potential mistakes, before the email is sent.

Unlike legacy rule-based technologies, Tessian requires no admin from security teams and no end-user behaviour change. The Tessian platform can be deployed in under an hour and provides immediate historical reports that show how many misaddressed emails an organisation has sent prior to the installation date.

“What Tessian have done – and this is why we are so excited about them – is apply machine intelligence to understand how humans communicate with each other and use that deeper understanding to secure enterprise email networks,” says Balderton Capital Partner Suranga Chandratillake. “The genius of this approach is that while the product focus today is on email – by far the most used communication channel in the corporate enterprise – their technology can be applied to all communication channels in time. And, as we all communicate in larger volumes and on more channels, that represents a vast opportunity.”

As part of the investment, Balderton Partner Suranga Chandratillake and Accel Partner Luciana Lixandru join the board. She says, “The effectiveness of Tessian’s product attracted our attention at an early stage. Since our seed investment just over a year ago, the company’s ability to address a fundamental data security risk has been reflected in its strong growth and a string of blue chip client wins. I’m excited to be working even more closely with the team, as it rolls out its solution to an even greater number of businesses.”

Tessian makes email safe at world leading organisations like Schroders, Man Group and Dentons and over 70 of the UK’s leading law firms are now using platform to protect their email networks.

“With GDPR at the forefront of every organisation’s minds, Clyde & Co is focused on building a resilient approach to keep our client data confidential and secure.

“The speed and ease of deployment of Tessian has been unparalleled by any other solution we’ve dealt with, and has been our quickest GDPR win to date.

“Misaddressed emails are a major cybersecurity problem that all organisations have to deal with, but trying to train human error out of employees is near impossible. Tessian’s machine intelligence plays a vital role in helping mitigate these kinds of errors and ensure that customer data remains secure and private.” – Chris White, Global Chief Information Officer, Clyde & Co

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Facebook ‘refriends’ Australia after changes to media laws

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Facebook 'refriends' Australia after changes to media laws 1

By Byron Kaye and Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Facebook will restore Australian news pages, ending an unprecedented week-long blackout after wringing concessions from the government over a proposed law that will require tech giants to pay traditional media companies for their content.

Both sides claimed victory in the clash, which has drawn global attention as countries including Canada and Britain consider similar steps to rein in the dominant tech platforms and preserve media diversity.

While some analysts said Facebook had defended its lucrative model of collecting ad money for clicks on news it shows, others said the compromise – which includes a deal on how to resolve disputes – could pay off for the media industry, or at least for publishers with reach and political clout.

“Facebook has scored a big win,” said independent British technology analyst Richard Windsor, adding the concessions it made “virtually guarantee that it will be business as usual from here on.”

Australia and the social media group had been locked in a standoff after the government introduced legislation that challenged Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google’s dominance in the news content market.

Facebook blocked Australian users on Feb. 17 from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform, drawing criticism from publishers and the government.

But after talks between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a concession deal was struck, with Australian news expected to return to the social media site in coming days.

“Facebook has refriended Australia, and Australian news will be restored to the Facebook platform,” Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra.

Frydenberg said Australia had been a “proxy battle for the world” as other jurisdictions engage with tech companies over a range of issues around news and content.

Australia will offer four amendments, which include a change to the proposed mandatory arbitration mechanism used when the tech giants cannot reach a deal with publishers over fair payment for displaying news content.

‘UNTESTED’

Facebook said it was satisfied with the revisions, which will need to be implemented in legislation currently before the parliament.

“Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation,” Facebook Vice President of Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown said in a statement online.

The company would continue to invest in news globally but also “resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook.”

Analysts said while the concessions marked some progress for tech platforms, the government and the media, there remained many uncertainties about how the law would work.

“Retaining unilateral control over which publishers they do cash deals with as well as control over if and how news appears on Facebook surely looks more attractive to Menlo Park than the alternative,” said Rasmus Nielsen, head of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, referring to Facebook headquarters.

Any deals that Facebook strikes are likely to benefit the bottom line of News Corp and a few other big Australian publishers, added Nielsen, but whether smaller outlets win such deals remains to be seen.

Tama Leaver, professor of internet studies at Australia’s Curtin University, said Facebook’s negotiating tactics had dented its reputation, although it was too early to say how the proposed law would work.

“It’s like a gun that sits in the Treasurer’s desk that hasn’t been used or tested,” said Leaver.

COOLING-OFF PERIOD

The amendments include an additional two-month mediation period before the government-appointed arbitrator intervenes, giving the parties more time to reach a private deal.

It also inserts a rule that an internet company’s existing media deals be taken into account before the rules take effect, a measure that Frydenberg said would encourage internet companies to strike deals with smaller outlets.

The so-called Media Bargaining Code has been designed by the government and competition regulator to address a power imbalance between the social media giants and publishers when negotiating payment for news content used on the tech firms’ sites.

Media companies have argued that they should be compensated for the links that drive audiences, and advertising dollars, to the internet companies’ platforms.

A spokesman for Australian publisher and broadcaster Nine Entertainment Co Ltd welcomed the government’s compromise, which it said moved “Facebook back into the negotiations with Australian media organisations.”

Major television broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West Media Ltd said it had signed a letter of intent to strike a content supply deal with Facebook within 60 days.

A representative of News Corp, which has a major presence in Australia’s news industry and last week announced a global licensing deal with Google, was not immediately available for comment.

Frydenberg said Google had welcomed the changes. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

Google also previously threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia but later struck a series of deals with publishers.

The government will introduce the amendments to Australia’s parliament on Tuesday, Frydenberg said. The country’s two houses of parliament will need to approve the amended proposal before it becomes law.

(Reporting by Colin Packham and Byron Kaye; additional reporting by Renju Jose, Kate Holton and Douglas Busvine; Writing by Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Sam Holmes and Mark Potter)

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart 2

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.

Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.

“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.

“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.

Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says 3

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.

But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.

“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.

“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”

Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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