Fast-rising Field Effect sees big upside in local partnerships

Cybersecurity photo

Coming into 2021 on a growth tear, Field Effect had big expectations as it looked to establish a beachhead in the U.S. and Europe.

So far, the Glebe-based startup has delivered on that promise and then some.

Field Effect’s headcount has already jumped 20 per cent since late December and now stands at 150, with several of those hires joining the company’s new office in Fredericton. 

Founder and CEO Matt Holland says the firm is tapping into the burgeoning East Coast cybersecurity scene through its partnership with CyberNB, an innovation hub based in the New Brunswick capital.

“There’s just a lot of talent out there,” says Holland, who’s very familiar with the city from his days as a computer science student at the University of New Brunswick in the late 1990s.

But Field Effect’s growth plans for 2021 extend far beyond Canada’s coasts. 

Opportunities in Europe

The company plans to continue adding to its footprint in Australia and the U.K. while eyeing opportunities on the European continent, where Field Effect expects to grab a foothold through acquisition at some point this year. 

Then there’s the biggest market of all. Building its U.S. customer base is perhaps the most important item on Field Effect’s to-do list in 2021.

The firm took a big step in that direction last week when it announced it signed fellow Canadian enterprise N. Harris Computer Corp. as a sales partner. The global software provider will now offer Field Effect’s Covalence cybersecurity solution to its customers around the world.

“The benefit to us is we get access to a large partner that can help us grow (and) access to a whole bunch of customers that we may not have access to otherwise,” Holland says.

“It’s the type of partnership that could potentially vault us to one of the highest-volume cybersecurity providers in the world.”

Soaring revenues

Meanwhile, Field Effect is joining forces with another local tech enterprise, Lightship Security, on a federally funded project that will see the two fast-growing startups design a system to automate the cybersecurity certification process for mobile technology such as smartphones. 

“We’re in a position where we could absolutely upend the cybersecurity accreditation industry,” Holland says. “The potential is quite exciting.”

While 2021 has already been good to Field Effect ​– Holland says its revenues doubled in the first three months of this year ​compared with the fourth quarter of 2020 – the CEO says what it’s delivered so far is only an appetizer.

“Some of the technology releases we have coming this year should put us in the conversation of top three cybersecurity vendors in the world, which is pretty exciting,” he says. “It’s one thing to be top three in Canada, but actually top three in the world, this is the year it’s going to happen.”