This article was originally published on Crain’s here, and written by Monica Ginsburg.
Mark Achler was featured in this Crain’s article where he shared the best pitch of 2014.
Winning pitch: The 50-person, Oak Park-based NowSecure (NowSecure.com) provides security for mobile devices. Companies use the software to test the security of their apps. NowSecure also makes a product that can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets to identify which apps are security risks. Co-founded in 2009 as a consulting firm by husband-and-wife team Andrew Hoog, 39, and Chee-Young Kim, 43, the company had $3.1 million in revenue last year.
Amount funded: $12.5 million in Series A financing backed by a group of investors including Math Venture Partners. Achler did not disclose the size of his group’s investment.
Why I bit: “Security, obviously, is an important issue,” Achler says. “Every day in the news we hear about a breach. Mobile usage is growing, but mobile security is not as mature as Web-based security, so I like the urgency there. And I liked Andrew’s domain expertise. He’s a world-renowned expert in mobile security who started a consulting business but shifted gears when he saw many of his customers having similar issues. Now the product is built and the customers are real. They are ready to scale.”
Advice: “If you want to raise money, talk the language of finance and prove you know how to sell your product,” Achler says. “If the founding team does not have those skills in their core DNA, find someone who does.”