Canadian cybersecurity news and thought leadership


Kobalt - Grew to success focused on the SMB market

Our CEO and co-founder had entered semi-retirement in 2016, doing a little light consulting and spending time with his young kids.  After a 2-month summer break in Thailand, he returned to Vancouver itchy to do a little work.

He was introduced to his co-founders - Boris Wertz, who runs Version One - a fantastic Vancouver based VC firm and Pankaj Agarwal, a serial entrepreneur with a strong background in services businesses. They wanted to collaborate on a cyber security project and were looking for a co-founder with strong domain knowledge (Michael has over 25 years of cybersecurity experience).

So, instead of a founder looking for investors, it was investors looking for a founder.
Classically, everything goes wrong in the first year - pivot from building our own stack to buying core technologies, team challenges, taking too long to land the first customer, second, third. But by the end of the first year we’d stumbled upon a core services stack - building security programs for clients, leveraging advisory services and security monitoring - that has served us well to grow to over 400 clients across 5 continents.

The vast majority of cybersecurity organizations focus on Enterprise clients. They have big budgets, know security is important and are unafraid to invest. So larger firms suck up the talents and focus of both individuals and service providers. This leaves the SMB market dramatically underserved. You can’t build a service for a large company and “shrink” it to the needs of a small firm, services need to be designed from the ground up for smaller orgs. There are lots of small boutiques and independent consultants who serve smaller firms, but they quickly reach their limits in terms of ability to handle new clients. is working to solve SMB security - from a full stack perspective - addressing all their core security and privacy needs - at scale. This means service design tailored for the unique needs of smaller firms, but repeatable, cost effective - again, again and again.