Cujo, which was featured as one of the hottest up-and-coming startups at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference, is setting up operations in Lithuania. The US-based startup will establish its Lithuania division by the end of the year, where top IT professionals will work on developing, testing and improving Cujo’s smart home internet security technology.
“We chose Lithuania due to several reasons,” explains Einaras Gravrockas, founder and Director General of the company, which is recruiting 20 top professionals for its Lithuanian team. “On one hand, Lithuania is a competitive location in terms of costs, which is important for a young company. On the other hand, Lithuanian IT specialists are top class for both development and product support. That’s why companies like Uber, Wix and Revel Systems chose Lithuania and have created their success stories here. We expect to grow and eventually join this respectable team”, said Mr Gravrockas.
Cujo is a smart firewall device that connects directly to a router, protecting the entire home wireless network against attacks by hackers. This kind of attack has become a significant problem recently, seeing as 90% of wireless devices collect and accumulate personal user information but 70% of them are totally unprotected against cyber attacks. Cujo uses cloud computing and machine learning principles to act like a policeman, supervising the information flows through a home internet network and alerting users of any suspicious activity via the Cujo app.
“As the Internet of Things grows, this problem will become more acute,” points our Mr Gravrockas. “Presently, there about 20 devices connected to a wireless internet network in an average household in the US. In the homes of tech enthusiasts the number of devices goes up to about 40, while in some households there are as many as 100 devices supporting various smart home functions, all connected to a network. As a result, attacks on households by hackers are becoming as dangerous as those on businesses,” argues Cujo’s founder.
According to forecasts, the market for protection systems for the Internet of Things is set to grow by approximately 55% by 2020 and will then amount to €26 billion. It is estimated that by then about 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things.
It is this strong growth potential, and the elegance of the solution Cujo provides, that has created such a buzz around the company. Cujo featured in the Startup Battlefield at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference, an event that brings together twenty of the world’s top early stage startups to compete for a $50,000 prize. Currently, Cujo has already sold more than 4,000 of its smart devices, which are controlled through the Cujo app available for both Android and iOS.
Mantas Katinas, Director General of foreign investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania, believes that the country is emerging as a hub for cyber security developers like Cujo. “Cujo are the fourth company operating in the cyber security market to select Lithuania as the location for developing their products. This trend suggests a new cluster in this sector is emerging in Lithuania,” forecast Mr Katinas. He also believes that small-scale, niche operations have a vital role to play in the country’s economy, plus the potential to rapidly develop. “A country’s economy needs both large investors, who can create many jobs, and smaller projects, which create high added value. And promising startups such as Cujo might one day become a ‘unicorn’, attracting major investment hunters”, stated Mr Katinas.
Cujo’s Lithuania team will be based in Kaunas, and this division will be the company’s first office outside the US.
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