April 27, 2023

Ex-Palantir execs raise €2.5m to protect startups from cyberattacks

The French startup collates budget-friendly cybersecurity options for small and medium sized businesses into one place

Sadia Nowshin

2 min read

Bastion Cyber, a French startup founded by four former senior execs from software giant Palantir, has raised €2.5m in seed funding from Kima Ventures, Frst, Global Founders Capital and Motier Ventures.

The company offers cybersecurity for small and medium-sized businesses, and the cash will be used to develop its platform and hire a commercial team to help scale the company’s partnership distribution.

What does Bastion do?

Bastion was founded by Arnaud Fournier, Arnaud Drizard, Sébastien Duc and Robin Costé, formerly of Peter Thiel-founded cybersecurity giant Palantir. It offers an all-in-one cybersecurity platform, which allows SMEs to pick and choose from various services depending on their needs. 


Services offered include: 

  • Phishing tests, which test employees’ ability to spot scams and reduce the risk of human error causing security breaches;
  • Internal Penetration Testing, where a consultant takes the role of a hacker that's inside the system and tries to find holes in the company’s software;
  • External Penetration Testing, to check if a hacker without any internal resources or insider knowledge could make their way into a system;
  • Wireless Penetration Testing, to test the security level of a company’s private internet connection.

The gap in the market?

Cybersecurity is a growing risk: ransomware attacks doubled in 2022, according to EU data, and over half of attacks were done by cybercriminals, who often have financial motivations. The impact of a hack can be devastating: over 60% of SMEs had to file for bankruptcy within six months of being hacked. 

Bastion’s cofounders tell Sifted that the problem is that paying for the right level of cyber protection is usually out of the budget range for small companies — to get comprehensive coverage often requires partnering with up to 15 different security providers.

Big companies have the budget to sufficiently protect themselves against these breaches — but startups, which are just as much at risk, have tighter budgets that might not have space for sophisticated security, and often won’t have in-house experts to identify which kind of protection the company needs. 

The cybersecurity market

European cybersecurity startups raised around $1.8bn last year, becoming one of the few sectors to match the total funding drummed up in the year before.

VC ears have partly pricked up because, according to the World Economic Forum, the amount of data being produced each day — and therefore the amount of data that will be at risk — is predicted to reach 463 exabytes globally by 2025, increasing the demand for software that will protect it. 

Sadia Nowshin

Sadia Nowshin is a reporter at Sifted covering foodtech, biotech and startup life. Follow her on X and LinkedIn