With 30 years experience of setting up, running and selling multi-million pound software companies, serial tech entrepreneur Robbie O’Brien is a self-confessed software enthusiast passionate about the “creative conflict” of bringing a new product to life. He’s made it MetaCompliance’s mission to help companies keep their staff safe, protect their digital assets and avoid reputational damage. His company’s pioneering cloud-based software enables organisations to train their employees around cyber threats and to comply with regulatory requirements. It’s a top priority for all businesses in this new virtual age – and rapidly growing MetaCompliance is how he plans to achieve it.
Being on the same page on so many levels – from the desire to learn and grow to a passion for the power of technology – has seen MetaCompliance and Tenzing start their journey together in the most promising way.
“Tenzing’s appetite for growth and mission matched our own and in some cases inspired us to go further, so the team is very excited with the opportunity this affords us,” says Robbie.
“We are very much a learning company and there’s lots of things that my team and I can learn from working with the crew at Tenzing, like measuring ourselves against other portfolio companies, and accessing that growth network for more insights on what other scaling companies are doing. We’re very open to that.”
With the vision of “moving up a league”, MetaCompliance was searching for “an organisation that could invest in us, and the company mission”, to help scale it considerably to give international competitors a run for their money. Allowing the company culture to flourish within the private equity environment was also a key consideration for Robbie.
The icing on the cake was finding a partner that “got our mission” and “the enormity of the cybersecurity threat”. “We are at the beginning of that journey,” Robbie adds. “COVID has only exacerbated the problem, but at the same time, slowed the solution down because you can’t easily access expertise.”
Energetically bootstrapped to build a robust organisation ready to scale, Robbie and his team knew the time had come where self-funding was no longer a match for the ambitions of the company. The option of a trade sale was considered, but ultimately, passed on, with the consensus being things were only just getting started for MetaCompliance.
“We felt we had a particular take on the human aspect of cybersecurity compliance, that would be very attractive to enterprise organisations – we invest very heavily in localisation and making sure that culturally, our product fits these markets that we’re aiming at.”
MetaCompliance is an organisation “that isn’t afraid to make investments in technology or in people to get to their ultimate goal.”
“We see the market is buoyant and will grow significantly, and particularly because of COVID. It’s clear to all, that we’re completely dependent on technology now?”
MetaCompliance is set to become a key player in the cybersecurity industry, Robbie tips, with Tenzing’s investment providing the push to help “pitch ourselves at a much larger canvas”.
“It’s like saying you’re going to run a marathon, and you practice by yourself running along the streets, then you get a coach, and the change in gears is quite substantial,” Robbie describes.
“Our management team has matured to a point where they are keen to embrace new challenges, and are looking forward to delivering against a plan that stretches us. We are like an empty vessel ready to go and realise the potential of what we can do.”