Michal Kacerik is the CTO of a startup that solves the problem we all face every day – password security. To proceed with the growth of their user base, SaferPass has closed a 1 mil EUR seed investment round in May with LRJ Capital and Neulogy Ventures as investors.
Michal, what is the story of SaferPass? Where did the first idea come from, and how has it evolved over time?
Only a small percentage of users use a password manager, yet the majority of users still only have one or two passwords for all their accounts. Security is an issue here, with many people using the simplest passwords that are easy to hack. It’s a growing problem in the current online world, and the market is huge with a very small penetration. This situation is an ongoing pain point for most users, and solving the problem in a secure and simple manner is the focus of SaferPass. On top of that, our internal as well as our extended team have long years of experience in the security industry.
Based on these facts, we have decided to solve this pain and build a password manager that will protect each user’s online identity by generating strong and unique passwords which the user does not need to remember, because SaferPass will fill them out automatically on the particular websites. Furthermore, only SaferPass provides the Secure Me feature – in case the user forgets to log out on a computer, he can do so remotely from his mobile phone.
SaferPass has recently announced a seed investment of 1 mil EUR. As it is a seed round, I assume it´s the first money you received from an investment, right? Have you also been a part of any accelerator?
That is correct, we have just closed the seed round of 1 mil EUR, and there were no prior investments for the current team except this round. And no, we have not attended any incubators or accelerators.
What is the investment aimed at?
Mainly at marketing, sales and distribution. We are fully focused on the growth of our user base, since our current target audience are consumers, and the market of potential customers is huge. We are working on optimization of the whole customer journey:
getting installs -> active users -> registered users -> paying customers -> more users -> more paying customers-> getting installs -> etc…
The investment round was co-led by LRJ Capital and Neulogy Ventures. What did the negotiations look like? Did the investors understand your product and the potential of your project from the very beginning?
I have to say that it has been a pleasure to work with both of the funds since the very beginning; it is in the interest of all the involved parties to make progress as fast as possible. Both funds are also helping us with the so called smart-money – with their wide professional network as well as with their experience.
You worked as a project manager at The Spot creative space where you supported and advised many startup projects. Was the inspirational atmosphere and environment in there the reason you started to think about your own startup – BeeSafe?
BeeSafe started about one year before I started working with The Spot team. But you are right, the atmosphere and the environment which the people around created was truly inspirational.
Let´s have a look at your personal story, Michal. You started in the world of software architecture and ended up in startups. What is the story behind that? What impressed you about startups so much that you became a part of the environment?
I started my first software startup when I was 17. Unfortunately, I was not experienced enough to make a unicorn out of it 🙂 Nevertheless, it paid the bills during high school, I have learned a ton, and at least one company is still using it.
After high school, I moved to Austria for a longer time to work with smaller and larger companies and to broaden my outlook. With one team, we built startup spin-offs – before it was cool in Europe 🙂
Around 5 years ago, I met great people at Startup Weekend Zilina, and they were one of the reasons I came back to Slovakia. So I quit, worked as a digital nomad for some time while traveling the world, started BeeSafe with Peter, helped The Spot, and then, finally, the SaferPass story began.
What are the biggest challenges you need to face with regards to SaferPass? How do you tackle them?
Since it is a very technical product, it is a challenge to explain to the users what the benefits of using a password manager are, so we have to make it as simple and comfortable as possible for them.
What is the unique value proposition of your product? Do you have to face strong competition?
There are older players in our industry, but since the market is huge and the penetration very small, there is still plenty of room to acquire customers. In comparison to our competitors, with SaferPass it is just two easy clicks on our website, and SaferPass will start securing your online identity. Give it a try!
Secure Me is a unique and powerful feature which helps users who have forgotten to log out on a computer. Haven’t we all been in this situation? With SaferPass, you can now log out from any computer, just by using your mobile phone. This functionality helps alleviate the pain point of sharing your devices with family, friends, coworkers, or anyone else, by allowing users to remotely secure any of their devices from any other device. So install SaferPass and let us know how you like it – also tell us if you are missing something. And by the way, we are looking for developers 😉
Photos: Michal Kacerik / SaferPass