Netsparker CEO Ferruh Mavituna was interviewed by Enis Hulli, the host of Glocal, a podcast that "features entrepreneurs from all around the world that started in dysfunctioning ecosystems and built global facing technology businesses". Enis is a partner at 500 Startups, and works to integrate Central Eastern Europe and Turkey with Silicon Valley.
In a wide-ranging and fascinating interview, Enis and Ferruh discussed issues including the competitive landscape and enterprise sales strategies. Perhaps the most interesting answers Ferruh gave were in those places where his business and personal experience overlapped.
- The beginning of Ferruh’s Netsparker journey was when he worked as a penetration tester and found that current systems were weak. “As a penetration tester who was focusing on web application security, I found that the tools that helped me to do my job everyday were lacking in terms of quality, in missing vulnerabilities, in reporting false positives. I always thought, this could have been done better. This was the trigger for me.”
- Although originally from Istanbul, Ferruh based Netsparker in the UK from 2006 and made North America his primary target market. Part of this was market maturity and part was to do with the language factor.
- Netsparker is a “web app security first" company, according to Ferruh. Netsparker is “best in market as we find everything, and on top of that, we prove everything. That is something unique in the market. That is a unique technology that allowed only Netsparker to be fully automated because only we can deal with false positives.”. Other scanners send false positives to developers who either start to question the technology or ignore the findings altogether.
- As for the future, Ferruh insisted that the number of company websites has grown in the last decade. Some companies have several thousand! So companies see the need for automation. There will never be at a point at which security scanning becomes unnecessary. And the bigger your organization is, the more automation is a must.
- Finally, and most recently, Ferruh had to make a difficult decision for Netsparker to stay as it is or to expand. This crossroads was not just about cash. “The main motivation wasn't just money but smart money,” explained Ferruh. “I needed someone who could give me support… who could give me the connections, the strategy, the operational support to execute that strategy.”. Eventually, Ferruh linked up with Turn/River Capital, a private equity fund in San Francisco, to raise $40 million for growth acceleration, but who also offered a lot of operational expertise.
Listen to the full interview here as Ferruh also talks about the market size for web security over the next 10 years and future aspirations, including exit strategies.