Over 65% of Russian organizations are open to long-term cooperation with startups in the field of cybersecurity to solve specific problems, while now only 13% are their customers, according to the results of a study by RTK-Solar, the company said on Thursday.

Analysts of the company explain this by the lack of young business teams in the Russian market that meet the requirements of customers. At the same time, the results of the study show that customers are not ready to reduce the requirements for new players, but are ready to help them develop.

Yaroslav Galaiko, director of strategic and investment development at RTK-Solar: “When planning the study, we assumed that business sees many barriers to working with technology teams. The results showed that the demand for interaction with cybersecurity startups from businesses, especially large ones, actually exceeds the existing supply.”

According to the results of the study, a portrait of a startup in cybersecurity in Russia was formed: business refers to startups technology companies that have existed for no more than three years (85%), are ready to offer the customer a working prototype of the solution (50%) or a minimum viable product (MVP) (57%) and already have their first clients (79%).

Business expects startups to solve specific open problems of the company in the field of cybersecurity – this was stated by 64% of respondents. The vast majority of respondents expect a fundamentally new product from a startup (81%) or an analogue of an existing one on the market (61%).

While representatives of large corporations emphasize their interest in long-term cooperation (44%), 69% of companies are ready to start commercial interaction with startups no earlier than the product moves to an advanced stage of development (of which 23% are ready to cooperate only at the stage of full readiness). Only 7% of respondents stated that they consider it acceptable to start working together at the idea stage. From the moment of creating an MVP and until it is fully ready to enter the market, as a rule, it takes from 12 to 18 months.

Half of the respondents among the main barriers to working with startups named the unstable financial situation of a young team, 46% – a long wait for the final release of the product. At the same time, only 23% of respondents called the lack of a regulatory certificate a barrier.

This does not mean that client companies exclude dialogue with young teams with an immature product. On the contrary, businesses are willing to help IS start-ups in their development: the majority of respondents are ready to discuss the proposed ideas and share their own (58%), as well as provide feedback on the criticality of the problems being solved and the correctness of the approach (58%). Respondents, representing mostly large businesses, declared their readiness to pilot solutions in a separate or even their own infrastructure (40%), as well as to finance and purchase a product (29%).

Yaroslav Galaiko, Director of Strategic and Investment Development, RTK-Solar: “This summer, RTK-Solar, together with the Skolkovo Foundation, launched the Cybersecurity Hub, aimed at the systematic development of the cybersecurity industry in Russia. The first step was the all-Russian cybersecurity technology scouting program DeepTech CyberSecurity. Every year, no more than 10 new teams appear in Russia, only a few survive and scale their business within 1-2 years. Our project with the Skolkovo Foundation is aimed at comprehensive support for technology startups at every stage of life – from the emergence and testing of business hypotheses to scaling up and attracting strategic investments.”

When commercially selecting a startup as a provider of cybersecurity products and services, companies are guided by the same criteria as when cooperating with mature players in the cybersecurity market. Thus, the respondents named good technical support and prompt response to requests (91%), quick adaptation to the challenges and needs of customers (89%), as well as an acceptable cost of the product (84%) as the main factors of choice.

The study was attended by representatives of 84 Russian companies, including 25 largest corporations that are responsible for the selection and implementation of cybersecurity solutions and services, the report says.