Cybersecurity: Lille startup Vade Secure forced to give up its American dream

by bold-lichterman

French e-mail security specialist Vade Secure, which was to come under the control of a predominantly American fund, saw this project fail following the health crisis and a legal dispute with a competing company. Vade Secure, a startup based in Hem near Lille, announced in June 2019 an investment of 70 million euros – an amount then presented as a record – with the American fund General Catalyst, based in Boston, in an operation supposed to him open the doors to the American market.

But a few weeks after the signing of the agreement, the company was sued by the American Proofpoint, world number 1 in the sector, explained to AFP the founder and main shareholder of Vade Secure Georges Lotigier on Friday, confirming information from Echoes. Proofpoint accuses him of having hired as technical director the employee of a company that it was preparing to buy, and thus of having appropriated trade secrets, he explained. Contacted by AFP, Proofpoint did not respond on Friday afternoon. “The corporate culture of Vade Secure is to innovate. We are 100% clean ”, assured Georges Lotigier, who considers himself unfairly attacked.

The case, still ongoing, prevented the finalization of the initial agreement with General Catalyst, then the health crisis caused the failure of a second agreement signed in February with the same fund. “The acceleration of growth, beyond 50%, that we expected in the United States is a little postponed”, admitted Mr. Lotigier, who claims all the same “Good growth, from 35% to 40% per year” and new contracts, particularly in Japan. The company has also borrowed around ten million euros via a loan guaranteed by the State from its usual banks and Bpifrance. Its founder is now hoping for new fundraising, “ rather in Europe ”.