The largest city in Canada and Ontario’s capital is an international business centre for finance, business, arts, and culture and now has a thriving start-up tech sector and ‘insurtech’ is a fast-growing component.
Not many know that Toronto has been ranked fourth in North America in CBRE’s Tech Talent Rankings trailing only the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. This ranking accounts for each market’s depth, vitality, and attractiveness to companies seeking tech talent.
Meet one of its newest additions. Vishal Kundi used to work at RSA’s gleaming global headquarters in London following stints in Chile, Hong Kong and Dublin, before he settled in Toronto. These days he travels each morning to his home office in mid-town Toronto and he has never been happier. That’s because he’s running his own business, BOXX Insurance, an insurtech, specialising in cyber insurance and services in Canada and expanding to the USA, Spain and with more to follow.
Making such a leap to a start-up is never easy. “To create a successful business requires you to feel like there’s a real purpose in what you’re doing because it’s really hard to build something from scratch” he said.
His global experiences were the genesis behind BOXX. Unlike other insurance risks, cyber risk is not measured by your postcode but your Internet Protocol (IP) address. Most of our lives are now online and helping create a digitally safer planet felt like a goal worth pursuing.
It’s a message he has been driving home at speaker events in Singapore, London and Toronto where he has appeared alongside a raft of successful entrepreneurs and flying the flag for Toronto Tech.
Seeing an opportunity where others don’t is also crucial. Kundi’s firm seized on changes that were accelerated by the pandemic. BOXX helps firms boost their online security as they stick-handle the demand for online sales and supply. “I had an idea, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to create affordable products to give everyday businesses confidence take advantage of the digital economy and enable them to do so safely,” said Kundi, whose sales have tripled since lockdown and now employs 22 people.
Critically, the rate and sophistication of attacks continues to accelerate with over 61% of Canadian businesses being impacted by ransomware last year (1).
The impact of a cyberattack on a business can be crippling, considering the costs of lost downtime, replacing critical IT and recovery average $120,000 (2) for small businesses in Canada. And that’s not to mention the reputational damage, loss of business, third party fines and penalties. No wonder that over 60% of small businesses that experience a cyberattack fail to ever recover (3).
“Supporting businesses navigate the digital planet safely is what drives us,” said Kundi. “Both Cyber security and insurance can be confusing. To become a resilient business in our digital age, businesses need an understanding of both.”
BOXX aims to simplify complexity for customers. “We make our products easy to understand, simple to buy and designed to take the headache out of deciding what they need and don’t need. In providing the right level of support and protection we help our customers predict, prevent, respond to, and recover from, cyber incidents faster and better,” explained Kundi.
“Our digital health-check service provides tools to enable customers to predict and prevent attacks. In the event of an incident, customers are supported by a dedicated team of IT security specialists – our Hackbusters team include dedicated IT security specialists, risk management, legal and public relations experts. And our insurance coverage helps to reimburse the costs of an attack so the business can get back on track with minimum disruption.”
BOXX recently extended its services with the launch of the BOXX vCISO (virtual Chief Information Security Officer). BOXX vCISO signals the development of BOXX as a ‘first of its kind’ cyber insurer for Canadian businesses that provides an all-in-one solution: advisory services, managed cyber security and cyber insurance which provides business owners with the confidence they need to meet the increasing expectations from insurers, clients and regulators. The service is provided by a team of cyber security experts and risk management professionals with a deep history in cyber security, incident response and insurance claims.
“By helping smaller firms close their cyber security gap, we are not only protecting the vitality of their business, we’re also protecting the communities they support,” closed Kundi.
“These are our customers, friends and neighbours – as well as being the hundreds of thousands of businesses who are struggling to meet the daily onslaught of cyberattacks. That’s what drives us at BOXX.”