The story of the Cybersecurity Company link22 (translated)
With the task of making things not happen, link22 has established itself as an important player linked to cyber security. By using standard solutions combined with in-house developed products, the company has grown fast. link22 was in 2020 was awarded as one of the fastest growing companies in sweden by the DI Gasell-awards. Conny Ljungqvist, one of the founders, tells us about the journey from a small, pure consulting company, to a product company growing fast.
Conny Ljungqvist and his colleague Andreas Karström started the company link22 in 2006. 12 years in the IT security industry was enough experience and expertise to start a high end consulting company within cybersecurity. The first customers were authorities and large organizations.
- Like all consulting companies, we started working by the hour. But pretty quickly I realized that this is unprofitable for our customers. Many of our customers paid for expensive consulting hours and invested in specially developed systems to achieve the desired IT security. I saw that there are better ways to solve this.
Together with Andreas, Conny began to investigate how to use standard systems and build security by combining them.
- It is called security by design and is about how to put the different parts together. If you do it right, you achieve a high level of IT security at a much lower cost.
When there were no products to achieve the right level of safety, they decided to develop them themselves. And sell.
- That's how we started to move away from being a pure consulting company towards becoming a product company. Our mission is that there should be ready-made alternatives for all those who must have a slightly higher quality of their IT security.
Today, the products account for 50 percent of sales and the consulting part for the other 50. The goal is 80 percent product, 20 percent consultant.
- We will always deliver expertise per hour. It is necessary in order to be able to transfer knowledge to our customers, but also for us to better understand our customers' operations and problems.
Make things not happen.
Even though the company today is more of a product company, the same idea and vision remains: to make things not happen.
- We work with cyber security and the most important thing we deliver to our customers is to prevent the unwanted from happening. To help them protect their values. It is about risk management and balancing risks.
link22 has grown organically since the start and today there are 20+ employees at the office in Mjärdevi in Linköping. During the year, five new employees will be recruited.
- We have been lucky enough to always succeed in getting talented and committed people to apply to us. In recent years, we have been in a development phase and have therefore recruited many engineers. But now we need to switch over and focus more on marketing and sales. So now we are looking for business developers and market people who can help us take the company to the next level especially as we are making moves on the international market.
And to continue to attract the right talent, they have started working more with their employer brand.
- It should be exciting and developing to work with us. And as we grow, it is important that we become more professional. The demands are increasing on us as employers and we are now working purposefully to develop the business and our employees.
The turnover for 2019 was 25 million. Something that was rewarded with being named DI Gasell. For 2020, sales are expected at 32 million.
- We are in a growth phase and what we are doing is absolutely right. This is confirmed by the DI Gasell award.
The future looks bright for link22, the company is growing and the industry too.
- When I started working with IT security, it was seen as a risk if the customer requested IT security. Now it is a prerequisite for getting a deal, Conny concludes.