Why did you leave public service security to start a business in 2010? Probably because the caricature of the civil servant lacking initiative has nothing to do with Eléna Poincet. “What excited me was the challenge side, living a new adventure. We only have one life ! », comments Eléna Poincet with enthusiasm.
This energetic soldier has been evolving for several years within the very selective action service of the DGSE (General Directorate for External Security), when the desire to change takes hold of her. A professional and personal adventure with Laurent Oudot, a former civilian recruited as a cyberspy at the DGSE, and whom she meets in French intelligence.
From espionage at the DGSE to the fight against cybercrime
It was with the engineer from Bordeaux who graduated from Enseirb-Matmeca that Elena Poincet decided to rush into the unknown to co-found Tehtris-Security in 2010, of which Tehtris is the commercial brand. The company concentrates its operational resources and its research and development unit in Pessac (Bordeaux Métropole). It starts from a consulting activity.
“When you leave the framework of the army to embark on the creation of a company, you find yourself without help, without customers, without anything. You have to create everything and it gives adrenaline! », positive the co-founder, president of Tehtris.
A fuel that will be necessary to face the difficulties. Innovating in a still new field, that of the fight against cyber threats, Eléna Poincet and Laurent Oudot will take time to make friends.
“For two years, from 2010 to 2012, we did consulting until we realized that it was a failure. There was a great lack of cybersecurity culture in France. At that time when we came to talk about ransomware [logiciel de rançon, Ndlr] everyone was laughing at us. From 2012 to 2016 we lived through difficult years. But we have established contacts with large innovative companies who understood what we wanted to do and who were able to support us to make the leap.” rewinds Eléna Poincet.
Automatic detection and blocking of cyber threats
The difference, Tehtris is beginning to make it by developing eGambit, its application for the automatic detection and countering of cyber threats, which earned it the 2015 Innovation Prize from the IT Innovation Forum in Paris. This idea of implementing an automatic response system for its customers to any form of cyberattack will remain at the heart of Tehtris’ very avant-garde approach.
In November 2020, the startup achieves a record fundraising for the cybersecurity sector in France, amounting to 20 million euros. The same year, Tehtris announced a recruitment plan for 300 employees over three years and an acceleration of its growth. The startup’s workforce will thus increase from 55 people in 2020 to 239 employees at the start of 2022. We will recruit 100 more people this year and as many next year “, confirms Eléna Poincet, whose company will migrate to the former premises of Thales in Pessac by April 2023, in addition to having integrated the very recent Campus Cyber, epicenter of French cybersecurity in La Défense.
Fair return, Tehtris was able to attract the attention of the tricolor sovereign fund Tikehau Capital, the most muscular in the world in its category, which intervenes through Ace Management. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, with the Naco fund, is also supporting the movement.
Collaboration and artificial intelligence
In July 2021, Tehtris demonstrated the ability of its system to detect the most stealthy cyber threats, revealing the presence of the Pegasus spyware through its smartphone application.
“Threat detection involves the installation, in the systems to be protected, of sensors that report information in real time, which are analyzed by artificial intelligence”, deciphers Eléna Poincet.
To bring as much robustness as possible to its Meccano, the startup will ramp up Tehtris XDR Platform, its platform developed on the principle of “Security and ethics by design”, open and compatible through its modules, by structuring a place of market called “Ecosystem” focused on cooperation, with eight partners to begin with, including the Bordeaux startup eSharda specialist in the protection of connected objects against cyberattacks.
The objective is to detect cyber threats as quickly as possible in increasingly varied environments, and to strike instantly. An approach that takes on even more meaning with the steady deterioration of the situation in Ukraine and the increasingly aggressive behavior of Russia. So much so that Tehtris changed its status to become, in April 2022, a real company with a mission, whose goal is less profitability than impact.
The “10,000 startups to change the world” prize is the biggest startup competition in France. It is organized by La Tribune in partnership with BNP Paribas, the French Tech Mission, Bpifrance, Business France, the Overseas Ministry, Dalika and the National Order of Chartered Accountants.
“10,000 startups to change the world” has been rewarding the most promising French startups for 10 years in six categories that embody the challenges of tomorrow: Environment & Energy, Industry of the future, Data & IA, Smart tech -use innovations-, Health and Start – nuggets in the seed phase. During a tour of France between January and March in 8 French cities (Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Paris, Strasbourg and Lille), its jury of experts and journalists rewarded 6 startups in each region, a by category, i.e. 48 regional winners.
These winners competed in the final on March 14 in Paris, to designate among them 9 national grand prizes: one per category, as well as a Coup de Coeur prize, an Impact prize and an International prize. A 10th prize was also awarded to a startup from the Overseas Territories, among three award-winning finalists in Reunion, in the Caribbean zone (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana) and in the Polynesia zone (Tahiti, New Caledonia). The 10 prizes were awarded on March 28, 2022 at the Grand Rex in Paris. After his victory in the Bordeaux regional selection, Tehtris is the national winner in the International category.
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10,000 startups 2022 prize: Tehtris, the startup that eliminates cyberattacks
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