The US-based startup will establish its Lithuanian unit in Kaunas by the end of the year, where work will focus on developing, testing and improving Cujo’s smart home internet security technology. Cujo is a smart firewall device that connects directly to a router, protecting the entire home wireless network against attacks by hackers.
“We chose Lithuania for several reasons. On the one hand, Lithuania is a competitive location in terms of costs, which is important for a young company. On the other hand, Lithuanian IT specialists are top class for both development and product support. That’s why companies like Uber, Wix and Revel Systems chose Lithuania and have created their success stories here. We expect to grow and eventually join this respectable team”, said Einaras Gravrockas, founder and chief executive of the company.
Cujo is initially recruiting 20 IT professionals for its Lithuanian team.
Cujo uses cloud computing and machine learning principles to monitor information flows through a home internet network and alert users of any suspicious activity via the Cujo app.
Cujo has already sold more than 4,000 of its smart devices, which are controlled through the Cujo app available for both Android and iOS.
Mantas Katinas, Director General of foreign investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania, believes that the country is emerging as a hub for cyber security developers like Cujo.
“Cujo are the fourth company operating in the cyber security market to select Lithuania as the location for developing their products. This trend suggests a new cluster in this sector is emerging in Lithuania,” he said.
He also believes that small-scale, niche operations have a vital role to play in the country’s economy, plus the potential to rapidly develop.
“A country’s economy needs both large investors, who can create many jobs, and smaller projects, which create high added value. And promising start-ups such as Cujo might one day become a ‘unicorn’, attracting major investment.”
“As the Internet of Things grows, this problem will become more acute,” said Gravrockas. “Presently, there about 20 devices connected to a wireless internet network in an average household in the US. In the homes of tech enthusiasts the number of devices goes up to about 40, while in some households there are as many as 100 devices supporting various smart home functions, all connected to a network. As a result, attacks on households by hackers are becoming as dangerous as those on businesses.”
Cujo featured in the Startup Battlefield at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference, an event that brings together twenty of the world’s top early stage startups to compete for a $50,000 prize. Currently,
Cujo’s Lithuania team will be based in Kaunas, and this division will be the company’s first office outside the US.