On Monday, February 12, Bugcrowd announced that we secured $102 million in strategic growth financing to scale our AI-powered security platform. These new funds renew our dedication to drive continued innovation on the Bugcrowd Platform and accelerate growth. 

On the day of the announcement, the Bugcrowd executive team had the opportunity to take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), be interviewed by Trinity Chavez on her “Taking Stock with Trinity Chavez” series, and a day later, we unveiled our brand new billboard on the Nasdaq tower in Times Square. Not a bad 48 hours, if I do say so myself. 

As the Head of Corporate Marketing at Bugcrowd, I lead our corporate brand efforts, which include public relations, social media, creative design, content, website strategy, and more. In this blog, I’ll walk you through how we got to this momentous milestone in cybersecurity history and give you a sneak peek into this amazing (and a bit crazy) time at Bugcrowd. 

An opportunity to be bold

About three weeks before the funding was announced, I was brought in with members of my team to build out and execute on a launch strategy from start to finish. My goal was to find opportunities to amplify the Bugcrowd story and celebrate a huge win in the cybersecurity community. 

There were a few very specific, bold things I wanted to do as part of this announcement. With my team, I started coordinating interviews and the logistics of getting a billboard up in Times Square. It was important to me that we make a big splash and go all-out with this announcement, while remaining tasteful and timely. 

I come from a place of trying everything and being willing to take a risk. My first step was getting buy-in from our executive stakeholders. To do this, I built a business case for these ideas, focused on the outcomes that we were trying to achieve and the impression that this would leave behind. Opportunities for brand impact like this don’t show up every day, and I wanted to pounce on the chance to celebrate a milestone while making our brand story come alive. 

Crunch time

About a week before we went live, we still weren’t sure if a splash this big was going to be possible. We knew it was the right strategy, but we still weren’t sure how it was going to come together. With the help of the teams at the NYSE and Nasdaq, plus our PR and internal teams at Bugcrowd, we were able to make it happen. 

Part of this success can be contributed to a member of my team, Samuel Tyler, Director of Content and Creative. Building creative visuals with the correct specifications for something so big is a huge task anyway—not to mention, he only had the weekend to pull it off. Talk about a lot of pressure! 

As always, Samuel made it happen. Here’s what he had to say…

“Creating our design for the Nasdaq billboard was challenging! We needed to maximize impact and visibility from the street but this was tricky due to the distinctive structure, which has 26 “windows” (read: literal holes).

Initially, we explored an anamorphic concept that centered on these windows. By playing with light, shadow, and motion, we created an illusion of depth on the screen. Inside, a ball of light symbolizing hacker creativity lit up, dispersing shadows as it moved. However, this approach came with risks. We had to ensure the animation appeared undistorted from all angles. Even with flawless execution, there was still a chance the design might not align perfectly with the actual windows, potentially compromising the effect.

Bugcrowd Billboard in Times Square
Fig. 1: Anamorphic Concept

Fortunately, we gravitated towards a different concept inspired by the simplicity of classic ’70s and ’80s print ads. The bold typography and color blocking capture the vibrancy of those iconic decades, reminiscent of when creative first got its crown in the boardroom. This parallels modern cybersecurity culture, where organizations are increasingly looking to collaborate with hackers to leverage their clever thinking and diverse perspectives.”

Samuel Tyler Samuel Tyler
Director of Content and Creative

Touring the NYSE and a rainy day in Times Square

As the announcement was going live, I joined the executive team at Bugcrowd at the NYSE. The team at the NYSE welcomed us with open arms, which included a tour of the historical building. As we went through the tour, seeing pictures of world-renowned business leaders over the years, and getting the chance to be right in the center of such a historical place was a special moment for us all. In that type of situation, you really think about where your own company is going and the history that you’re in the middle of making. It was absolutely a bucket-list moment for all of us. 

This was especially true for our founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Casey Ellis. “In 2013, I remember pitching (and winning) a startup contest in SIlicon Valley against 300 other startups as ‘The Most Likely to Succeed.’ Fast forward to over a decade later, it was pretty surreal to stand on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with Bugcrowd’s name up on the boards as we announced our funding,” Ellis said.

Casey Ellis, Bugcrowd founder and CSO, and Dave Gerry, Bugcrowd CEO, at the New York Stock Exchange.

The Bugcrowd executive team at the New York Stock Exchange.

The next day, the team gathered in the snow and rain in the center of the buzz of New York City—Times Square. As Bugcrowd’s funding announcement and logo shined on the massive Nasdaq tower, we were all in awe. I had the biggest smile on my face and just kept thinking, “wow, this is actually happening.”

The Bugcrowd billboard in Times Square, NYC.

The Bugcrowd executive team in Times Square.

Although this was absolutely one of the coolest moments in my career so far, it is about more than a tour or a billboard. It’s about impact. We are a new Bugcrowd, and we took advantage of an opportunity to truly assert ourselves as the leader in the crowdsourced security market.

Bugcrowd’s defining moment

This moment marks a reset in the security industry. It’s currently a tough market to get funding in, and I’m proud that others are recognizing the uniqueness of the Bugcrowd story. While other companies are fully relying on technology, we focus on the magic that can happen when you combine great technology with human ingenuity. It’s a whole new way of thinking. 

We’ve been viewed as a startup for a long time, but it’s clear that the market has transitioned to seeing us as a cybersecurity leader. I believe this is a testament to the work we’re all doing together as a team. We’re investing in our brand, we’re listening to our customers and hackers, and thinking about things in a more proactive way. We care about being fun and playful with the security community, but we’re really focused on providing the best experience possible to our customers and hackers. 

In the end, Casey says it best. “This is what you get when you combine vision, timing, execution, and persistence. I couldn’t be more proud of the Bugcrowd team, our hackers and cybersecurity community, and our customers and partners. This is a major milestone for the community and the market we pioneered.” 

This certainly doesn’t mark an end, but a beginning. We’re already thinking about where we go from here. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this team during this defining moment. 

Samantha Andersson and Dave Gerry at the New York Stock Exchange.

Emily Ferdinando, Chief Marketing Officer, and Samantha Andersson in Times Square.