Charlottesville, Virginia-based Mission Secure Inc. opened its office in Houston earlier this year, and it’s already considering an expansion of its headcount and office space in the Bayou City.
MSI, which provides cybersecurity for the energy and defense industries, employs five people in Houston and CEO David Drescher said he thinks that number could reach 25 within six to nine months. The company is about to close a deal for capital financing to fund the growth, Drescher said. Drescher declined to disclose the potential backer.
The growth comes in response to increased interest among oil and gas companies in cybersecurity consulting and engineering, both of which MSI provides, Drescher said. The interest was prompted by a growing number of cyberattacks on energy assets in the past few years.
“Cybersecurity is front page news these days,” Drescher said. “We’re seeing a major market unfold.”
The growth means MSI will likely be looking for additional office space when its 18-month lease ends, Drescher said. There’s space available in its current Houston building, at 1770 St. James Place in the Uptown area, but Drescher is keeping the company’s options open, he said. MSI is in talks with its current landlord about expanding its footprint there, but the company would also consider moving to a new location in the Houston area, Drescher said.
The 2,000 square foot Houston office is close to the company’s target customers and potential employees like engineers and developers, Drescher said.
“If we’re going to focus on supporting the oil and gas business, we need to be part of the fabric,” Drescher said.
MSI has 25 employees total right now, though Drescher said that number could reach as high as 50 in the next half year, with the bulk of that in Houston. Drescher declined to comment on his company’s revenue, but said MSI has raised more than $8 million in early-stage revenue from high-net-worth investors and venture capitalists since it was founded in 2014, including from Blue Bear Capital. Blue Bear is an energy technology-focused venture capital firm with offices in Houston, Los Angeles, London and Stavanger, Norway.