Sequoia Israel Partner Launches New $50 Million Cybersecurity Fund

Called Cyberstarts, the fund established by Gili Raanan raised funding from the likes of Check Point and Palo Alto Network's founders

Lilach Baumer 09:2812.04.18
Gili Raanan, a serial entrepreneur and general partner at Sequoia Capital's Israeli branch, has launched a new fund focused on Cybersecurity that will invest in early stage companies. Called Cyberstarts, the fund has raised $50 million from Sequoia Capital, and from several prominent cybersecurity entrepreneurs.


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Those include Shlomo Kramer, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Imperva Inc., and Cato Networks; Check Point co-founder Marius Nacht; Imperva co-founder Amichai Shulman; Palo Alto Networks Inc. founder Nir Zuk; Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar, two of the founders of Trusteer Inc., which was acquired by IBM in 2013; and Assaf Rappaport, co-founder of Adallom Inc., bought by Microsoft in 2015.


Gili Raanan. Photo: Ariel Bashor Gili Raanan. Photo: Ariel Bashor



Before joining Sequoia in 2009, Mr. Raanan co-founded application security company Sanctum Inc., bought by IBM in 2004, and network discovery company nLayers Inc., acquired by EMC Corporation in 2006. He will continue to manage Sequoia Capital Israel's existing portfolio alongside his new role as sole general partner.


Sequoia folded its Israeli subsidiary back into its U.S. operations in 2016, though the Israeli branch continues to manage its previous investments for the firm. Newer investments are now made through Sequoia Capital. In March another Sequoia Israel Partner, Haim Sadger, announced the launch of a new fund called S Capital LP.


“We aspire to become the leading cybersecurity venture fund," Mr. Raanan said in a statement. He added that the idea of establishing a fund based on experienced cyber entrepreneurs emerged during conversations with cybersecurity entrepreneurs who were interested in being part of such an initiative. "The investing entrepreneurs and I bring together cybersecurity domain expertise, and a broad network of customers and go-to-market teams."


"Israel is a unique eco-system for cybersecurity companies where successful first generation entrepreneurs helped fund and establish the second generation of successful companies which in turn are now further funding the third generation of companies," said Mr. Shulman in a statement. "Cyberstarts is the epitome of this process and maximizes the symbiotic relationship between young and talented entrepreneurs and successful industry veterans."
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