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Top Startups

Top Israeli Startups 2020: Most Promising Cyber and Security Companies

Using cutting edge home grown technology, these companies are doing their best to keep us safe at home and at work, even when it's the same place

Meir Orbach and Hagar Ravet 15:2428.04.20

With the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic forcing billions of people to stay home and companies and organizations all over the world to shift to remote work practices, the threat of malicious players getting their hands on vital data or causing damage to key systems has grown immensly. Enter the Israeli cybersecurity sector with cutting edge technological solutions to keep us all safe, wherever we are. Calcalist, together with a committee of entrepreneurs, investors, and consultants, highlighted the companies best positioned to succeed going forward. Check out our full list of Israel's 50 most promising startups.

Covid-19 is forcing cybersecurity startups to up their game. Photo Shutterstock Covid-19 is forcing cybersecurity startups to up their game. Photo Shutterstock

 

Axonius

 

Product: cybersecurity asset management service

Year founded: 2017

Founders: Avidor Bartov, Dean Sysman, and Ofri Shur

Number of employees: 80

Funding: $95 million

Investors: YL Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, OpenView, Vertex Ventures

 

In a world where computing comes in many different forms and access to it is becoming a universal need, organizations are struggling with very basic and simple issues including determining how many computers they even have.

 

Dean Sysman. Photo: Orel Cohen Dean Sysman. Photo: Orel Cohen

Axonius Inc. offers a cybersecurity asset management service that integrates data from all connected devices, including desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, and internet-of-things (IoT) devices, enabling information technology (IT) and security operation teams to manage and secure them at scale. The company’s customers include The New York Times, Schneider Electric, Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, and marketing analytics company AppsFlyer Ltd.

 

IntSights

 

Product: cyber intelligence

Year founded: 2015

Founders: Guy Nizan, Alon Arvatz, Gal Ben-David

Number of employees: 170

Funding: $70 million

Investors: Blumberg Capital, ClearSky, Qumra Capital, Glilot Capital, Blackstone

 

One of the most disturbing side effects of the coronavirus pandemic may not be a part of the physical world but is thriving online: a fake news culture related to the virus. The phenomenon has become so widespread and dangerous that even Facebook recently announced it would take action to remove unverified information about the virus from its social media sites. At the center of the war on fake news today is IntSights Cyber Intelligence Ltd., an Israeli startup that recently partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

Alon Arvatz. Photo: PR Alon Arvatz. Photo: PR

IntSights’ Co-Founder and CEO Guy Nizan, told Calcalist recently that one of the company’s focus points recently has been identifying and calling for the removal of fake sites related to coronavirus, WHO, and other health organizations.

BigID

 

Product: network privacy policy management

Year founded: 2016

Founders: Dimitri Sirota, Nimrod Vax

Number of employees: 195

Funding: $146 million

Investors: Bessemer Ventures, Tiger Global

 

New York-based cybersecurity company BigID Inc. has raised $100 million over the past seven months. BigID develops a data protection service that uses machine learning algorithms to track and guard enterprise customer and employee data. The company’s product is designed to help organizations address new data protection, privacy, and governance requirements such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018. During 2019, the company quadrupled its sales and signed collaborations with huge companies such as: Microsoft, SAP, and AWE.

BigID co-founders. Photo: BigID BigID co-founders. Photo: BigID

 

The challenge of managing one’s privacy policy has only increased amid the current remote work era. But working from home has also opened up many business opportunities for BigID, which it is taking advantage of to strengthen its position.

 

Cato Networks

 

Product: software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) security services

Year founded: 2015

Founders: Gur Shatz, Shlomo Kramer

Number of employees: 200

Funding: $200 million

Investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, Greylock Partners, Singtel Innov8 Ventures Pte. Ltd., USVP Management Company LLC

 

Tel Aviv-headquartered cybersecurity company Cato Networks Ltd. was founded in 2015 by Gur Shatz and Shlomo Kramer, who is also a co-founder of firewall pioneer Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., cybersecurity company Imperva Inc., and Trusteer Inc. The coronavirus epidemic caught the company just at the right time, having raised a $77 million funding round earlier this month. All of Cato Networks’ employees have shifted to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic and the company does not have plans for layoffs, Kramer said in an interview with Calcalist.

 

Shlomo Kramer. Photo: PR Shlomo Kramer. Photo: PR

Unlike previous generations of networks, built from various point solutions and communications providers, Cato connects and secures the entire enterprise, be it users connected remotely, branches spread out around the world, apps and physical data centers, or virtual services on the cloud. Cato is currently recruiting employees to meet the demand for connections to its network, which allows hundreds of users to work remotely in a rapid and secure way.

 

Claroty

 

Product: cybersecurity for industrial networks

Year founded: 2015

Founders: Amir Zilberstein, Benny Porat, Galina Antova

Number of employees: 170

Funding: $100 million

Investors: Team8, Temasek Holdings, Bessemer Venture Partners, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens' Venture Arm Next47, Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV), Tekfan Ventures, Envision Ventures, Innovation Endeavors

 

New York-headquartered OTClaroty Ltd. develops a cybersecurity system for industrial networks. Claroty has more than 100 clients in diverse fields including food and beverage, oil and gas, and electricity infrastructure, according to company statements.

Claroty co-founders. Photo: PR Claroty co-founders. Photo: PR

 

During the coronavirus crisis, Claroty has been advocating and instilling in governments and large companies appreciation for the importance of cybersecurity for industrial organizations that simply cannot allow for any disruption of business.

 

PerimeterX

 

Product: protection against malicious bots

Year founded: 2014

Founder: Omri Iluz, Ido Safruti, Ophir Ashkenazi

Number of employees: 183

Funding: $91.5 million

Investors: DTCP, Salesforce Ventures, Data Collective DCVC, Canaan Partners, Vertex Ventures, Adams Street Partners

 

Cybersecurity company PerimeterX Inc. develops a system that battles malicious bots. Its technology analyzes billions of cyber events each day and prevents attacks by hostile programs developed all over the world. In 2019, the company completed two funding rounds totaling $43 million and purchased Israeli cybersecurity company PageSeal.

 

Ido Safruti. Photo: PerimeterX Ido Safruti. Photo: PerimeterX

SafeBreach

 

Product: cyberattack simulations

Year founded: 2014

Founders: Guy Bejerano, Itzik Kotler

Number of employees: 50

Funding: $50 million

Investors: DTCP, Sequoia Capital, OCV Partners, PayPal

 

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, SafeBreach Inc. managed to raise $19 million earlier this month. As companies worldwide are forced to shift to remote work and rely on multiple vulnerable home networks, hackers now have a wide range of new attack methods. Companies that had little-to-no-time to prepare, are using SafeBreach’s technology to simulate possible breaches of their networks and set up appropriate defense measures.

Safebreach's co-founders. Photo: Safebreach Safebreach's co-founders. Photo: Safebreach

 

SAM

 

Product: home network security

Year founded: 2016

Founders: Sivan Rauscher, Eilon Lotem, Shmuel Chafets

Number of employees: 65

Funding: $20 million

Investors: Intel Capital, Blumberg Capital, NightDragon Security

 

The transition to remote work from home forced upon the global economy due to coronavirus emphasized the growing importance of cybersecurity for home users. The average home now not only houses an array of connected devices such as digital personal assistants, streaming devices and smart fridges, it has also become a makeshift office, dependent on employees’ home network and personal computers. SAM Ltd. develops a security system specifically for small businesses and home users, the type of customers that do not have a corporate IT department to cater to their every tech need.

 

Sam's co-founders. Photo: Tomer Rotenburg Sam's co-founders. Photo: Tomer Rotenburg

The company’s system is sold through telecom companies and is not distributed directly to consumers. Since the beginning of the current crisis, SAM has seen a 30% increase in demand for its product.

  

Snyk

 

Product: Cloud and external library security

Year founded: 2015

Founders: Guy Podjarny, Danny Grander, Assaf Hefetz

Number of employees: 300

Funding raised: $250 million

Investors: Stripes Group, Canaan Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Global

 

Snyk Ltd. differs from most cybersecurity companies in the fact that its technology is built for developers rather than those in charge of security. Snyk offers a free version of its product, with the premium version including additional features at an additional cost. Securing external libraries is essential for programming environments as much of the work is done directly in the cloud.

 

A company like Snyk has a significant advantage in the coronavirus era when most companies are working remotely from their employees’ homes. Snyk allows developers to start using it immediately without requiring approval from other departments in the organization. The expedited digitization many companies are currently undergoing also results in a rise in demand Snyk's product, especially its free version.

 

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