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SAM CEO Sivan Rauscher SAM

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  • Israeli cybersecurity startups have pulled in funding $847 million in collective funding this year by launching new tools to address a changing cybersecurity world. 
  • Investors and entrepreneurs say Israeli cybersecurity startups benefit from employees’ military training and learn to reach “enterprise-ready maturity relatively quickly.” 
  • Startups including Cato Networks, Bridgecrew, BioCatch, Secret Double Octopus, and Sixgill secured funding this year of at least $10 million. 
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Israel’s startup scene is legendary for its frenzy of activity, and that is especially true in cybersecurity, which has received a pipeline of talent from the storied “Unit 8200” cybersecurity division of the Israel Defense Forces for decades. Cybersecurity companies with ties to the 8200 unit date back to longtime incumbents Check Point (founded 1993), and Palo Alto Networks (founded 2005).

The past decade has been a busy time even for this consistently hectic sector, which Israeli analyst firm IVC Research Center now says includes 436 active firms. According to IVC, from 2013-2019, Israeli cybersecurity companies raised $6.32 billion in 594 deals.

“Israel has a really good reputation for getting top talent from the Israeli intelligence units,” says CEO Eyal Benishti of Ironscales, which raised $23 million in August. “When they look at the companies, they see this pattern is succeeding.”

Despite this year’s dip in the total number of VC investments overall because of the coronavirus crisis, Israeli cybersecurity companies have managed to raise at least $847 million in collective funding.

This year’s investments in Israeli cybersecurity firms reflect innovation in new areas – such as rapid response to cloud-based attacks and protection for employees working from home. The investments also show the unique entrepreneurial spirit of an industry shaped in intensive military training, according to one startup leader.

Sivan Rauscher, CEO of the startup SAM, which makes cybersecurity software to protect Internet of Things devices, was a captain and chief of staff in the Israeli military. She says that her training gave her “invaluable experience at a very early age of how to take risks, how to handle responsibility and what it means to be held accountable for your actions. All these factors play a crucial role when it comes to starting and running a business.” 

Thomas Krane, investor at Insight Partners, which invested in the startup Perimeter 81 last month, also believes that there’s an x-factor that startups from Israel share. 

“What makes Israeli technology companies unique is their ability to reach the ‘scale-up phase,’ a point of enterprise-ready maturity, relatively quickly,” he said. 

Here are 13 Israeli cybersecurity startups that have raised at least $10 million in 2020:

Business financial make money capital trading D-ID: Blocking facial recognition

business  financial  make money  capital  trading DID founders

D-ID cofounders Eliran Kuta, Gil Perry, Sella Bondheim

D-ID


2020 funding: $14 million Series A round raised in May

Total funding: $23.5 million total raised

Valuation: Not disclosed

Founded: 2017

CEO: Gil Perry

Investors: Pitango, AXA Venture Partners, Omron Ventures

D-ID’s artificial intelligence technology protects photos from being identified by facial recognition technologies while making sure they look similar to the original to the human eye. D-ID’s video product anonymizes faces while preserving key attributes, thus enabling video analytics operations while complying with privacy regulations. 

Business financial make money capital trading Pcysys: Automatically finding weaknesses

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Amitai Ratzon Pcysys

Pcysys CEO Amitai Ratzon

Pcysys


2020 funds raised: $25 million Series B in September

Total funding: $40 million

Valuation: Not disclosed

Founded: 2015

CEO: Amitai Ratzon

Investors: Insight Partners, AWZ HLS Fund, Blackstone Group

Pcysys makes software that automatically tests a company’s defenses, finds weaknesses, and helps companies address them before they are exploited. 

Business financial make money capital trading Sixgill: Finding and blocking darkweb threats

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Sixgill cybersecurity

Sixgill cybersecurity team members Meira Primes, CMO; Dikla Pinto, CFO; Sharon Wagner, CEO; Elad Lavi, CTO; Avi Kasztan, cofounder.

Sixgill


2020 funding: $15 million Series B round in February

Total funding: $21 million total raised

Valuation:  Not disclosed

Founded: 2014

CEO: Sharon Wagner

Sixgill makes a threat-intelligence portal that analyzes darkweb activity and gathers intelligence to prevent cyberattacks and sensitive data leaks. 

Business financial make money capital trading Silverfort: Authenticating remote employees

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Silverfort CEO Hed Kovetz

Silverfort CEO Hed Kovetz

Silverfort


2020 funding: $30 million Series B round raised in August

Total funding: $41.5 million

Valuation: Not disclosed 

Founded: 2016

CEO: Hed Kovetz

Investors: Aspect Ventures, Singtel Innov8, TLV Partners, Citi Ventures, StageOne Ventures, Maor Investments 

Silverfort’s identity tools authenticate employees across corporate networks and cloud environments, helping organizations prevent identity-based attacks.

Business financial make money capital trading Cybellum: Preventing cybersecurity issues in development

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Cybellum founder Salava Bronfman

Cybellum CEO Salava Bronfman

Cybellum


2020 funds raised: $12 million Series A round, raised in July

Total funding: $15 million

Valuation: Not disclosed 

Founded: 2016

CEO: Slava Bronfman

Investors: RSBG Ventures, Target Global, Blumberg Capital 

Cybellum’s products prevent cybersecurity issues as systems are being built by scanning embedded software components without needing access to their source code, exposing all vulnerabilities in the development and production process. 

Business financial make money capital trading Bridgecrew: Helping companies build their own cloud security

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Bridgecrew founders

Bridgecrew cofounders Idan Tendler, Guy Eisenkot, Barak Schoster

Bridgecrew


2020 funding: $14 million Series A round in April 

Total funding: $18 million

Valuation: Not disclosed 

Founded: 2019

CEO: Idan Tendler

Bridgecrew makes a platform that helps organizations automate their cloud infrastructure security, enabling development and engineering teams to save time and money.

Business financial make money capital trading Cato Networks: Providing ‘firewall as a service’

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Shlomo Alt2

Shlomo Kramer, co-founder and CEO​ of Cato Networks

Cato Networks


2020 funding: $77 million late-stage round in April

Total funding: $202 million

Valuation: Not disclosed 

Founded: 2015

CEO: Shlomo Kramer

The company combines private network and cloud security tools to provide customers with firewall as a service (FWaaS) and network security as a service (NSaaS) protection in a single, converged product. 

Business financial make money capital trading Perimeter 81: New network boundaries for remote workers

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Perimeter 81 Co founders

Perimeter 81 cofounders Sagi Gidali, left, and Amit Bareket.

Perimeter 81


2020 funds raised: $40 million Series B in August

Total funding: $65 million total raised

Valuation: $200 million 

Founded: 2018 

CEO: Amit Bareket

Investors: Insight Partners, SonicWall, Toba Capital and Spring Ventures (SPRG)

Perimeter 81’s cloud-based service allows IT and security professionals to more easily secure remote access, build network infrastructure, monitor network activity, and safeguard cloud environments.

Business financial make money capital trading BioCatch: Identifying users by their gestures

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Howard Edelstein, CEO BioCatch

Howard Edelstein, the CEO of behavioral biometrics startup BioCatch, just reeled in a $145 million investment round.

BioCatch


2020 funding: $148 million Series C round in April 

Total funding: $185 million total raised

Valuation: Not disclosed

Founded: 2011

CEO: Howard Edelstein

Investors: Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Maverick Ventures

The company’s technology focuses on online and mobile fraud mitigation and develops biometric identification methods that identify users based on their physical behaviours, like mouse habits and keystroke patterns.

Business financial make money capital trading Secret Double Octopus: Replacing passwords with mobile authentication

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Raz RAFAELI Secret Double Octopus

Secret Double Octopus CEO Raz Rafaeli

Secret Double Octopus


2020 funding: $15 million Series B round in April 

Total raised: $23 million

Valuation: Not disclosed 

Founded: 2015

CEO: Raz Rafaeli

Investors: Liberty Ventures Group, KDDI Ventures Program, JVP, BGV, Iris Capital, Yaniv Tal, Sony Financial ventures, Global Brain corporation. 

The company’s platform protects workstations, networks, cloud, mobile, and legacy applications by replacing traditional passwords with simple authentication via a user’s mobile device. 

Business financial make money capital trading XM Cyber: Simulating cyberattacks to address vulnerabilities

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Noam Erez XM Cyber

CEO Noam Erez

XM Cyber


2020 funding: $17 million Series B round raised in July

Total funding: $49 million

Valuation: Not disclosed 

Founded: 2016

CEO: Noam Erez

Investors: Nasdaq Ventures, Swarth Group

XM Cyber makes an automated platform that simulates cyberattacks to find hidden vulnerabilities and prioritize responses while protecting data. 

Business financial make money capital trading Toka: Helping governments build cyberdefenses

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Toka team photo

Toka cofounders Alon Kantor, Kfir Waldman, Yaron Rosen

Toka


2020 funding: $27 million raised in Series B in January

Total funding: $39.5 million

Valuation: $76 million 

Founded: 2018 

Co-CEOs: Alon Kantor, Kfir Waldman

Toka helps government, law enforcement, and security agencies develop cutting-edge and lawful intelligence-gathering tools, and advises governments on building integrated cyber-defense strategies. 

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Business financial make money capital trading Ironscales: Preventing phishing attacks

business  financial  make money  capital  trading Eyal Benishti Ironscales

Ironscales CEO Eyal Benishti

Ironscales


2020 funding: $23 million Series B in August

Total funding: $31 million

Valuation: Not disclosed

Founded: 2013

CEO: Eyal Benishti

Investors: K1 Investment Management and Jump Capital

The company’s email security platform includes programs that spot malicious phishing emails with machine-learning programs, which are especially effective protecting remote workers.  

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