Israeli cybersecurity firm raises $50M

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A subsidiary of the Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank Group Corp. has invested $50 million in the Israeli cybersecurity startup Cybereason, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Cybereason, based out of Tel Aviv and Boston, told the Journal Monday that the investment is part of a new $59 million funding round.

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The firm announced a $25 million investment by defense contractor Lockheed Martin in May.

Founded in 2012, the firm makes software that detects digital intruders on a company’s network.

Cybereason is one of many cybersecurity start-ups formed by veterans of an elite hacking unit of the Israeli military.

Spurred by fears of an Iranian nuclear weapon, Israel recruits students from an early age, treating cybersecurity as “the front lines.”

Israel’s Unit 8200 within the Israel Defense Forces has trained world-class hackers who are starting to enter the private sector after finishing their required military service. The result is an explosion of new data security companies that have helped make Israel the world’s second-largest exporter of cyber products.

Israeli companies exported around $6 billion in cyber products last year, constituting around 10 percent of the global market, according to data from Israel’s National Cyber Bureau.

“I wouldn’t be lying if I said I saw two new cybersecurity start-ups a week,” Israeli-based venture capitalist Adam Fisher of Bessemer Venture Partners told The Hill earlier this year.

U.S. firms have been taking advantage of the cyber talent boom, with companies from eBay to Lockheed Martin opening Israel-based subsidiaries in the last few years.

In September, Microsoft completed the second of two Israeli security firm purchases. The terms of the most recent deal were not disclosed, though reports pegged the purchase price at between $250 million and $320 million.

Cybereason will open an office in Japan following the investment, the company told the Journal. SoftBank, already a user, will distribute the product.