Israeli cybersecurity firm CYE raises $120m Series A

10 Feb 2021392 Views

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The bumper round is EQT’s first investment in Israel, which has emerged as a cybersecurity hub attracting a lot of VC attention.

Israeli cybersecurity company CYE has raised $120m in a Series A round led by Swedish investment giant EQT.

CYE’s main product is Hyver. It conducts assessments and ‘real non-simulated attacks’ on companies’ security systems to find where vulnerabilities are and predict where others will emerge. Its findings are used by companies to identify where resources need to be invested.

This is EQT’s first investment in an Israeli company, with previous investor 83North also backing the round.

Reuven Aronashvili, chief executive of CYE, said companies and their CEOs need to have a better understanding of cybersecurity risks as threats and hacker techniques continue to evolve. This means increasing the cybersecurity budgets at companies.

“We are well past the point where companies can limit cyber threats to one department. Today’s attacks can hit the core of any business, essentially crippling the company,” Aronashvili said.

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“At CYE, we are laser-focused on building a company that fundamentally changes the way organisations approach cybersecurity, enabling them to accurately assess the most urgent threats to their business.”

The new funds will be invested in further product development and expanding the CYE team in what is a highly competitive field. The company employs around 80 people in Israel, London and Italy and plans to double its workforce this year and open an office in New York.

Israel is a hub for cybersecurity companies with several start-ups raising big cheques from investors. In 2020, companies in the cybersecurity space raised a record $2.9bn.

Florian Funk, partner at EQT, said the firm is eyeing up more deals in the country.

“We have followed CYE’s development closely over the years and we are truly impressed with the company Reuven and his team have built to date,” he said. “Their approach of pairing AI-based technology, services and cyber expertise is unique in the marketplace and well positioned for continued accelerated growth.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com