Only four months after raising $5M in Series A, the experts of deception pull in $22M for scaling up their operations from fancy investors like Eric Schmidt
It was announced on Tuesday that the Israeli cybersecurity firm illusive networks had succeeded in pulling in an impressive $22 million in new funding by the close of their Series B. Leading the charge for this round was new investor, New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Joining in as well were Bessemer Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Marker LLC, and Innovation Endeavors, which is the venture capital project founded in part by Google’s Eric Schmidt.
This Series B follows a $5 million Series A in June, marking a significant bump for the company during a very short time frame.
Co-founded in 2014 by CEO Shlomo Touboul and Ofer Israeli, who serves as VP of R&D, illusive is a progeny of the Team8 cybersecurity initiative. The combination of VC and accelerator which Geektime has written about in the past, Team8 seeks to create new companies as a response to security challenges. With their main office based in Tel Aviv for R&D, management, and regional sales, they have recently opened a sales and marketing office in New York.
A maze of smoke and mirrors
The company’s primary product at this point is their Deceptions EverywhereTM approach, for which they have applied for five separate patents. At their core, like many other security companies, their work focuses on identifying advanced persistent threats that can put their clients at risk. One of the key elements of their approach is the use of honeypots wherein an attacker will be presented with a set of files that appear to be of high value, but are actually decoy. Once the hacker has entered the trap, the software is able to alert the security team in real-time and help them keep their network from further penetration.
The illusive team implements this concept of the sweet looking decoy and takes it a few steps further. To start with, they create a vast network of honeypots that they are confident can confuse hackers. CEO Touboul explains to Geektime that, “illusive networks creates a hall of mirrors where attackers can no longer determine what’s real and what’s false. Two funding rounds in a four-month timespan demonstrate the confidence prominent investors have in the superiority of illusive networks Deceptions Everywhere™ approach.”
The second point worth noting is that their solution can cover entire networks with a “blanket” protection. This likely means that their software sits on a company’s server and is able to reach out to the various devices in use without the need to apply these security measures to the endpoints on an individual basis.
Looking ahead to the future
Following this round, the company intends to grow their sales and marketing teams, as well as push investment to their support and engineering departments.
In their view of the future, VP of R&D Ofer Israeli says to Geektime, “The Series B funding provides resources to scale more quickly. A year from now illusive networks will be protecting more customers, in more countries, in more market segments, using new counter measure deceptions to security problems that have not yet been envisioned by advanced hackers. Cyber attacks and cyber criminals are constantly changing their attack methods, [and] illusive will constantly evolve to block them.”
It is fascinating to see how this company was able to make the fast jump from a decent $5 million Series A, to the $22 million haul that they were able to bring in during this round. Between the fast growth from illusive and the massive $59 million brought in by Cybereason, it is clear that the value being placed on security is skyrocketing. Fear of hacking is driving sales to enterprise level firms and this means that we can expect to keep seeing an explosion in investment for these types of solutions.
Moreover, the success of illusive will likely mean more encouragement for the crew over at Team8 to start pushing out their next few companies, taking this funding as a sign of approval from the investment community.
”Attackers continue to apply more resources to take down businesses – investments like these rebalance the equation in favor of the good guys,“ says Israeli, “We are in rapid growth mode due to much customer demand and the additional funding is intended to support this high customer demand.”