Elastic, the company behind the Elasticsearch engine, announced the acquisition of Israeli startup build.security, which will become Elastic’s Israeli R&D center. The Israeli company first left stealth mode in 2020, and less than a year later, reports put the value of the deal in the tens of millions of dollars.

Becoming Elastic’s Israeli R&D

Elastic, which develops one of the largest open source based search engines in the world, plans to expand into the world of security with the acquisition of the Israeli startup. Build Security has developed a permissions policy management platform that offers developers a quick and easy way to neutralize data security vulnerabilities in their products. The Build platform is based on an open source tool for producing, enforcing, and managing policies; a comprehensive real-time view of all the authorization policies embedded in the organization, where their status and logic allows development processes to be more flexible and stable.

Build.security developed its open source platform on the Open Policy Agent standard. The Israeli developed platform will become part of Elastic's open source security product -- Limitless XDR -- which enables analysts to identify and respond to cyberattacks in real time.

Elastic says that its dual on-prem/cloud based product will be significantly enhanced by build.security’s added technology. Limitless XDR will allow users to enforce information security policies on their on-prem and virtual servers, as well as on applications and services that use containers on Kubernetes.

In addition, by adding Build’s technology and capabilities to Elastic's security product, its customers will be able to continuously monitor their cloud environments, ensure that they are properly secured, and meet accepted data security standards, such as those published by the Center of Internet Security.

The Israeli founder returns home due to COVID

Elastic -- built on the Lucene library -- was founded in Holland by Israelis Shay Banon and Uri Boness, along with Steven Schuurman and Simon Willnauer. The company went public on NYSE in 2018, and currently has a valuation (according to Yahoo Finance) of over $14 billion. With the acquisition of Build.security, Banon plans to return to Israel. However, Amit Kanfer, CEO and co-founder at Build.security, will take point at Elastic’s new R&D center.

Build was founded in 2020 by Kanfer and CTO Dekel Braunstein, and has raised $6 million to date. While the companies have yet to report further details of the deal, reports put the acquisition in the tens of millions of dollars, meaning that Build’s investors stand to make a pretty penny. Among those smart investors, we find cyber focused YL Ventures; serial entrepreneurs Dan Amiga (founder of Island and Fireglass) and Eyal Gruner (co-founder of Cynet); Crowdstrike CEO George Kurtz, and additional angel investors.

While chatting with Geektime, Kanfer said that they chose the acquisition path, only a year after the company was founded, because he believed it was the right move. Despite the ecosystem moving away from the quick startup exit, and moving more towards scale and growth. “For us, combining forces with an open source developer-first company like Elastic was almost trivial. Our ability to fulfill the vision we started with, to allow developers to build.security easily and efficiently, aims to be much more effective with Elastic. I believe it was the right move for the company, its employees and investors." Kanfer clarified that Build will continue to develop its technology, but with the extensive pockets and network Elastic provides. “We are excited to join forces with Elastic to deliver on the promise of a free and open policy management platform for cloud native environments, from code to cloud to runtime,” Kanfer added.