A few weeks ago Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil pipeline in the U.S., hit the headlines after becoming the latest victim of a ransom attack. The company’s entire operation -- transferring 3 million barrels to the east coast -- were shut down, and over 100GB of data was stolen by the hackers, who then locked the system. A couple of days and 75 Bitcoin (around $5 million) later, and the pipeline was up and running again, after the company succumbed to paying the ransom to a Russian group called DarkSide.
The attack, once again, brought up the importance of cybersecurity in industrial infrastructure, where according to Cybersecurity Ventures, the damage from ransom attacks is expected to rise from just $20 billion in 2021 to $265 billion by 2031.
Today (Thursday), Israeli industrial cyber company, Claroty, announced the closing of a $140 million Series D funding round, marking one of the biggest rounds ever in Israeli cyber. The company hasn’t published its post-money valuation, but estimates put it north of the billion dollar milestone.
Securing the entire system
Claroty develops a comprehensive platform that provides visibility, management, and security of industrial controls, in addition to securing IoT and IIoT endpoints. The company’s system focuses on securing all assets and processes on site, rather than just targeting OT. This way, Claroty’s customers can enjoy a complete mapping of their industrial network, from vulnerabilities through risk management. The company prides its system on the fact that it provides maximal visibility within minutes, without impacting existing networks or requiring extensive preparation.
Claroty was founded in 2015 by Amir Zilberstein, a serial entrepreneur who previously founded Waterfall Security Solutions and Gita Technologies; Chief Business Development Officer Galina Antova, formerly Head of Industrial Security Services at Siemens; and CTO Benny Porat, previously a NorthBit cyber researcher. The company was founded as a part of Team8 Cyber, which identifies problems that require solutions, connects relevant entrepreneurs, provides initial investment and networking with strategic partners.
The Series D round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and 40 North of Standard Industries. The investment also saw participation from existing investors: Rockwell Automation, Team8, Siemens, and Schneider Electric. Additional strategic investors included LG and ISQ Global InfraTech Fund, the investment arm of I Squared Capital. The company has raised $235 million to date.
In a chat with Geektime, Claroty CEO Yaniv Vardi explains: “The investment will help us grow into new verticals and markets, to provide a solution to industrial companies and critical infrastructure operators, which suffer from daily recurring cyberattacks.”
Vardi says that Claroty has doubled new customers over the last year, now counting hundreds of industrial organizations. Among the company’s customers, we find American pharma giant - Pfizer, which used Claroty’s technologies to secure supply chains during COVID vaccination distribution. You may recall that last year a few stories broke on North Korea’s attempt to hack the vaccine maker’s system, in order to steal the necessary information to create their own vaccine. Vardi responded on the Pfizer subject, saying: “Claroty secures Pfizer and its industrial operations, so that Pfizer can protect the world from the Coronavirus.”
Additionally, Vardi adds that the company has improved on its new ARR, seeing a 133% rise, while also increasing global company headcount from 170 to 270, and reinforcing upper management.