Upstream, which offers a cloud-based cyber-security platform for vehicles, announced that they would be partnering with the software colossus Salesforce, which will also invest in the startup. The investment amount has still not been disclosed, however, still the deal adds yet another big baller to the Israeli startup’s already impressive Series B funding.

It’s not all about security

Upstream Security developed an AI cyber-security platform that drastically reduces remote hacking of connected vehicles. The company offers the automotive industry, from manufacturers to app developers, a cloud-based software model that detects and blocks threats even before they attack the targeted vehicle’s network. All the collected data is then displayed on a smart dashboard, enabling easy monitoring of a fleet of vehicles.

The company’s data security platform combines machine learning with database normalization and digital twins technology, while also detecting vehicle defects and anomalies in real-time. Though, what really makes Upstream’s platform such a desired advantage is that it doesn’t require installing any hardware or software into a vehicle. However, being a cloud-based solution, the platform can connect and analyze smart cars that are already on the road. Using a SaaS business model, based on annual subscription, the company has no need to market to the private consumer but can rather go straight to the car manufactures and fleet providers  

In a talk with Geektime, CEO and co-founder, Yoav Levy said that partnering up with Salesforce will yield an optimization service for vehicle fleets; basically allowing the vehicle to converse its problems with the human behind the wheel. “Upstream will run vehicle data analysis to find potential malfunctions in the vehicle, while Salesforce handles the customer relationship side by scheduling a trip to the mechanic before the car breaks down.”

Even though Upstream is competing against the saturated market of other Israeli automotive cyber-security companies, like GuardKnox and Karamba Security, still tells us, Levy, that he’s not worried about the competition: “We were the first company to develop cloud-based capabilities for the automotive industry, actually creating a new segment called, Automotive Cloud Security. We still sit comfortably two to three years ahead of our competition.”

What’s the vision? Continue to be an independent company or is there an exit in the stars?

Levy: “We hope that within 2 years the company will analyzing data from more than 10 million vehicles. Our vision is to grow into a major market player with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.”

Combining typical investors with strategic ones
Upstream was founded in 2017 by Yoav Levy and Yonatan Appel. The company has 50 employees in offices around the world, in Munich, Herzliya, San Mateo, Detroit, and Tokyo. Up to date, the company has raised over $40 million in funding, with investments from Alliance Venture Capital, the same fund behind Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi; Volvo Group, Hyundai, Glilot Capital, and Maniv Mobility.