Putting an end to food allergies
Ukko, an Israeli Biotech company that engineers proteins to help end food allergies, announced a $40 million Series B funding round. The investment was led by Leaps by Bayer, the investment arm of multinational agriculture and pharma giant Bayer. Also participating in the round: Skyviews Life Science, PeakBridge Ventures, Continental Grain Company, Fall Line Capital, and existing investors - including Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff.
Gluten-engineered flour and peanut allergy therapy
Ukko developed a platform to engineer different types of proteins from the food and pharma sectors. With food, Ukko have developed an AI-powered platform to help tackle the many challenges that gluten proteins cause for those with different gluten sensitivities, including celiac. Ukko claims that the engineered gluten protein will retain all of its qualities, but the immune system won’t be able to recognize it. Ukko’s gluten will liberate celiac and gluten allergy sufferers to fear no more when craving gluten-filled delights.
"We are at the forefront of a revolution. Pharma and the food industry will redefine how they think about their products and missions," said Anat Binur, CEO and Co-Founder of Ukko. "Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from food allergies and experts see it as a global epidemic. Ending food allergy is critical and is only the beginning. Ukko's tech has the potential to leverage science and human data to redesign our food and medicine."
On the pharma side, Ukko develops an experimental therapy for peanut allergies. The therapy is based on small changes in the peanut protein to make them hypoallergenic. These newly calibrated proteins can retrain the immune system to handle peanuts better and reduce peanut allergies in a safe way.
Ukko was founded in 2016 by CEO Anat Binur and Chairman Yanay Ofran. The company noted that it intends on utilizing the new capital to accelerate development of the unique, and possibly game-changing protein.
ARMO emerges from stealth
Armo, an Israeli startup operating in the cloud-native security sphere, leaves stealth mode after securing $4.5 million in Seed funding from Pitango First. The Israeli firm was founded in 2019 by CEO Shauli Rozen, Leonid Sandler, and Benjamin Hirschberg, and plans to use the funds to penetrate new markets. The investment follows ARMO joining the Intel Ignite accelerator program.
Visibility, control, and security for cloud-native environments
The growing adoption of cloud technologies by enterprise companies has accelerated the use of Kubernetes as the de-facto containers orchestration platform. However, this provides limited visibility, control and poor security of cloud-native workloads. Existing solutions such as side cars and emerging eBPF-based systems fail to deliver a seamless and secure runtime environment.
"With the growing complexity and highly dynamic nature of modern applications and cloud environments, changing even hundreds of times a day, security gaps like software vulnerabilities and excessive privileges, are becoming harder to monitor and remediate. This highlights the importance of incorporating control and security capabilities at runtime," said Shauli Rozen, CEO and Co-Founder of ARMO.
ARMO deploys Workload Fabric, a solution that provides DevOps teams with a new approach to cloud-native workload and application deployment. The company notes that existing solutions fail to provide visibility and control, whereas ARMO injects security and visibility into applications, and creates a virtual control plane that can be easily deployed in any cloud-native environment.
Rozen further added that "existing runtime technologies such as side-cars and RASP fall short when it comes to security, performance and deployment. I'm thrilled to announce ARMO's launch to offer the first solution bringing security, visibility, control and compliance to cloud-native environments.''