From background checks to newborn Unicorns: 4 Israeli startups score funding – Geektime


Emerging from stealth with Seed funding and a “true platform for authorization”

Israeli startup build.security, which develops authorization policy management, emerged from stealth and announced $6 million in Seed funding led by YL Ventures with participation from cyber-security luminary George Kurtz, CEO and Co-founder of CrowdStrike; Michael Sutton, former CISO of Zscaler; Sounil Yu, former Chief Security Scientist at Bank of America; Dan Amiga, former CTO and Co-founder of Fireglass (acquired by Symantec); Eyal Gruner, CEO and Co-founder of Cynet; and Eran Barak, former CEO and Co-founder of Hexadite (acquired by Microsoft). CrowdStrike CPO Amol Kulkarni has joined build.security’s board of directors.

Founded by industry veterans Amit Kanfer (CEO) and Dekel Braunstein (CTO), build.security is offering a different approach to authorization, providing developers with the building blocks they need to quickly generate and manage best-practice authorization controls across enterprise applications at scale.

The build.security authorization team credit: build.security

Build.security claims to offer the first “true platform for authorization,” providing developers with a simple way to eliminate the kind of product vulnerabilities that have the potential to capsize entire organizations when exploited. “We’ve solved the inherent complexity of authorization resulting from how radically its implementation varies from one application to the next,” said Amit Kanfer, CEO and Co-founder of build.security. “We’re helping developers easily express RBAC and ABAC with a flexible, managed and off-the-shelf platform, as well as open-source projects, that provide all the tools developers need to author and immediately enforce policies at scale. build.security is building authorization so that developers don’t have to.”

Israeli startup grabs Series B with AI P.I.

AI startup Intelligo Group, a provider of personal and business background screening powered by artificial intelligence, announced a $15 million Series B funding round. The investment was led by Behrens Investment Group and including several existing investors. Intelligo will use the proceeds to expand its team and accelerate US expansion.

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Banks, institutional investors, capital allocators, law firms, and other Intelligo customers share a fundamental need to understand who they’re doing business with. They need a comprehensive report quickly, when there is a decision or a deal to be made, and they need to know in real-time if something changes. These needs are only accentuated in a time of working and transacting from a distance. Intelligo’s platform combines AI and human agents to provide comprehensive verification insight regarding a specific transaction.

Intelligo’s mission is to empower trust and manage risk,” said Shlomo Mirvis, Co-Founder and CEO. “COVID-19 demonstrates the need for products that can be used anywhere, at any time, in a very simple and efficient manner. We designed Intelligo to offer the highest quality reports while being as easy to use as Amazon, Uber, or Netflix,” added Mr. Mirvis.

Israeli wizard scores $34.5M training AI to help us write better

Wordtune – AI-powered writing companion

AI21 Labs today announced it has raised $34.5 million in equity funding to double-down on its AI technology and continue to build additional category-defining products in the race to build a leader in the AI language and writing category. The round was led by Pitango First, with participation from Tel Aviv based TPY Capital.

“We’re just getting started on our mission to create AI solutions that will help rethink how we read and write,” said AI21 co-founder Yoav Shoham. “We’ve got the team and we’ve got the vision to play in an area traditionally dominated by the tech giants, coupling deep technical innovation with compelling product experiences.”

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Last month, AI21 Labs released its first product, Wordtune. Powered by AI technology breakthroughs, Wordtune is a true writing companion, helping distill your thoughts into just the right words, rather than a copyeditor focusing only on spelling and grammar mistakes.

A new Unicorn is born: Forter lands $125M on a $1.3 billion valuation

Another Israeli Unicorn player joins the exclusive club. Israeli startup Forter, which develops eCommerce fraud prevention technologies, announced a $125 million Series E mega funding round. The investment was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, Felix Capital and Itai Tsiddon, with participation from Sequoia Capital, NewView Capital, Scale Venture Partners, March Capital Partners and Commerce Ventures. The round propels Forter’s valuation to over $1.3 billion, landing the eCommerce startup in Unicorn territory.

Forter’s real-time, fully automated fraud prevention platform is trusted by numerous market leaders from all commerce verticals including Sephora, OnePlus, Suning, ASOS, Hugo Boss and Adobe. The company’s global network provides a comprehensive view of both fraudulent and legitimate customer behaviors, allowing incredibly accurate fraud decisions with enhanced customer experience.

The funding will allow Forter to accelerate its vision of establishing an ecosystem of trust across online merchants, banks and payment providers to block fraud and give consumers the trust and convenience to shop freely. The company will continue to expand its suite of solutions and global data network, which they claim has doubled in size over the last 12 months to exceed $200 billion in annual online transactions protecting over 800 million shoppers.

“We set out to create a global coalition of merchants, banks and payment providers that fight fraud together. We continue on our mission to expand the online network of trust and will continue investing in our platform in collaboration with our customers and partners,” said Michael Reitblat, CEO and Co-founder, Forter. “This year we have doubled our team across eight global offices, doubled our revenue and enjoyed our first cash flow positive quarter. The market traction we have experienced allows us to invest even more into our platform and drive more significant impact for our customers and partners. We will remain an independent company as we continue to grow our footprint across the commerce ecosystem.”

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Forter was founded in 2013 by CEO Michael Reitblat, President Liron Damri, Chief Analyst Alon Shemesh. The company has offices in New York, Tel Aviv, London, Singapore, and Shanghai, and has raised a total of $225 million to date.





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