OurCrowd is happy to announce the funding of our portfolio company FireBlade (aka SiteBlackBox), a website protection company against cyber attacks. The company raised $4.5 million in its latest round of financing.
SiteBlackBox is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company developing products to protect websites and valuable online assets by neutralizing traffic from hostile sources, while ensuring the highest quality-of-experience to legitimate users.
The Tel-Aviv based startup was founded in 2008 by Shay Rapaport (CEO) and Erez Azaria (CTO) with a simple mission – to help websites prevent losses and boost revenues by providing them with real-time insights into their site’s traffic and user activity.
For more information read the full article published in Globes.
OurCrowd is meeting with investors across the US!
If you’d like to attend one of our many meetups around the U.S., please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Audrey Jacobs (our new VP of Business Development) by clicking here. If you indicate which city/event you’d like to attend, she’ll send you an invitation. Note: some events are small, private events, and some have already filled up – we’ll work to accomodate you as best we can.
Boston – April 3, 2013
Visiting companies: Applango
Lunch meeting at the offices of Foley Hoag with the American Technion Society
Invite online: http://foleyhoag-jonmedved.eventbrite.com/
6:00 pm- 8:00 pm meeting with MassChallenge and the New England Israel Business Council
Invite online: http://masschallengeourcrowd2013.eventbrite.com/
Chicago – April 4, 2013
Companies: Abe’s Market, Applango
Closed 12PM meetup – email email@example.com for an invite
6PM evening event with the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce
Closed event – email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite
Seattle – April 5, 2013/ April 7, 2013
Companies: Lucid Energy
Friday April 5, 2013, 12PM meeting with Ryan Swanson & Cleveland PLLC
Email email@example.com for an invite
Sunday, April 7, 2013 – 9:30AM with Michael and Diane Medved, along with the Washington Israel Business Council
Brunch at Island Crust Cafe (kosher) – http://mercerisland-jonmedved-ourcrowd.eventbrite.com/
San Francisco/Palo Alto – April 8, 2013
Companies: Lucid Energy
Noon event hosted by DLA Piper and the California Israel Chamber of Commerce in Palo Alto
online invite: http://dlapiper-paloalto-jonmedved.eventbrite.com/
5PM meet up hosted by the Israeli Entrepreneur and Founders Forum and Bank Leumi in Palo Alto
online invite: http://ieff042013.eventbrite.com/
San Diego – April 9, 2013
Noon meet up hosted at the offices of Mintz Levin, co-hosted by the Israel Start Up Nation Series
online invite: http://startupsd.eventbrite.com/
Los Angeles – April 10, 2013
12:30PM meet up at the offices of Fox Rothschild co-hosted by the Milken Institute
Philadelphia – May 1, 2013
12 – 1:30 pm – Lunch at Wharton School of Business
email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite
An Israeli cyber-security specialist saved some major face for Facebook this year. Of course I am referring to Mr. Nir Goldshlager, a cyber-security specialist with the Israeli cyber-security firm—of which there are a growing number—Avnet.
Why am I taking the time to present this Nir Goldshlager fellow, you ask?
Well, according to the Times of Israel this year Goldshlager found a way to gain control of any Facebook account he wanted—twice. That’s right, he informed Facebook about the bug, they fixed it—or so they thought—and then he found a bug in the “repaired” code. Not to worry Facebook users of the world, Nir let Facebook know about the second bug as well and they have since fixed the problem.
This guy is no rookie, my friends.
It turns out this isn’t the first time Mr. Goldshlager has helped out the social networking giant, nor is Facebook the only web-based organization that he has helped. For the second year in a row, he can claim the top spot on the Facebook security hall of fame and in 2011 Nir ranked second. In addition to helping Facebook find bugs in its code, Nir and the “white hat” hacker community has also helped out the likes of Google, Amazon and Paypal. In fact, Nir also finds himself ranked fifth on Google’s 0x0A List of best bug reporters.
Come again? What is a “white hat” hacker exactly?
Nir is a member of the hacking world demographic known as “white hat” hackers. White hat hackers are members of the hacking world that test organizations’ security systems with the intention of notifying companies when they find gaps in their security systems and they are making their mark. While perhaps hesitant at first, a number of big name companies like Facebook, Google and Paypal now have rewards programs designed to incentivize the hacking community to help find bugs in their security systems.
Programs such as these are proving to be a good way of crowdsourcing security testing and ultimately result in better security systems to protect important information that people around the world entrust with these companies. As Michael Barrett, Paypal’s chief information security officer admitted to ZDNet: “I originally had reservation about the idea of paying researchers for bug reports,…but I am happy to admit the data has shown me to be wrong – it’s clearly an effective way to increase researchers’ attention on internet-based services and therefore find more potential issues.”
This is cute, but is it indicative of something larger?
In a word: yes. While this lovely symbiotic relationship between a certain segment of the hacking world and organizations with an internet presence is a touching story, it also highlights the continued, and growing, importance of security solutions in a world that is becoming increasingly web-based. Furthermore, Israelis such as Nir Goldshlager continue to highlight a global need for improved security systems and is a prime example of the prominence Israel is achieving in the cyber security world.
Government efforts such as the KIDMA program and the Israel National Cyber Bureau, in addition to private efforts such as the new cyber security incubator slated to be located in Beersheba and affiliated with Ben Gurion University (Jpost), are helping finance and develop the next wave of cyber defense companies. According to a Jerusalem Post article, “About 25 Israeli information security companies have been acquired by multinational organizations, and Israeli companies are counted among the world’s leading information-technology security providers.”
Israel, on all levels, is serious about being a prominent world player in the global cyber-security and information technology markets and individual Israelis such as Mr. Goldshlager are leading the way. Public and private Israel is investing a lot of attention and money in the cyber defense and information security sectors. That means there are a lot of exciting investment opportunities coming out of Israel and it most definitely is worth taking a look into how you can get a finger or two in some of these pies. While you’re at it you might also help make the internet a more secure place. Not such a bad deal, if you ask me.
|Sam is a business analyst and received a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University.|
We recently posted about incredible opportunities we’re seeing to invest in Israeli startups, and it got us wondering what angel groups in other parts of the world have been seeing.
To get some more color on the Boston tech scene, we went directly to the source. We had the chance to talk to Richard Lucash, a Boston-based attorney for emerging tech companies, about deal flow in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Richard co-founded the LaunchPad angel group and, with Jeff Stoler, recently launched a new angel group called SideCar Angels
What’s deal flow like in Boston?
In Boston, most angel group deals are syndicated. The area is the national leader in doing angel syndications. As part of this syndication effort, members of multiple groups may take part in due diligence. SideCar is focusing on facilitating deals by filling out syndicated rounds.
How do you generate deal flow?
A large percentage of our deal flow comes from Boston area angel groups and micro VCs, however, often the companies approach us directly.
What types of deals have you been seeing?
We see a lot of e-commerce, medical device, web tech and clean energy. When asked about the frequency of opportunities in the life sciences sector, Lucash noted not seeing too many deals of that sort, hypothesizing that it is due to the requirement of a large amount of startup capital.
In your opinion, how is angel investing different today in comparison to when you first started?
Since I became involved with angel investing, there has been a very large increase in the number of organized groups, and a trend towards greater organization on matters such as screening, review and negotiation of deal terms. Many groups have added funds associated with the group, and more groups have full time managers.
Lucash’s perspective on investing in startups is not too different from OurCrowd’s. We’re also seeing a lot of Internet-powered deals because they’re typically easier and cheaper than say, a life sciences startup, to get a minimum viable product shipped. Anyway, thanks Richard for answering our questions.
|Jeremy Pressman is a Business Analyst at OurCrowd and plays semi-professional basketball for Hapoel Pisgat Ze’ev.|
While on his latest tour to the US, OurCrowd CEO Jonathan Medved was interviewed live by Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.”
In the interview Jon discusses investing in Israeli startups and our innovative equity based, crowdfunding platform, OurCrowd. In addition, he responded to questions regarding the strong US-Israeli relations, China’s investments in Israel, Israel’s cyber-security and other various related topics.
OurCrowd is proud to announce the funding for our 1st U.S. portfolio company Lucid Energy Inc., a provider of renewable energy systems. Lucid Energy’s patented LucidPipe™ Power System enables industrial, municipal and agricultural facilities to generate clean, reliable, low-cost electricity from the water grid.
“We are thrilled to be working with OurCrowd,” said Gregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy Inc. “The speed and efficiency of the OurCrowd platform – which has brought entrepreneurial investors to us from as far away as Israel, New York, Brazil and Australia – is amazing.”
Lucid Energy, based in Portland, Oregon, was formed in 2007 as an innovative clean technology company focused on creating a new way for industries to turn the untapped energy of moving water into cost-saving, renewable energy.
“Water usage worldwide is growing rapidly, and in order to meet this demand, thousands of miles of water pipelines are being built in fast-developing countries while, at the same time, many of the world’s existing pipelines are aging and in dire need of repairs.”
For more information read the full article published on MarketWatch.
After opening our doors last fall, we’ve gotten to know so many of you: thousands of investors, entrepreneurs, and partners.
Particularly, we’re seeing an incredible number of really high-quality startups. A huge percentage of these are companies founded by serial entrepreneurs with differentiated technologies and real tractions (with serious users, customers, revenues, etc.). An incredibly high number fit our investment methodology and criteria.
I thought it would be interesting to break down what our deal flow looks like (thanks to our resident geniuses, David S, David C, and Jeremy for pulling this data).
What Israeli entrepreneurs are working on now
So far, OurCrowd has seen:
- 175 deals since Jan 1, 2013 (100+ deals per month)
- 350 deals (received actual materials) since Nov 1, 2012
Maturity of deal flow
- deal flow has ranged from seed investments to Series C, with sweetspot in the Series A range
Internationality of deals
- while the vast majority of our deal flow comes from Israel, we have looked at deals from 9 countries
Sector breakdown of deals
- We’re seeing the most activity in medtech, mobile, and Internet
What are you working on? What are you investing in?
Head of Investor Community
|Zack Miller is a General Partner and Head of the Investor Community at OurCrowd.|