Cylus, an Israeli startup focused on developing technology to protect railway and metro systems from cyber attacks, announced that it raised $12 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures. The two VC firms led a $5 million seed round in Cylus in January 2018.
New investors in Cylus include former chancellor of Austria Christian Kern, Cyient, a global provider of engineering and technology solutions for rolling stock and signaling OEMs and rail operators, Israeli VC firm Cerca Partners, GlenRock, Leon Recanati’s private investment company, and FollowTheSeed.
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Cylus was founded in 2017 by veterans of the IDF Intelligence Corps’ elite technological intelligence and security units, and a former CEO of Israel Railways, Boaz Zafrir, now president of Cylus, as well as Zohar Zisapel, a high-profile Israeli entrepreneur and chairman of the RAD Group.
Kern, a former CEO of ÖBB, the Austrian Federal Railways said: “I know firsthand that cybersecurity is among the top priorities for rail executives.As cyber-attacks increasingly threaten rail safety and availability, rail stakeholders understand the pressing need for substantial cybersecurity investment. Cylus’ solution is crucial to mitigating the escalating cyber threats railway companies face.”
Cylus said in a statement that it was collaborating with leading rail integrators and other key players in the rail ecosystem, and use the funding to accelerate its activities in the EU, US, and Asia-Pacific, as well as increase its R&D efforts and expand the team.
“Rail systems have become technologically advanced, and the threat of cyber-attacks is constantly growing,” said Amir Levintal, CEO and co-founder of Cylus. “We have already established strong relationships with key players in the rail industry and growing partnerships with leading rail operators. We are moving full steam ahead to scale our team and expand globally.”
Prabhakar Atla, senior VP and Rail Transportation Business Unit Head at Cyient said: “This investment allows us to leverage the rapid evolution of connected and intelligent rail assets and further strengthen Cyient’s value proposition of enabling the Rail Transportation industry to efficiently design, build, and maintain safe assets and secure networks,” he added.
“Cylus has moved quickly to build an unparalleled team and develop the first-to-market, dedicated solution for rail, becoming the global leader in rail cybersecurity,” said Yoram Oron, Cylus’ chairman and founder of Vertex Ventures. “I continue to be impressed by Cylus’ vision, their impressive traction with major rail industry players, and their uncompromising ability to help rail companies protect their networks and passengers.”