Israeli auto cybersecurity co Karamba raises $2.5m

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Karamba founders: The auto industry realizes the need.

The vision of an automatic car is becoming a reality. Google employees in Silicon Valley can already send their kids to kindergarten in a driver-less car. Because of regulatory requirements, a person sits in the driver's seat, but he does not actually touch the wheel or the brakes; he is there merely as backup.

The change in the auto market, which is part of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, is making cars smart. New cars are equipped with dozens of small computers, and are connected to the Internet in order to receive information.

This change is exposing cars to cyber attacks. Hackers have already managed to break into a traveling jeep and disable its engine during a journey. This background is facilitating the growth of cyber companies focusing on the auto market. One of these is the Karamba Security startup, which was unveiled today. The company today announced the completion of a $2.5 million financing round led by YL Ventures, with participation by GlenRock Israel, Leon Recanati's investment company.

Entrepreneurs Ami Dotan (CEO), Tal Ben David (VP R&D), David Barzilai (executive chairman), and Asaf Harel (CTO) founded Karamba. Explaining to "Globes" today what Karamba does, Barzilai said, "A car has over 100 small computers, and it operates democratically. What does that mean? It means that each computer talks to all the others without any restrictions. Once a car is hooked up, it can be a target for terrorism and crime, and it will only get worse.

"The network in a car is open to the world through three gates: GPS, multimedia, and service the route through which a car is connected in the garage. What we actually do is to sit at these gates and block anyone who is not authorized. You could compare it to a club. There's a security guard outside who prevents undesirables from entering. You also need security guards within the club, but our solution is external."

Barzilai compares information security in organizations to security for vehicles, saying, "Here, it's not data - it's human life. The auto industry now realizes the need. Up until now, they weren't concerned enough, but that has changed. The auto manufacturers realize that security has to be multidimensional - both on the network itself and at the ends."

Commenting on the financing round, YL Ventures managing partner Yoav Leitersdorf said, "We were impressed by Karamba's approach to developing a unique and easy-to-install solution for dealing with the cyber threats in the auto industry. The team's professional experience gave us confidence that they can turn this technologically complex approach into a practical solution."

Startup Comedy.Com today announced a $1.5 million financing round led by Rhodium Ventures, with participation from senior executives at Facebook and Hulu. The company is developing a mobile app for comedians. Its product diagnoses the user's comedy preferences and recommends suitable clips for him. Managed by CEO Barak Shragai, Comedy.Com was founded in 2015.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 7, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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