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Microsoft, Qualcomm Invest in Israeli Cyber-Security Team

Team8 founders Nadav Zafrir, Liran Grinberg and Israel Grimberg with advisor Ronni Zehavi.

Israeli company Team8 has landed two big new investors: Microsoft and Qualcomm.

The tech firms are joining a number of their peers — Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavours, Cisco, Nokia and AT&T to name a few — by investing in Team8, a cyber-security firm led by three former members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Citigroup is also a new investor.

“Our global cyber syndicate is one of the strongest in the world,” Team8 co-founder and CEO Nada Zafrir said. “Adding the powerful brands of Microsoft Ventures, Qualcomm and Citigroup will dramatically improve our research capabilities and access to the world’s biggest enterprises across a diverse arena of markets and industries.”

Investors in Team8 will work closely with the firm during the exploration, ideation and validation phases of its company creation process.

Team8, which has raised more than $92 million since starting up in 2014, is aiming to launch two companies this year. Its existing cyber-security companies, Illusive Networks Ltd. and Claroty generated $22 million in sales in 2016.

“Israel’s tech ecosystem is well-known worldwide for its innovation and creativity, and its expertise in cyber-security truly stands out,” said Microsoft Ventures corporate vice-president Nagraj Kashyap. “Microsoft will work closely with Team8 to explore and research some of the major challenges the world is facing with cyber-security today.”

Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures Quinn Li said his company is particularly interested in how its investment can aid in mobile security.

“Mobile devices are prolific and offer a wealth of convenience and essential functionality to consumers and enterprises throughout the world. This also means greater threats and security risks need to be mitigated via robust security design measures,” Li said. “Team8 is a world class cyber-security organization and together we see a number of great opportunities on the horizon.”

Team8 has some pretty lofty goals, but the experience of the people behind the company combined with the deep pockets of its investors, could produce some pretty nifty new tools to fight cyber attacks.

CEO Zafrir, a former Commander of Israel’s Technology & Intelligence Unit 8200, co-founded Team8 with Israel Grimberg, the company’s chief innovation officer and former head of the cyber division in the IDF’s Technology & Intelligence Unit 8200, and Liran Grinberg, chief marketing and business development officer and a former IDF soldier.

On its website, Team8 said it’s has created a “unique cyber-security company ideation and creation environment designed to build disruptive solutions and market-leading companies.”

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.