Hub Security, a Tel Aviv-based startup that developed a software and hardware platform for cryptographic operations, today announced that it has raised a $5 million Series A round led by AXA Ventures. Crowdfunding platform OurCrowd also participated in this round. Like most companies at the Series A stage, the company plans to use the investment to expand its team and technology offerings.
On the hardware side, Hub Security is building both a relatively standard Hardware Security Module (HSM), using FPGAs to accelerate various processes and to create a physical separation between the part of the machine that holds the secrets and the outside world.
But it’s also building a mini-HSM, which is basically a small hardware wallet with a built-in firewall, EMI shield and tamper-resistant case. On the software side, the company offers tools for managing the signing and authorization workflows, as well as a machine learning-based tool that has been designed to anticipate cyberattacks on the system.
Like most Israeli cybersecurity companies, most of Hub Security’s founding team got its start in the Israeli Defense Forces’ Unit 8200. The team founded the company in 2017, but co-founder Andrey Iaremenko had started working on the problem a few years earlier. “He was trying to figure out a way to deal with secrets in motion for anything that’s not military, anything that doesn’t require a lot of resources and can be relatively cheap and can be commoditized easily,” Eyal Moshe, Hub Security’s CEO, told me.
In the early days, the company focused a lot of its marketing on the blockchain market, but as Moshe told me, it has evolved its messaging quite a bit since then. “The vision didn’t change. What changed was the focus and how we pitch it, but the vision didn’t change much. What I think is changing recently is some understanding of how we can market it alongside how we can add value to cloud customers without interfering too much with their setup,” said Moshe.
Unsurprisingly, Hub Security’s focus today is on working with fintech and cloud companies. It already has a strategic partnership with Seagate Technology’s Tel Aviv-based Lyve Labs, which focuses on partnering with local companies that work on building new solutions for managing exabytes of data.
“I was actively looking for a ‘software-defined HSM’ platform company in Israel for the past twelve months and I was very pleased when I met Hub Security and learned about their unique offering. We agreed very quickly to partner and invest,” said Moshe Raines, partner at OurCrowd and Labs/02 managing partner. That investment came together just around the time Israel went into its strict COVID-19 lockdown