SAM Seamless Network, a network security company for consumers and SMBs, has raised $20 million in series B funding led by BlackBerry and Verizon Ventures. Additional Investors include Blumberg Capital, Intel Capital, ADT, and NightDragon.
Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in Berlin and New York, SAM has raised a total of $40 million following the latest round and said the funding will allow it to expand from currently protecting 2 million networks and 70 million devices around the world to 10 million networks and 500 million devices by the end of 2021.
CEO Sivan Rauscher co-founded the company five years ago and previously served as a cybersecurity specialist in the Israeli Defense Forces. She said most of the team comes from similar backgrounds within intelligence.
“Our know-how allows us to deal with operators, and it’s not incidental Verizon’s backing the company, which is zeroed in on network security and embedded devices for IoT” Rauscher said.
“The problem we’re solving is around IoT and this fact that unmanaged networks are surrounding us.”
The company’s previous funding round was two years ago, and CEO Sivan Rauscher said they chose to raise money again only from strategic investors.
“Our revenue is very good and we don’t require any additional financing. We had no reason to dilute our investors and employees by doing more rounds,” Rauscher said.
“Sometimes you can live on your revenue alone and I recommend other companies try that as well.”
“Over recent years we have claimed the biggest market share in our sector among the telecommunication companies. We have now partnered with two strategic giants who will help us enter other areas of the communications world. We are recruiting additional employees in Israel and abroad to develop our product.”
SAM developed software that integrates into network gateways, using behavioural and machine learning techniques to both detect and prevent attacks targeting connected and IoT devices in homes and small and medium businesses. It can be installed on top of existing firmware without the need for new hardware.
The company also launched an API-based intelligence service that use device fingerprinting and real-time security for IoT devices targeted at the enterprise market
Founded in 2016 by CEO Sivan Rauscher, CTO Eilon Lotem, and vice chairman Shmuel Chafets, all former cyber specialists in the Israeli Army, SAM develops software that can be installed onto home routers, detecting and blocking malware before it reaches connected devices.
As a network provider, it was almost inherent that Verizon would want to invest in a solution like SAM, according to Tammy Mahn, managing director at Verizon Ventures.
“It just makes sense to invest in a company like this. It makes the network clean. If the network is compromised then nothing is safe.”
“With an increase of at-home devices and with more people across the globe gravitating towards independent or remote work, SAM can be used as an enterprise-grade security solution for SMB and home networks,”
Connected devices in the home and office are meant to make life easier, but with an increasing number moving between different types of networks there’s a greater risk for cybersecurity threats.
The impact is greatest for places without dedicated security, with Rauscher noting the typical home or small business doesn’t have a chief security officer to oversee and manage everything that’s running on a network. And in the past year as more people worked from home during the pandemic SAM saw attacks increase by 12% for breaches the company monitored, she added.
SAM saw a huge challenge, according to Rauscher, with more devices and data connecting to Wi-Fi and other networks.
“It’s the big number rule,” she said. “You have a lot of devices connecting, the attack surface is expanded.”
Part of the carrier’s interest also has to do with 5G and mobile edge computing, which Rauscher said will expedite challenges as more products come to market with imbedded connectivity.
With new funding, SAM plans to utilize its device fingerprint technology and security background and capabilities to expand its reach.
Anooj Shah, director of Corporate Strategy at BlackBerry, said in a statement.
“With its powerful and intuitive AI technology, SAM Seamless Network addresses the unique challenges of our hyperconnected world where an explosion of IoT devices exposes potential attack surfaces for companies and consumers alike,”
Team8 co-founders Nadav Zafir, Israel Grimberg, and Liran Grinberg serve as SAM’s advisors. With offices in New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv, SAM is already rapidly scaling its global staff to meet the needs of current and future customers across geographies. It currently employs around 50 people in Israel and plans to recruit an additional 30 following the round.