Despite concerns about changes in Israel’s legal system affecting the high-tech industry, Israeli cyber company Axis Security has been acquired by American computing giant HPE for half a billion dollars.
Founded in 2018 by veterans of Unit 8200, Dor Knafo and Gil Azrielant, Axis has developed an innovative product that provides employees with private and secure remote access to corporate applications in public cloud services or on organization servers. The cloud platform implements the Zero Trust approach, making deployment, usage, and management of the remote connection relatively simple and fast. Axis currently employs 120 people, with 80 employees based in Israel. Its solution is designed to protect information, enable security for all corporate applications, and increase productivity and user experience.
The company began operating shortly before the coronavirus pandemic and has gained momentum, serving dozens of paying customers, including Fortune 500 companies. Cyberstarts, an Israeli venture capital fund specializing in investing in early-stage cyber companies, was the first to invest in Axis. It has invested in other successful companies, such as Wiz, FireBlocks, Noname Security, and Island. Cyberstarts invests in entrepreneurial teams, many of whom are graduates of intelligence and cyber units in the IDF. The firm brings these teams together with a network of dozens of CISO’s in large international organizations to understand the pain points and solutions that organizations need.
Axis is led by CEO Dor Kanafo and CTO Gil Azrielant, who both started their careers in Unit 8200. One of the first investors in the company was Dan Amiga, a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Israeli cyber companies Island, Fireglas, and build.security, which were contracted or acquired by Symantec and Elastic.
Dor Knafo, CEO of Axis said, “We are only at the beginning of an amazing journey and we still have many peaks to conquer. The connection to HPE will allow our technology to reach tens of thousands of customers worldwide and will grow us rapidly. I am proud of the investors, partners and employees who made us a success story in a short time. I wish for a quieter period in Israel that will allow the amazing ecosystem to continue supporting start-up companies that want to conquer the world.”
The acquisition of Axis by HPE is yet another indication of Israel’s continued success in high-tech, despite the negative economic sentiment created by the new legal reform.