German tire and advanced car components company Continental has acquired Israeli smart car technology startup Argus Cyber Security. No financial details about the deal were disclosed but market sources say that the acquisition was for $430 million. News of the imminent acquisition was previously reported by "Globes" earlier this week.
Announcing the acquisition today, Continental said that, "In order to further strengthen and enhance its capabilities in automotive cyber security, the technology company Continental is acquiring Argus Cyber Security, one of the global leaders in this domain."
Argus had four founders, including three graduates of IDF Intelligence Unit 8200: CEO Ofer Ben-Noon, VP R&D Oron Lavi, and CTO Yaron Galula. The fourth founder is Zohar Zisapel, one of the founding fathers of Israeli high tech. The company, which was founded in 2013, currently has 70 employees, mostly in Tel Aviv. According to the IVC database, the company has raised $30 million since it was founded. Investors in the Argus include founder Zohar Zisapel, Gil Agmon from Delek Motors, and Vertex Venture Capital (7%) and Magma Venture Partners (12%). Car part supplier Magma has an 8% stake in the company.
"Only secure mobility is intelligent mobility. With the acquisition of Argus Cyber Security we are enhancing our abilities to directly develop and offer solutions and services with some of the world's leading automotive cyber security experts to our customers around the globe in order to truly make mobility more intelligent and secure," said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior division.
Together, the companies will offer multi-layered, end-to-end security solutions and services including intrusion detection and prevention, attack surface protection and fleet cyber security health monitoring and management via a security operations center (SOC) to protect vehicles in the field over their entire lifespan. The companies will also provide software updates over-the-air solutions. Argus' technology was tested by vehicle manufacturers, their suppliers and independent third parties, and has repeatedly out-performed its competitors.
Ben-Noon said, "Argus was founded with a vision to protect all vehicles on the road from cyber threats. To this end we have developed the most comprehensive automotive cyber security offering in the industry and enjoy global recognition of our leadership. Joining forces with Continental and EB will enable us to further accelerate the realization of that vision. With automotive cyber security regulations in the making worldwide and with already millions of connected cars on the road, I can't think of a better time, or a more exciting move, than now to become part of EB. Together we will shorten time to market and make it easier for vehicle manufacturers to protect their vehicles from cyber-attacks."
Argus will become a part of EB, Continental's stand-alone software company and will continue to engage in commercial relations with all automotive suppliers globally. This combination of Continental's broad automotive know-how, Argus' technology, market-ready solutions and expertise in automotive cyber security, and EB's deep automotive software knowledge, marks a unique cooperation in the automotive industry.
"As we are experiencing a world of software-defined vehicles and face unique challenges, we are taking a proactive approach in developing new ways to collaborate and interact. EB and Argus have been partners in developing cyber-security and over-the-air software update solutions since 2016. Adding Argus to our portfolio will allow us to further advance the development of our software," said Alexander Kocher, President and Managing Director, EB.
This latest acquisition means that more than $1 billion has been invested in Israel auto-tech companies over the past year as well as Intel's $15.3 billion acquisition of Mobileye.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 3, 2017
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