Israeli company Prompt Security announced this week that it had raised $5 million in October, and was unveiled to the public for the first time. The company, which is developing a security and privacy platform for using AI tools, was founded just last August by its CEO Itamar Golan and CTO Lior Drihem. When the Swords of Iron war broke out, Golan was drafted into the IDF reserves, and served for a month at the front. The company currently has twelve employees, three of them serving in the reserves.
The company’s fund raising round was led by Hetz Ventures, with the participation of overseas investors such as Four Rivers and CyberFuture. Private investors also participated, among them security officers at Elastic, Airbnb, and Dolby. Golan and Drihem both served in the IDF signals intelligence unit 8200, and both have years of experience in building and securing machine learning systems at, among other companies, Check Point and Orca Security.
"We are in a challenging market in the first place, even before the war broke out," says Golan. On the difficulty in raising funds during the war and reserve duty, he says, "We realized that there was no choice. We are facing a large, intensive market, and no-one in California is waiting for us. So in some way I started to look at it as our victory. It’s not a military battle, but it’s something that, among other things, is also for the benefit of the Israeli economy."
Golan says that during his reserves stint he would "go back at night and hold conversations with funds or potential customers." He says that all the employees payed their parts in the fund raising effort and worked around the clock. "We have another employee in Golani and one in an elite unit who constantly in the Gaza Strip. I don’t know how they manage to leave Gaza for three days and go straight into demo talks with customers."
There have been several conversations with "potential customers who are not enthusiastic at the moment about working with an Israeli company," he says, "but the funds were very productive. In the end, they are financial firms. We were ultimately over-booked. We received another five proposals that we didn’t take."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 25, 2024.
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