Gemany’s Continental AG, an automotive manufacturing firm, is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Israel’s Argus Cyber Security, one of the first companies in the world to provide anti-hacking solutions for connected cars, for $400 million, Israeli media reported on Monday.
Nearly all models offered today by companies like GM, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota offer come equipped with WiFi, using 3G and 4G data connections, allowing drivers and passengers to use the internet in their vehicles to get directions, tune into cloud-based music services, and more. But connected cars aren’t just convenient for drivers: many cyber-experts believe they will provide the next big challenge for hackers. And Argus has set out to foil those efforts.
The company was founded in 2013 by alumni of the IDF’s elite Unit 8200, CEO Ofer Ben-Noon, Oron Lavi and Yaron Galula, with Zohar Zisapel, a co-founder of the RAD Group who is also an investor in the firm.
The company has raised some $30 million to date by investors including Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Ventures, Allianz SE, Magna International, the co-founder of the RAD Group Zohar Zisapel and SBI Group, according to Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.
Earlier this month Argus joined up with Elektrobit, a maker of embedded and connected technology solutions for the automotive industry, and a unit of Continental, for the launch of a new technology to deliver over-the-air vehicle software updates.
Continental is a German automotive manufacturing firm that specializes in tires, brake systems, interior electronics and automotive safety. It market valuation is about €43 billion (approx $50 billion).
A spokeswoman for Argus told Reuters that “this is not the first time such rumors have circulated and Argus does not comment on rumors or speculation.” An email sent by the Times of Israel requesting comment was not immediately replied to.