Israel’s Illusive nabs Microsoft Ventures backing

Israel’s Illusive nabs Microsoft Ventures backing

Strategic investment will help spur the cybersecurity company’s sales, technology

The Illusive team (Illusive Networks)
The Illusive team (Illusive Networks)

Israeli cybersecurity firm Illusive Networks said Tuesday it has received a strategic investment by Microsoft Ventures, the corporate venture fund of Microsoft.

The new funding will be used to help Illusive pursue global expansion, invest in sales and marketing, and expand the engineering and support teams working on its cybersecurity deception technology.

Illusive has created a new paradigm of cybersecurity tech in which an invisible layer of security is overlaid on a system, set up to counter hackers who are able to breach traditional defenses. Finding data thus becomes an elusive task for hackers, because they are distracted by illusory data points that are designed to lead them in the wrong direction. When attackers act upon the false information, Illusive neutralizes the attack and triggers a detailed breach report enabling security administrators to detect, track and contain the attack in its early stages.

Microsoft Ventures joins current investors New Enterprise Associates, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLC, Citi Ventures, Cisco Investments, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. The earlier Series A and B investments total over $30 million, the company said in a statement. It did not reveal the amount invested by Microsoft Ventures.

(L to R) Shlomo Touboul, Eric Schmidt, and Ofer Israeli cut the cake celebrating the official launch of Illusive in Tel Aviv, June 8, 2015 (Illusive Networks)
(L to R) Shlomo Touboul, Eric Schmidt, and Ofer Israeli cut the cake celebrating the official launch of Illusive in Tel Aviv, June 8, 2015 (Illusive Networks)

“Microsoft Ventures’ investment opens a new world of opportunities for Illusive Networks to explore future deceptions in the world of endpoints and cloud and expand the reach of our deception technologies to users around the world,” said Ofer Israeli, the CEO of the company.

Illusive’s software is used by dozens of financial institutions, insurance, retailers, law firms, healthcare providers, energy and telecommunication companies in the United States, EMEA and APAC, the company said.

Illusive “has the expertise to continue to evolve next-generation deception cybersecurity technology and protect enterprises against increasingly sophisticated advanced attacks,” said Mony Hassid, general manager and managing director, Microsoft Ventures. The aim of the investment, he said it to help Illusive “make their deception technology the market standard.”

Illusive is the first company launched by cybersecurity “foundry” Team8, which has deep ties to the Israeli army’s Unit 8200. Several alumni of Unit 8200 have gone on to found or play leading roles in some of the most successful cybersecurity companies. Earlier this month Microsoft Ventures said it would join Team8’s partnership.

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