Microsoft Ventures has made an investment in Israeli start-up creator, Team8. The investment has been made alongside chipmaker Qualcomm and other companies. At the same time, Team8 also announced a new strategic collaboration with Citi to help develop new products. Microsoft's investment is the second time the Ventures division has invested in the cyber security company.
Team8 is one of the leading names in Israel's growing cyber industry. An upward arc in cyber attacks has prompted companies to take more notice to cybersecurity practices. Indeed, it is a growing market for companies battling to offer customers the most secure services that can protect data.
Israel is among the nations at the forefront of cyber security and Team8 is one of the leaders. The company has created numerous cyber-focused start-ups oriented towards developing disruptive technology. Team8 says the companies it creates are dedicated to solving cyber security problems.
It is a motive some of the biggest tech names want to get behind. As well as Microsoft and Qualcomm, other investors in the company include Cisco, AT&T, Nokia, and Innovation Endeavors, a creation of Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Through its recent investment run, the company raised more than $92 million.
The fact Israel has become a center for cybersecurity development may be a surprise. However, the country has grown a sector that is becoming important to the threats of cyber attacks. There are 450 cyber start-ups in Israel and the growth has seen 20% of all global investor in cyber enter the country.
Microsoft is among the companies seeking development to make its services more secure. There are now 600,000 to 700,000 cyber attacks each week, according to Microsoft Israel's development center. That represents a massive increase from just 20,000 per week three years ago.
Investing in Team8 allows Microsoft to collaborate on creating companies to help develop cyber security measures. “The expectation of our investors is to build independent companies that will lead their sectors,” said Nadav Zafir, Team8 chief executive. However, he pointed out that some of the companies created won't be launched, but some will and will be successful.
Microsoft Ventures was rebranded last May as the company's small-scale investment division. Ventures focuses on investment in early-stage companies. Microsoft admits this avenue was largely unexplored by the company before Ventures was formed.
Back in October, Microsoft made its first investment in Team8, along with a number of other investments.