Israel has a booming startup ecosystem with investors, startups, research centers, and multi-national big tech companies (IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google etc.), and with the support of academic institutions, the Israeli government, and the military organizations. This ecosystem has witnessed phenomenal growth over the years in investments, M&A, IPOs, and exits. This ecosystem has created world-leading companies. A chunk of funding for tech firms goes into Israeli startups. According to the Annual Israeli Tech Review, about $9.93 billion was invested in privately-held Israeli tech firms in 2020, up 27% year-on-year, in 578 transactions. In the first half of 2021, the total capital raised by startups in Israel exceeded $12 bn – already surpassing the 2020 figure. So, 2021 is a record-breaking year for the Israeli startup ecosystem.
CISO MAG identified Elron as a key investor with $90 million in funds.
Elron is an Israeli investment company specializing in early-stage investments, focusing on building Israeli technological cyber and enterprise software companies. It provides direct capital and assistance to startups from their early stage in accelerating team building and accelerating product-market fit.
With a proven track record of investments and M&As worldwide, Elron has spearheaded exits valued at over $1.6 billion over the past decade and manages assets exceeding $300 million.
The companies backed by Elron include Open Legacy, Sixgill, Ironscales, BrainsGate, and CartiHeal.
Brian Pereira, Editor-in-Chief, CISO MAG, interacted with Elik Etzion, CSO, Leading Enterprise Software & Cybersecurity Investments, Elron, to discuss early-stage investments in cybersecurity startups.
Etzion is joining Elron’s management team to head cyber and software investments in the company after a comprehensive career of 25 years in key Elron investment sectors.
A retired lieutenant colonel, he began his career at the top of the tech and cyber world in the IDF, where he gained diverse technological-operational experience and knowledge over the course of 20 years in Unit 8200. In his last positions in the IDF, Etzion served as deputy commander of the cyber division, head of the R&D Department, and Head of the Cyber operations Department.
Upon his discharge from the IDF, Etzion served as CISO and member of the Technology Division Management at Bank Hapoalim Group. This is one of the largest financial institutions in Israel. He enhanced the bank’s cybersecurity posture and contributed to the cyber resilience of Israel’s banking sector, alongside being party to spearheading the bank’s digital transformation.
Etzion also served as a director in SHVA and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Masav, specializing in payments and clearance. He brings in-depth expertise and understanding, a strategic vision of the market along, and practical experience.
About the Interviewer
Brian Pereira is the Editor-in-Chief of CISO MAG. He has been writing on business technology concepts for the past 27 years and has achieved basic certifications in cloud computing (IBM) and cybersecurity (EC-Council).