Automotive CyberSecurity Startup GuardKnox Completes $21M Series A Round

GuardKnox enables commercial auto insurers to offer premium incentives to policyholders that install its products to protect fleet management systems from ransomware and other cyber-attacks.

(Photo credit: Major Ofer, Israeli Air Force.)

GuardKnox, a global automotive cyber security company based in Ramila, Israel that serves the automotive, insurance and other industries, has completed a $21 Million Series A round of funding, bringing its total raised to $24 million. The round was led by Fraser McCombs Capital with participation from global investors including automotive technology company Faurecia, SAIC Capital (Shanghai Automotive), Glory VenturesNextLeap VenturesVectoIQPlug and PlayAllied, Cyphertech, and Kardan LTD.

Moshe Shlisel, CEO, GuardKnox.

GuardKnox, founded in 2016 by Moshe Shlisel, CEO; Dionis Teshler, CTO); and Idan Nadav (VP R&D) all Israel Air Force Veterans. The company provides a patented automotive cybersecurity products, including includes comprehensive end-to-end solutions combining software and hardware to deliver what the vendor characterizes as optimized, cybersecure, high-performance computing platforms and added services to the automotive industry. The company’s solutions are designed to prevent cyber security attacks in real time, with zero false positives, minimal maintenance efforts, and no constant connectivity requirements. In creating its solutions, GuardKnox adapted methodologies used to defend fighter jets from cyber attacks and applied them to vehicle security to eliminate vulnerability.

The vendor reports that the funding will be allocated to expand GuardKnox’s R&D team in order to meet the growing needs of its customers. The company will also distribute funding to support its global expansion, opening subsidiaries in strategic locations. GuardKnox asserts that these initiatives will enable it to achieve its aim of eliminating risks of cyber security threats from connected and autonomous vehicles worldwide through its innovative next-level solutions.

GuardKnox works with commercial auto insurance carriers by enabling them to offer premium incentives to policyholders that install GuardKnox SNO cybersecurity products to protect fleet management systems (FMS) from ransomware and other cyber-attacks. The solutions address the unique problem of commercial auto in that if hackers can penetrate one truck, they can gain access to the entire fleet. Insurance providers can offer incentivized policies under the condition of installation of the GuardKnox SNO, which impedes access to the entire fleet, and provides data that helps assess personal or regional risks by identifying locations and times-of-day that are high-risk for accidents. This lets insurers adjust policy price, and discounts, accordingly.

Dionis Teshler, CTO, GuardKnox.

Airtight Protection

“Fleet management systems onboard commercial trucks can impose real vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks, the difference being that successful hacks could easily mean loss of life in a moving vehicle,” explains CEO Moshe Shlisel. “Our platform provides a level of airtight protection adapted from methods used in defense aviation, yet offers flexibility to the fleet managers to connect and interact with each truck. We’re leveraging this cyber asset to not only help carriers protect their policyholders from breaches, but offer highly relevant telematics data to help them better assess personal or regional risks of the drivers.”

A group of strategic industry leaders also participated as private investors in the current funding rount: Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, Dr. Paul Achleitner, Robert Taub, Michael Diekmann, Prof. Dr. h.c. Roland Berger, Peter Loescher, Gerhard Roiss, Dr. Kurt Lauk, and Stefan Hambrecht.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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