Israeli Startup That Scrambles Electronic Images to Foil Hackers Raises $4 Million

TechNation: Israel’s 57 online-privacy startups may get boost from tougher European rules ■ Israeli startups invited to vie for prize for developing anti-terrorism technology

Startup that scrambles electronic images to foil hackers raises $4 million

D-ID, a Tel Aviv startup that has built tools to block unauthorized facial-recognition algorithms from reading photos and videos, said on Monday it has raised $4 million from investors led by the Israeli venture capital fund Pitango Venture Capital. Others joining the round include Foundation Capital, Fenox Venture Capital, Maverick Ventures, and two angel investors, the company said. Y Combinator, a U.S. startup accelerator where D-ID operated earlier this year, also participated. “The images we produce can’t be identified by facial recognition algorithms, while a human eye does not notice the difference,” explained CEO Gil Perry. Founded in 2017 by Perry and two other veterans from the Israel Defense Forces 8200 intelligence unit, they were inspired by army security protocols that said they were not allowed to let their pictures appear online. D-ID’s product is aimed at organizations like banks and governments that amass databanks of personal images that are vulnerable to hacking thefts. (Eliran Rubin) 

Israel’s 57 online-privacy startups may get boost from tougher European rules

Israeli startups not only specialize in cybersecurity for big organizations, but a growing number are also developing tools for individuals to protect their privacy from online prying. Data from Start-Up Nation Finder shows about 57 companies are actively involved in the sector, offering tools like public key identification, secure messaging, virtual private networks and application for protecting children from online predators. The sector is growing but remains small. In 2011, there were just 10 companies in the field and even today most of the startups are tiny outfits with less than a dozen employees and no outside financing. In the 2017 fourth quarter, Start-Up Nation Finder said the sector raised just $13.5 million in capital -- up from $4.8 million two years earlier but a tiny fraction of the $214 million raised by cyber-security startups. However, with tougher European Union rules on privacy due to go into effect this year, demand for privacy protections should grow. (TheMarker Staff)

Israeli startups invited to vie for prize for developing anti-terrorism technology

Israeli startups are being invited for a third year running to vie in a contest sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department to develop technology to help the “war on terror.” The most promising of the contestants will share $200,000 in prize money in the CTTSC3, named for the Defense Department’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, a co-sponsor together with Israel’s Defense Ministry, its Defense Research and Development Directorate and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel. “This contest reflects how governments are increasingly turning to the startup ecosystem which is able to develop and deploy innovations far faster and more cost-effectively than traditional large defense contractors can,” explained Gideon Miller, CTTSC chairman. The winner of last year’s CTTSC2 was Duke Robotics, developer of The Future Soldier robotic weaponry system on a drone platform. In 2015 the first prize was awarded to InSoundz, a startup whose technology zeroes in on and isolates specific voices no matter how noisy the environment is.  Deadline for entries is March 9. (Eliran Rubin)

The heads of D-ID, a Tel Aviv startup that has built tools to block unauthorized facial-recognition algorithms from reading photos and videos
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