To Enable Secure Data-Driven Transformation
The launch of our second company-building vehicle enables us to develop new businesses, rooted in cybersecurity and data science, that will transform their respective industries. It brings together leading corporations from around the world, across numerous sectors, including Microsoft, Cisco, Walmart, Airbus, Softbank, Barclays, Moody’s, Munich-Re, Nokia, Scotiabank, Dimension Data, Temasek, Innovation Endeavors and Bessemer Venture Partners, to ensure each new company is set up, vetted and staffed to succeed.
Here’s what we think it takes:
(1) a bold vision
(2) unique perspectives, deep domain expertise and access to talent
(3) a disciplined methodology
(4) a “village” of cross-industry partners
It takes a bold vision
Security used to be about protection, now it is the backbone of progress.
While cybersecurity breaches make daily news headlines, the opportunities lost because of cybersecurity risks typically get left out of the story. The inability to adopt new technologies because of potential security and compliance risks has become one of the greatest challenges facing enterprises today.
The fear of what integrating new technologies might expose often inhibits innovation and progress. It can stop companies from collecting valuable insights from combined data sets because they can’t trust the information will remain secure. It can prevent organizations from using the cloud infrastructure to its full benefit because they can’t maintain security and compliance levels within these other environments. It can limit adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions because they can’t maintain total control over their data.
Modern business is faced with a paradox — how to enable the productive interactions between people and machines that drive the business forward, when they can’t trust the infrastructure that is supposed to enable those interactions. Typically, it results in a choice — innovate and open the business up to security risks or maintain security and slow down innovation.
We think it is time to change this paradigm. Security should be an enabler, not an inhibitor. New technology should have the intelligence, learning and logic built in to ensure it can empower an enterprise to progress, while mitigate any risks. It’s the only way to take full advantage of what’s coming.
To build companies rooted in cyber resilience and data science that enable organizations to accelerate secure digital transformation
It takes unique perspectives, deep domain expertise and access to talent
As former leaders and officers of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Intelligence Unit 8200 (Israel’s NSA), we understand how to problem-solve in complex, fast-changing environments. We learned from one of the world’s most coveted training grounds for entrepreneurship and technology. Business Insider once described the 8200 unit as the “best tech school on earth.”
We saw how critical it is to apply cyber, intelligence and data science to build resilience in the face of constant threats. We learned how to operate at “the edge of chaos.” If you seek order, you can’t grow. If you get loss in chaos, you retreat. But when you can find the right balance between order and chaos, magical things can happen. This balance is what’s needed to thrive in today’s hyperconnected world.
We tap into the concentrated talent emerging out of units, like 8200, who bring unique, deep cybersecurity and mission critical data science domain expertise. We combine that with serial entrepreneurs, who have a start-up mindset and a proven history of investing and leading dozens of successful companies. These complementary talent pools allow us to bring a truly unique perspective to our company-building model.
It takes a disciplined methodology
“If I had an hour I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and then five minutes solving it” — Albert Einstein
We envisioned a new way to create companies based on this model: identify big problems, ideate disruptive technologies to solve them, validate market fit, form the right founding teams with the relevant experience, and finally, develop the brand and strategy needed to take the technology to market and scale the business.
Our core team of 30 are dedicated company-builders. Our research team ideates and articulates the problem that will kick off the process and mark the start of a new company. Our recruiting team identifies talent for potential founders and founding teams. Our go-to-market team builds the positioning and accelerates market adoption. Everyone benefits from the input, insight and direction from our strategic investors throughout the process.
We break our company creation process into four stages that each and every one of our companies must go through — exploration, ideation, validation and execution.
The process follows this logic:
● Look for big problems, not solutions
● Identify the best talent to solve the problem
● Validate the problem with 100+ companies to ensure it is a critical pain point with broad market addressability
● Kill the irrelevant ideas
● Deliberately combine diverse founding teams with the experience needed to succeed
● Integrate recruiting into every phase of the company development process, so top talent is there from the start and there are never any compromises
● Spend months learning from strategic partners how to best define the opportunity and avoid potential pitfalls
● Leverage the insights of many visionaries from different sectors and geographies, who have a stake in the problem being solved
● Build products with the enterprise to know exactly how it will fit
● Take products to market quickly and efficiently, leveraging the network and know-how of the Team8 Village
● Rather than focusing on small proof of concepts (PoCs) to build use cases, use large scale deployments to demonstrate capabilities that will work in the real-world
It takes a village
We are honored to work with a diverse group of committed investors who are involved in every step of the company-building process, from selecting and creating the companies in our portfolio to launching and growing them. By bringing together the perspectives of global industry leaders in retail, aerospace, finance, insurance, technology and others into one company-building team, we ensure technologies are linked directly to business needs for maximum impact.
The executive mindshare of our investors plays a pivotal role in the company building process. They join us in every step of our disciplined four-stage model. They guide the strategic direction of our portfolio companies from identifying and articulating the problem statement, validating the technology direction and guiding the market fit to scale, typically becoming design partners during the process. They are deeply invested in ensuring only the best ideas, technologies and companies are created.
A model that’s been four years in the making
Over the last four years, we have put our unique company-building model to work — raising $260 million, hiring 400 people, launching four companies and working with four others in stealth-mode.
Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:
Sygnia is applying technological supremacy, digital combat experience, data analytics and a business-driven mindset to cybersecurity to enable organizations to excel in this digital age. In mid-October, Sygnia was acquired by Temasek for $250 million, after we had invested $4.3million three years ago and the company grew organically ever since. This is the first strategic acquisition of a Team8 company.
Claroty is protecting the networks running the world. It recently raised $93 million from industry leaders Rockwell, Schneider Electric and Siemens.
Illusive Networks uses deception to outsmart an attacker at massive scale. A category-leader it has received total investments of $33M from Microsoft, Cisco and Citi, among others.
Hysolate is rethinking the endpoint, allowing workers to be productive and secure. Recently, it closed a funding round of $18 million, led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Innovation Endeavors.
We are excited to build the companies that enable enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation in a secure and agile way. We’re currently working on companies capable of providing zero-trust networks for multi-cloud environments, securely on-ramping blockchain, allowing the safe collaboration with sensitive data, and using machine learning to significantly improve the business. The one unifying element is the underlying security and intelligence of the solutions, which allows enterprises to adopt these new technologies and prosper.
We are honored to work with our strategic investors whose insights, wisdom and time help us bring to market game-changing technologies that make big impact. Together, we strive to enable big organizations to take big leaps innovate and thrive.