Israeli App Security Startup Snags $2.3M Seed Round

AppInside, a tool designed to help app developers check for security vulnerabilities, announced a $2.3 million seed round from Boston’s Accomplice today.

When a company commissions an app, they are putting their brand’s reputation on the line when people download it to their tablet or smartphone, Elon Ohevya, co-founder and CEO of AppInside told TechCrunch.

Mobile devices are susceptible to a number of threats including inadequate data protection, weak security on the device itself or even exposed communication between the device and the server.

AppInside surveys an app and generates a report identifying any such vulnerabilities, pointing to the code that needs fixing and explaining how to resolve the issue.

You might think developers should already be considering these issues when they create the apps, but Ohevya says that most developers don’t give security proper thought.

“Developers don’t have security awareness. We are a team of security experts. We are here to help pinpoint the issues, to help fix those things and [assist them] in being secure,” he said.

Once they run a sample report and show an app owner the issues, Ohevya believes that the product can practically sell itself. “When we approach a customer with concrete evidence of problems in his/her app — you have 70 vulnerabilities — and you see concrete evidence and understand the potential impact on the business, that’s a good selling point,” Ohevya explained.

The company was founded last year by Ohevya and his partner, COO Tom Livne. They both have a background in security and saw a market opportunity this category owing to the dearth of available tools. Over the last year, they hired four engineers to help build out the product.

The funding came their way serendipitously when Jeff Fagnan, a partner at Accomplice found the AppInside website, thought it was a good idea and contacted Ohevya to discuss funding. Fagnan, whose company has several security companies in its portfolio, saw the product as a creative way of attacking security problems

“Think of the surface area where attacks happen. It’s not on your network, but in apps. You can be secure as you want to be, but if your apps are vulnerable, you’re screwed,” he said.

After talking it over with the AppInside team, he liked what he heard, especially the depth of their security knowledge, and offered them the seed round.

Before procuring this funding, the founders bootstrapped the company and spent the last year building the product. They expect to release a product Beta sometime during the first quarter next year.

For the past several months, they have been participating in TechStars Berlin.

The company, which is currently based in Tel Aviv will leave its engineering team in place in Israel, but will move its headquarters to Boston as part of the deal.