Cylus raises $30M Series B to help protect trains and metros worldwide

As rail systems undergo a digital revolution and become far more connected and advanced, railway operators face a rapidly growing threat landscape. To combat this, railway companies demand more robust cyber solutions and lawmakers across the globe call for more effective cybersecurity regulations.

Cylus, a Tel Aviv-based rail cybersecurity startup, built a cybersecurity solution, CylusOne, to protect the global mainline and urban railway companies from an array of threats and risks. Cylus’ solution offers continuous monitoring and 360-degree real-time protection for all rail systems, regardless of size and geography, enabling real-time threat detection, advanced forensics and mitigation, simplified security operations and more. CylusOne takes just a few hours to install, requiring zero downtime, fully integrating with new and legacy systems with no changes to the network architecture required, providing full visibility within seconds. 

The Israel-based company announced today it has closed $30 million in a Series B round to help protect trains and metros. The latest capital brings its total funding to over $57 million. The company did not disclose its post-money valuation. 

Ibex Investors led the Series B with Vertex Growth Fund, Strides International Business, Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Ventures Israel and GlenRock Israel. Israeli serial entrepreneur Zohar Zisapel, a member of Cylus’ board, also joined the round. 

With rising government investment in critical infrastructure and growing cybersecurity regulations in the U.S., Cylus will use the current funding to fuel its growth globally in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. The company also plans to continuously update its rail cybersecurity platform by adding more specialists in cybersecurity, traffic management and onboard/trackside systems and strengthening its AI and machine learning capabilities, chief executive officer and co-founder of Cylus Amir Levintal told TechCrunch. 

“The railways are such an essential part of our critical infrastructure, and really, of our everyday lives, that it is crucial that this industry gets the level of cyber protection it demands and needs,” Levintal said. 

Cylus enables maximum interoperability (train-track coupling) while protecting stationary and moving systems in trains, Levintal continued. He also said that its integrated platform approach allows clients to engage with a single rail cybersecurity solution provider instead of multiple vendors. Other competitors offer only a partial solution for rail cybersecurity, such as those designed solely for onboard systems without signaling protection (or vice versa), Levintal added. 

Earlier this week, the company also announced its strategic partnership with France-based Alstom to roll out an advanced rail cybersecurity solution that can protect the Tel-Aviv red line’s signaling and train control systems.  

The Global railway cybersecurity solutions market is projected to reach approximately $10.2 billion by 2027.

“We have seen a massive wave of digitization in the railway industry over the last few years. Despite this being a very positive trend, it has also entailed an exponential expansion of the surface area hackers can access to penetrate railway networks — which could lead to serious outcomes in one of the most core modes of transportation and critical infrastructure,” said Gal Gitter, partner and managing director of Ibex Investors, who will now become a Cylus board member. “Cylus changes all of that by providing the most advanced and holistic cybersecurity platform for railway networks and operators. Cylus’ platform is already in place across many of the world’s leading railway operators, and we believe it will become the ubiquitous platform used across the industry.”

“Cylus provides an essential element of protection to critical infrastructure that will enhance the safety and performance of train systems,” said Tam Hock Chuan, managing director of Vertex Growth Fund. “Vertex Growth is proud to help back Cylus’ technology, which we believe offers the most comprehensive solution for rail cybersecurity on the market today.”