Temasek, the Singaporean government-controlled company that is one of the world’s biggest investors, is today announcing an acquisition to beef up its cybersecurity business. It is acquiring Sygnia, a startup out of Israel that keeps a low profile, but has built technology and services to help large organizations respond to cyber threats. The price of the deal is not being officially disclosed, but a source close to it says that Temasek is buying Sygnia for $250 million. After the deal closes, Temasek will continue to let Syngia operate as an independent entity.
Sygnia came out of stealth less than a year ago, after being incubated by Team8, an investor/company builder in Israel that itself has been built like a startup, with Intel, Microsoft, AT&T, Qualcomm, Cisco, Nokia and Temasek all backers. Team8’s focus is on cybersecurity, and as such it lives somewhat under the radar, but the other three companies that have been spun out of so far it are Illusive Networks, Claroty and Hysolate.
Sygnia is typical of the makeup of Team8-incubated startups. It was co-founded by a team of elite security specialists from Israel: Shachar Levy (who is the CEO), Ariel Smoler, Arick Goomanovsky and Ami Kor, with its chairman Nadav Zafrir, the co-founder and CEO of Team8 and a former commander of Unit 8200. The basic idea behind Sygnia is both to build technology, tools and services to help an organization’s resilience — both to reduce the likelihood of a breach, and to help the company weather an attack if one does happen. Other members of the team come from military and security industry backgrounds, and generally are always in training, either to hone their own skills or to train customers with whom it works.
Team8 had invested only $4.3 million into Sygnia, the only outside funding the startup had ever taken.