In mid-2013, when scouting new innovative technologies to help identify potential security threats, JVP’s deal team met two young entrepreneurs fresh out of two elite Israeli tech units in the military. These entrepreneurs had a decade of experience in Israel’s intelligence corps bringing a unique understanding of the cyber-security landscape as well practical experience in machine learning, algorithm research and advanced data analysis. The team presented the concept of combining cyber security technologies with cognitive science to enable the prediction of future security threats and went on in November 2013, to receive initial funding from JVP Cyber Labs and became this first company to join the Beer Sheva Center of Excellence.
Working diligently with the Cyber Labs team, the company, CyActive, came to life, and over the first three months validated a breakthrough technological concept: that from a reused malware, which was already known to the market, CyActive’s genetic algorithms would be able to create machine learning identifiers to various threats that the malware could evolve into.
JVP and the company believed that if this technology succeeded, it could break the cat and mouse game, namely the huge economic imbalance existing between malware attacks and predictions prevailing today, in which corporations spend thousands and millions of dollars to identify and rectify a security attack.
Six months into development, a leading technology group tested the approach and ultimately invested in the company. Strategic collaborations such as this were the turning point for the company, by drawing global attention to the innovative approach. In March 2015, PayPal acquired CyActive, resulting in a successful outcome for JVP, the budding cyber epicenter of Be’er Sheva and Israel. This was the first exit out of JVP’s new OCS licensed incubator, the JVP Cyber Labs, as well as the first exit out of the southern town of Be’er Sheva.
Subsequently, PayPal established its new security design center in Be’er Sheva, creating numerous jobs for the area as well as serving as an additional business and design partner for JVP and its portfolio companies.