Cybersecurity company Exalens has secured £550k in their first funding round with European technology investors Investlink
Exalens is the first and only company to develop automated cyber-physical security for Digital Industry. Its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven platform enables businesses to detect threats that are invisible to existing cybersecurity tools, know when disruption in production is caused by cyber-related incidents, and reduce response time to seconds. This investment will support Exalens’ product launch and initial go-to-market.
This investment comes at a time when digital transformation in the manufacturing sector continues to increase connectivity and automation between computer systems, physical machines, and the Internet – leading to ever greater risk from cyber-attacks.
As of 2022, Manufacturing replaced financial services as the top attacked industry by cybercriminals, where 61% of incidents at OT-connected organisations were in the manufacturing industry. For Manufacturers the average cost of unplanned downtime is $300k per hour, with an average of 2 weeks of production shutdown due to cyber-related incidents. As a result, with more than 90% of Manufacturers worldwide being SMEs, the industry is struggling to enable the adoption of Industry 4.0, because cybersecurity is the primary disabler.
Exalens’ ground-breaking cyber-physical AI equips companies with their own Industry 4.0 Virtual Security Analyst, which allows Manufacturers to know in seconds whether cyber incidents are occurring, or whether ongoing disruption is a result of a cybersecurity breach, system fault, or equipment failure. This can be the difference between shutting down the factory, or not. It automates the detection and analysis of cyber-attacks (including threats undetectable by existing products), and reduces IT and OT team’s incident response time by up to 80%. Without the need for a greater cybersecurity workforce, or infrastructure changes.
Commenting on the raise, Exalens CTO and Cofounder Ryan Heartfield said:
“At Exalens, our singular mission is to make cybersecurity an enabler for Digital Industry with self-driving cyber-physical AI. By joining forces with Investlink, we have partnered with an investor that not only shares our vision and mission for securing the future of Digital Industry but also has a track record for supporting the growth of disruptive cybersecurity companies like us who aim to deliver game-changing technology for the industry. Today, there is a huge disparity between both IT and OT support teams and the intersecting role of cybersecurity in operational security requirements. With our cyber-physical security platform, we force multiply both IT and OT teams and empower analysts and engineers to work better together to effectively respond to incidents. Maximising operational uptime and safety.”
InvestLink is a private investment company focused on investing in and growing the next generation of innovative cybersecurity and technology solutions. Founded by the former founders of SecureLink, Bert Van Loco, Hans Van Erum, and Frank Staut, Investlink has over 20 years of experience in building successful cybersecurity companies that are at the forefront of innovation. Investlink will be joining the Exalens board, providing hands-on support to our product launch and commercial activities.
Frank Staut of Investlink said:
“InvestLink is happy to support this motivated and experienced team. Exalens has already shown its ability to uniquely combine physical and digital security in a number of demo environments. We will support them in their go-to-market by using our experience and network in the industry.”
“The market that Exalens is targeting is one of the fastest growing segments of cybersecurity today. Hackers are more and more targeting industrial systems to block operations and ask for ransoms, which not only affect the availability of IT systems but can have a direct physical disruption on production systems.”
Exalens CEO and Cofounder George Alexopoulos said:
“These are indeed exciting times for Exalens, as we progress in our mission to protect Manufacturers’ digital operations, and together with Investlink and our growing partner ecosystem, help embed cyber-physical resilience within the core of their Industry 4.0 security strategy.”
Exalens is an alumnus of the prestigious NCSC For Startups Accelerator, was named in the top cybersecurity startups of London, and prior to this investment has secured grant funding from multiple Horizon 2020 European Union Research and Innovation projects.