Xage, pronounced Zage, a blockchain security startup based in Silicon Valley and valued at about $35m announced a $12m Series A investment Round led by the venture capital arm of General Electric (GE), March Capital Partners, City Light Capital and NexStar Partners. This being said, Series A funding is useful in optimising product and user base after the business has shown some of a track record.
In the realm of rising concern about cyber-attacks physically damaging industries, Xage is building something the team calls fabric — a security layer for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The fabric synthesizes blockchain with the software of the manufacturers and lets smart devices interact with each other in the secure environment. Xage’s customers include NTT Communications, GlobaLogix and GE Renewables, the division of GE headquartered in Paris.
Founded in the 19th century by Thomas Edison, nowadays GE is rolling along with a market cap of over $250bn. By watching closely the data coming from their industrial machines the company recognises the importance of their capabilities’ constant reexamination. Danielle Merfeld, VP at GE Global Research says that when you combine the digital and physical, powerful things can happen. She adds, “we are not layering digital on top of our physical world, and not replacing our physical world with a digital understanding of it, but actually combining the digital plus the physical to get more than a sum of the parts we could get with background or expertise with either one.”
CEO of Xage, Duncan Greatwood mentions in this video that their technology could be implemented into numerous industries, e.g., energy, transportation, utilities and more.
“Even two years ago most of these facilities were just disconnected from the outside world, and the risk was kind of contained,” he says. “Now, as they want to move data from devices to the cloud to analyse it, there is a level of exposure that never existed before. If they get compromised in a particular place, it affects not just two or three drills but 20K of them.”
t should be mentioned that the process of moving data from devices to the cloud is not the only vulnerable point for the so-called cyber-physical attack — a cyber-attack on the physical infrastructure. In many cases, the operational networks that connect the digital world to the physical world contain older—and thus, more vulnerable and harder to update—technology.
Other new companies are also working on the challenge, including Claroty, which recently raised $60m from investors including equipment manufacturers Rockwell, Siemens, and Schneider-Electric.
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