Pixels of the Redstone vision: Why we invested in Exein
From connection to benefit – embedded and networked devices accompany our daily lives
We benefit from ultra-high-speed wireless internet but also biometric cybersecurity scanners, wearable health monitors, smart home security systems and smart factory equipment have been integrated into our normal flow. They heavily decide the way we work and will do that even more in the future. Both, the consumers and industry are increasingly impacted by technological innovation. By 2025, 30.9 billion IoT devices are expected to be in operation (Statista, 2021). As the number of embedded devices steadily increases, so does the vulnerability to security loopholes and cyberattacks. For this reason, IoT security will play a decisive role going forward.
Security builds one of the IoT’s central problems – for now
We all hear about it, both in private and in business contexts. Security forms an essential part of technological innovations. We should protect our devices and we have to handle data carefully. Although most of us are aware of this, we tend to underestimate the importance of cybersecurity. Maybe because in the first place, security does not show real impact to us, maybe because we feel even overwhelmed by all the connected new devices and the intense workload they bring with them. But in fact, cybersecurity plays an important role in making this innovation work for us instead of against us.
According to Gartner, by 2022, 70% of organizations that don’t have a firmware upgrade in place will be breached due to firmware weaknesses.
In this context, the Rome-based startup Exein has developed an open-source set of tools for self-protection and remote monitoring that help embedded systems detect and ward off undesirable behavior. With this, the tech experts of the Italian company follow its approach to solve one of the IoT’s central problems: security.
Exein – the first open-source security network for IoT
With an edge AI approach, Exein democratizes access to device security while building behavioral firmware security, tackling the problem of insufficient security. Rather than relying on external measures, Exein instead focuses on intrinsic, embedded security that acts as an immune system emanating from the device itself. Exein’s easy-to-integrate solution offers a seamless implementation experience for developers in charge of firmware, thus greatly broadening access to security.
With this, Exein provides the first Open Source framework for IoT security. Designed with a strong focus on developer-first security, Exein aims to fight the huge threat posed by embedded devices and the vulnerabilities carried within their firmware by providing developers with simple and effective tools for identifying, blocking, and resolving potential anomalies in their IoT devices. Founded in 2018, today Exein is working with key global partners in the critical infrastructure, automotive and network infrastructure industries and its embedded technology is actively protecting already more than 600’000 devices IoT every day.
Three different investors sharing one goal – a secure IoT ecosystem. Exein provides exactly this.
Co-led by Future Industry Ventures (FIV) fund together with eCAPITAL Entrepreneurial Partners, and United Ventures, the startup Exein has recently completed a €6 Million Series A funding round. For this deal, three different investors have joined forces to significantly drive and advance cybersecurity in the IoT. The pan-European Future Industry Ventures (FIV) fund, initiated by Redstone and SBI, is committed to shaping future industrial systems with solutions based on connectivity, decentralization, sustainability, and security. By leveraging corporate capital and institutional funds FIV aims to unlock the potential of European assets and excellent innovation hubs that are shaping the future of the industry through technological leadership. eCAPITAL Entrepreneurial Partners, a German independent VC firm is focusing on early-stage DeepTech investments. Their belief is that technology is key for solving some of today’s largest problems. The third investor, United Ventures, is an independent Italian venture capital firm is specialized in digital technology investments. As different they are, the aim of establishing a secure IoT remains a common objective of the three investors.
Founder Gianni Cuozzo, who started Exein in 2018, states: “IoT and embedded vulnerabilities are on the rise. We believe that in order to truly secure IoT and embedded systems, developers must be empowered with the right tools for effective security by design. We are on a mission to build the world’s first ecosystem for security, and we are delighted to onboard our new investor FIV, a fund with whom we share the belief in the key role of data protection and cybersecurity in industry 4.0 as well as eCAPITAL, an experienced DeepTech investor from Germany with an extensive international network and expertise in cyber security investments.”
“Exein has an outstanding team and we are impressed by their elegant solution of securing virtually any IoT device,” comments Philipp von Hagen, Managing Partner of Future Industry Ventures. “There have already been some impressive use cases across a variety of industries, proving the wide applicability of Exein’s approach. That in turn speaks to the company’s massive potential in paving the way for universal IoT security. Security is indispensable, and this is exactly the kind of innovation that we believe will make edge industrial systems safer, more reliable and hence deployment of edge IoT more pervasive.”
“While traditional approaches to securing embedded and IoT devices aim to reduce programming errors in the firmware, Exein’s solution detects malicious behavior during the operation of the devices,” comments Dirk Seewald, Partner at eCAPITAL. “With this new approach, Exein has seen tremendous growth recently and attracts enormous interest in the developer community. Exein fits perfectly into our portfolio of cybersecurity startups supported by eCAPITAL’s dedicated cybersecurity fund.”
The latest round of funding is expected to fuel the company’s planned architectural product expansion that will broaden Exein’s use cases to other markets such as Industrial IoT, Automotive, and Medical IoT. Furthermore, the fresh funds will be used to enable the accompanying tech hirings, which are expected to increase to meet the growing traction.