SAN FRANCISCO & TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--YL Ventures, the Silicon Valley headquartered seed-stage venture capital firm focusing on Israeli cybersecurity innovation, announces a major expansion of its Venture Advisory Board. This unique leadership team currently bolsters YL Ventures’ due diligence process and provides its portfolio companies continuous support across a multitude of functions throughout their entire lifecycle. The four existing advisors (Tom Baltis, CISO of Delta Dental Insurance; Andy Ellis, CSO of Akamai; Amichai Schulman, Co-Founder and former CTO of Imperva Inc.; and Justin Somaini, CSO of SAP) will be joined by an additional 24 market-leading Chief Information Security Officers and cybersecurity experts, including:
- Colin Anderson, CISO of Levi, Strauss & Co.
- Tomasz Chowanski, CISO, Community Banking, Consumer Lending and Operations of Wells Fargo
- George Do, CISO of Equinix
- Adam Ely, VP and Deputy CISO of Walmart
- Brooks Evans, Director of Security of Netflix
- Satish Gannu, CSO of ABB
- Rob Geurtsen, Deputy Information Security Officer of Nike
- Jay Gonzales, CISO of Samsung Semiconductor
- Ken Gonzalez, Managing Director of NightDragon Security
- Ryan Gurney, CSO of Looker
- Roger Hale, CISO of Informatica
- Stacey Halota, VP, Information Security & Privacy of Graham Holdings
- Dave Hannigan, Head of Security of Spotify
- Kurt Lieber, VP, and CISO of Aetna
- Brian Lozada, CISO of Zocdoc
- Tim Mather, Chief Security Strategist of PatternX
- Pritesh Parekh, VP, and CSO of Zuora
- Billy Rios, Founder of WhiteScope LLC
- Richard Rushing, CISO of Motorola Mobility
- Sherry Ryan, VP, and CISO of Juniper Networks
- Bradley Schaufenbuel, VP, and CISO of Paylocity
- John L. Sullivan, CSO of Boston Scientific
- David Tsao, CISO of Veeva Systems
“We are thrilled to announce these incredible new Venture Advisors,” said Yoav Leitersdorf, Managing Partner of YL Ventures. “YL Ventures’ deep U.S. network has always been a unique component of our strategic DNA. Formalizing and expanding these connections by incorporating them into our Venture Advisory Board marks a major but natural evolution of YL Ventures’ core competitive advantage.”
Global cybersecurity spending is forecast to total $96.3 billion in 2018, an increase of 8 percent from 2017. And Israel produces the second-highest concentration of cybersecurity startups in the world after the United States. YL Ventures’ current $75 million fund remains primarily focused on connecting Israel’s top cybersecurity innovations to its extensive network of U.S. and global market-leaders. YL Ventures’ drastically expanded advisory board--whose members represent companies with a combined market cap of over $1 trillion--will help further cement its unique ability to link these two markets in a mutually beneficial dynamic.
Unfettered access to world-renowned CISOs strengthens YL Ventures’ investment team’s vetting process while also providing invaluable feedback, insight, and guidance to Israeli entrepreneurs within the YL Ventures network. In return, Venture Advisors benefit from exposure to pre-vetted Israeli cybersecurity innovations and get direct exposure to a market second only to the U.S. in cybersecurity innovation.
“I’m excited to officially join YL Ventures’ growing Venture Advisory Board,” said Sherry Ryan, VP, and CISO of Juniper Networks. “I’ve worked closely with their team for years and have always valued our frictionless, productive partnership. YL Ventures’ excellent track record and relationships with brilliant Israeli entrepreneurs have provided unmatched access to local innovations. I’m confident that this deeper collaboration will only magnify the positive outcomes we’ve already shared.”
Rob Geurtsen, Deputy Information Security Officer at Nike echoed this sentiment. “I’ve known Yoav for many years now, and I appreciate the way YL Ventures operates within a very crowded landscape. They consistently identify great technologies in Israel and have the infrastructure in place to help support those great ideas as they come to market. I’m excited to work more closely with them in the future.”
This optimism for the program’s future is supported by the current Venture Advisory Board’s rapid, remarkable success. Yaniv Bar Dayan, CEO, and co-founder of Vulcan Cyber shared his positive experiences as the first YL Ventures portfolio company to take full advantage of this new program’s complete capabilities.
“YL Ventures’ ability to bring in U.S. cybersecurity experts who can advise on everything from product-market-fit, through messaging, to go-to-market has been amazing. Breadth of perspectives from Venture Advisors allowed us to lock in our strategy early and pursue it with confidence. Their dedication to the portfolio is also incredible. Andy Ellis (CSO of Akamai Technologies) in particular connected with our product and message right away. In addition to his role as Venture Advisor with YL Ventures, he formally joined Vulcan’s advisory board. YL Ventures and their board of advisors haven’t just been partners with Vulcan -- they’ve become part of Vulcan in the process.”
YL Ventures’ unique ability to bridge the Israeli and U.S. cybersecurity markets continues to drive its impressive, sustained growth. Joint centers of gravity in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv enable a dynamic which benefits both innovative Israeli entrepreneurs and connected U.S. customers. YL Ventures’ rapidly expanding Venture Advisory Board promises to further catalyze this growth and create exciting new opportunities.
About YL Ventures
YL Ventures funds & supports brilliant Israeli tech entrepreneurs from seed to lead. Based in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, YL Ventures manages $140 million across three funds focused on seed-stage, deep-technology B2B companies in the fields of cybersecurity, enterprise software and automotive technologies. YL Ventures accelerates the evolution of portfolio companies via strategic advice and US-based operational execution.