We are here for bold founders who will build the world’s most important cyber companies

Gili Raanan



“I created Cyberstarts to discover and closely nurture the next generation of innovators who will build the most important cybersecurity companies.”

Gili has been a valued first investor and mentor for more than 20 companies including Armis, Moovit, Adallom, Onavo, Wiz, Fireblocks, and many more.

Gili brings his vast hands-on experience to every investment, having built two enterprise software companies from zero to acquisitions by EMC and IBM. He won the coveted Israel Defense Presidential Prize in 1996 for his decade of service for the Israeli intelligence agency and the Israeli Defense Forces Innovation Award
in 1992.

Gili is the recognized inventor of the CAPTCHA, one of the world’s most popular security algorithms, built the first WAF (web application firewall) and holds 10 other US patents in the fields of security and application management. It is Gili’s passion and pleasure to share this breadth and depth of experience with Cyberstarts founders through their journeys.

Gili is an avid sports enthusiast – especially soccer and basketball. Watching, not practicing.

Gili is also a General Partner at Sequoia Capital since 2009.

Emily Heath

General Partner


Emily Heath is a seasoned technology and cybersecurity executive with experience leading complex global F100 organizations through technology, security, and cultural transformations. Emily currently serves on the Board of Directors of Wiz.

Most recently Emily served as SVP & Chief Trust & Security Officer at DocuSign based in San Francisco, California, where she oversaw cyber security, physical security, and customer trust functions, she also chaired the company’s ESG Committee. Prior to DocuSign, Emily was the Chief Information Security Officer at United Airlines, where she oversaw the airline’s global information security program as well the IT regulatory, governance and risk management functions. Before her role at United Airlines, she was the CISO at Fortune 500 architecture, engineering and construction firm, AECOM. Prior to these roles, Emily served in various IT leadership positions in enterprise applications, ERP and supply chain, web development, M&A leadership and program management.

Emily lives in the Bay Area with her wife, Kit and is an open advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Lior Simon

General Partner


“I’m privileged to invest in the world’s best cyber talent, and to spend my everyday mentoring them from ideation to growth.”

For over a decade I have seen from deep inside enterprise decision-chambers how pioneering entrepeneurs with refreshing agility can move markets and break barriers.

I’ve experienced the unparalleled thrill of growing companies from investing first money at Sequoia and later as Founder of Arbor Ventures in Israel, investing in leading companies including Forter, Fundbox and Planck.

This insatiable appetite to identify, nurture and collaborate with the sharpest entrepeneurial minds lured me to join Gili at Cyberstarts where I knew we could play a significant role in the nurture of the most important cyber companies to global markets.

Lior, loves yoga – especially the clarity and perspective that disconnecting affords; also playing strategic games and snowboarding, but not at the same time.

Hila Zigman

General Partner


Proud to be part of the best cyber fund in the world.”

For 4 years I had the privilege to take part of and build a cyber company that turned from an idea into a winning set of products. 

I’ve witnessed firsthand the organic growth, triumphs, and challenges that shape a successful venture.

I am passionate about partnering with entrepreneurs to understand the cybersecurity pain points of organizations, and assist them in their journey to decipher what makes a product valuable.

Hila, loves competitions and challenges, and above all car racing, reflecting a balance between calculated strategy and the thrill of speed.

Jason Clark

Chairman of the CISO Advisory board


Jason Clark brings decades of experience executing successful strategic security programs and business strategies to Cyberstarts as the Chairman of the CISO Advisory board. Jason is also Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Netskope. Jason started his career by breaking the mold and heading to the Air Force rather than his family legacy of Army service. Following his military service, he became a CISO for the New York Times at age 26 and kept building from there. Jason advises, “You should always be seeking out jobs you’re actually not qualified for. I think that’s how you grow. If you know you could do the job, and you’ve got half the skills, go for it.” Jason aspires to a legacy of increasing diversity in the cybersecurity industry and founded a non-profit to do just that.

Doug Merritt

Chairman of the Sunpeak GTM board


“Building the world’s most important cybersecurity companies requires more than capital – it requires a methodical and holistic Go To Market model”

Doug is the Chair of Sunpeak, the Cyberstarts’ GTM advisory board. Prior to Cyberstarts, Merritt served as President and CEO of Splunk and also held senior leadership roles at large enterprise companies including Cisco, SAP and PeopleSoft.

Curtis Simpson

Product Market Alignment


Curtis Simpson has 20 years of experience as an innovative and forward-leading IT and Security practitioner, leader, and executive, and has been responsible for building and leading world-class global cybersecurity and compliance programs within complex Fortune 100 operations, enterprises, and Startups.

Growing up in one of the coldest cities in Canada with a PC in the home in the early 80s ignited a spark that rapidly grew from a hobby into an obsession and ultimately, into a career of continuous learning around solving evolving business problems through the effective and creative use of technology and culturally aligned strategies.

As the Chief of Product Market Alignment at Cyberstarts, he combines this experience alongside his overall passion for the space and works with our portfolio companies to accelerate the product-market alignment on their journey to become important companies and help them leverage the amazing CISO board of Cyberstarts.

Curtis is also the CISO at Armis, the world’s leading unified asset security & visibility platform provider, recently valued at $3.4B. At Armis, Curtis is a member of the executive team and is responsible for the enterprise-level Information Technology and Security functions.

We have spent years building industry leading companies. We bring this trove of experience and relationships to every venture we invest in.

Cyberstarts was the brainchild of many deep conversations with our most successful cyber peers to distill the holy grail that enabled us to build important companies. 

It soon became clear that the trajectory to success is determined at a venture’s earliest start. That our deep inside perspective and highly engaged network during this critical earliest stage were unique ingredients in our successes. By aggregating these close relationships for entrepreneurs who we believe in, we knew that we can create incredible value for our tight network of CISOs who enjoy the earliest access to solutions that they help to define.

These peers became investors and Cyberstarts became the only VC primarily funded by the industry’s most successful cybersecurity founders.


You won’t hear about our newest startups

Since, at their most critical earliest stage, they are busy. They’re deep in the cyber industry’s inner circles developing critical solutions for their greatest and most pressing challenges. They are learning from fellow Cyberstarts portfolio founders who are several strides ahead in their journeys, and from our investors who are the world’s most successful cyber entrepreneurs.

But once you do hear about them, you’ll hear about them big time…

… because by then, they are on their accelerated trajectory to success.  With a proven product-market fit and dream customers from day one, our companies gain the financial power they need early on to grow and conquer their markets.

These milestones are part of our Sunrise Methodology, our cyber success playbook that has been working time and again for our companies.

Sunrise Methodology

Since its inception in 2018, Cyberstarts has been focused on funding, launching, and supporting early-stage cybersecurity companies and entrepreneurs. With its entrepreneur-backed model, Cyberstarts’ investors and limited partners (LPs) comprise the industry’s most prominent leaders. These investors provide strategic counsel to portfolio companies and entrepreneurs, from guidance on product-market fit to talent recruitment and everything in between.

This journey has already seen many great companies born through our sunrise process, of which our CISO community is a key part. It takes time and a lot of work to build great companies, and we are so proud of what we have been able to help our founders build and achieve so far. In the last five years, Cyberstarts has helped build companies that have redefined how we protect against cyber threats, including many Unicorns. This puts us at the top of the early-stage Venture Capital firms list.

Cyberstarts Sunrise program

Cyberstarts operates in a unique model, dubbed “Sunrise” working closely with the founding teams in which it invests, from the early days of the company’s inception, to focus on the most important pain points within the broad area in which the team is exploring. Cyberstarts has built a playbook that develops and becomes sturdier over time, helping build companies that resolve significant market problems. 

CISO community

Cyberstarts’ inside perspective and meaningful relationships from deep within the cybersecurity industry are woven into the core of our unique Sunrise program.

Highly engaged CISOs and close collaboration with the cyber industry’s most successful entrepreneurs help shape our companies from their first steps of product ideation and product-market fit.

CISO participation program

Cyberstarts has always believed that up-and-coming technology founders need seasoned operator advisors to guide them as they build and scale. To this end, Cyberstarts has gathered a world-class network of expert CIOs and CISOs from leading companies to advise and guide our portfolio companies. We are very grateful to our advisors for the time they spend with our startup founders and their teams.

We require all our advisors to certify that they have disclosed the terms of engagement to their employers and, if required, have received permission from the employers to serve as members of the Advisory Board.

Historically, we used an industry-standard mechanism that offered our advisors a small amount of shadow-carried interest in the fund in return for the many hours they spent with pre-commercial founding teams. As of June 2024, no additional compensation will be awarded to existing advisors or new advisors who join the program. The compensation component we previously offered was always optional.

If you are a CISO and would like to learn more about getting involved, please email us at contact@cyberstarts.com

Opportunity Fund

Cyberstarts is creating a new Opportunity Fund line of business, to take advantage of follow-on opportunities from our portfolio companies that are raising Series A and Series B rounds.

Gili Raanan, founder of Cyberstarts explains “Most of the Entrepreneurs we have partnered with, manage to hit the ground and grow into significant businesses over a short period of time. The Opportunity fund is another assurance for them and a new generation of entrepreneurs, we can and will support them with a constant flow of cash as they grow their businesses”.