OpenAI CEO invests in new Israeli AI security startup – ISRAEL21c

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In a notable announcement for the world of artificial intelligence, AI security startup Apex Security has stepped out of stealth mode brandishing a substantial $7 million seed funding round — part of which is a direct investment from Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT parent company OpenAI.

The round was co-led by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures.

As a prominent figure in the AI and tech community, Altman’s endorsement speaks volumes about Apex’s potential, as well as the apparent need for robust AI security solutions.

Founded in 2023 by industry veterans Matan Derman and Tomer Avni, both of whom hail from elite military intelligence units, Apex already serves several Fortune 500 clients and intends to leverage the seed funding to accelerate its product development, expand its team and strengthen its market presence.

The Israeli company’s emergence coincides with a global surge in the adoption of generative AI (GenAI) capabilities thanks to innovations like ChatGPT, which launched in late 2022. An estimated 80% of Fortune 500 companies have already integrated ChatGPT into their workflows.

OpenAI CEO invests in new Israeli AI security startup
Photo illustration by Ascannio via

This rapid AI integration also ushers in a host of security challenges, from potential data breaches and malicious injections to concerns about privacy, copyright violations and sophisticated AI-driven cyberattacks.

“Every wave of disruptive innovation introduces new security threats and attack vectors, and generative AI is no exception,� noted Sequoia Capital Partner Bogomil Balkansky.

“The world is elated by the possibility for GenAI to increase productivity, and even create new markets — but at the same time, awareness is building that sensitive data can leave the corporate perimeter, and that GenAI outputs are manipulated,� he continued.

“Therefore, the adoption of this new generation of AI services needs to go hand in hand with building out the infrastructure to securely use them.�

Index Ventures Partner Shardul Shah added, “As companies start using AI and large language models, they expose themselves to new risks, including data leaks, privacy, intellectual property breaches, or dedicated AI attacks,� he said.

“Apex is focused on resolving this particular dilemma — one of the biggest cybersecurity challenges facing today’s tech industry — using an innovative framework that actively mitigates AI risks on a large scale.�


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