SpiderSilk works on addressing limitations in cybersecurity products by providing organisations with an AI-powered cyber defense platform. Image Credit: Reuters

Riyadh: SpiderSilk, the Dubai-based cybersecurity AI startup, announced on Wednesday that it was closing a $9 million funding round led by Wa’ed Ventures, Aramco’s $500 million Kingdom-based venture capital fund, to enable the expansion of its cyber defense technology offering in Saudi Arabia. The round included participations from STV and Global Ventures.

“While the GCC is a key technology market, there is hardly any IP being built in the region for the region and beyond, and we believe that it is increasingly important to achieve self-reliance in this sector for the benefit of the public and private organizations”, Rami El Malak, co-founder and CEO at SpiderSilk, said in a statement.

“This investment is a watershed moment for the regional tech ecosystem, and we hope that it will open doors for more entrepreneurs to innovate in our space,” he said.

Started in 2019

Established in 2019 by El Malak and Mossab Hussein, SpiderSilk is working on addressing the limitations in cybersecurity products by providing organisations with an AI-powered cyber defense platform and continuous exposure detection technologies.

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“As an emerging market, achieving self-reliance when it comes to cybersecurity depends heavily on our ability to back regional pioneers the likes of SpiderSilk who not only understand the criticality of data breaches affecting our market, but whose mission is to also educate clients and regulators on the cyber threats they themselves might be missing,” Fahad Alidi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, said in the statement.

With a Saudi headquarter planned for 2024, SpiderSilk aims to create high-skilled jobs in advanced technology fields such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and R&D.

Earlier this year, SpiderSilk signed its first five-year agreements with global conglomerates like Unisys to provide managed security service provider services to provide advanced, autonomous, cyber defense capabilities that directly reduces operational cost and uplifts cybersecurity measures for these companies.

Investor interest in AI

With the recent influx in AI-based solutions and products, there has been a growing interest among venture capital investors in cybersecurity funding for AI startups with nearly $1.9 billion raised globally across 153 deals last quarter alone (Q3, 2023), cites Crunchbase.

The increase in funding follows an identifiable market need for more cybersecurity solutions, especially around fighting security breaches. In the Middle East alone, the average cost per data breach is estimated to be around $8 million, the second highest rate in the world after the US, according to IBM in its 2023 Security report.