Tortuga Logic Raises USD 2 million Seed Funding Posted Nov 21, 2017 by Ruchika Sharma

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Tortuga Logic a hardware tech startup based out of Palo Alto, CA has just announced the raising of its seed funding round. The company has raised a total of two million USD from venture capital firm Eclipse Ventures. 

The company primarily has operations in the chip level hardware sector. It aims to utilize the newly acquired firepower to further strengthen its quest to keep providing unparalleled security. It aims to keep striving towards discovering the various vulnerabilities in hardware and subsequently plugging them.

The company was started by Dr. Jason Oberg, Dr. Jonathan Valamehr, Professor Ryan Kastner of UC San Diego, and Professor Tim Sherwood of UC Santa Barbara. Between them, the founders have ample amount of expertise in the systems security space. The company has also received a grant from the US government's National Science Foundation for initial commercialization.

The security systems industry is dotted with both big and small players each having their own unique selling point, but all of them are in the software business. With the advent of autonomous vehicles, growing complexity of mobile devices, and trust issues in the supply chain for military applications has led to a spot opening up which has been snapped up by Tortuga Logic. Tortuga aims to plug this new gaping hole with its own specialized solutions.

To explain what exactly the company does, Dr. Oberg chooses an apt analogy. He states “The software, like the dust sensor on a high end DSLR camera, can sense and manage faults on the hardware and prevent software from exploiting hardware holes. Since the early days of computing, hardware has always been exploited to compromise the best of the best machines. 

Hardware flaws, unlike software flaws cannot be patched up with an update downloaded from the internet. In most cases, a hardware flaw entails extensive changing of parts and even recall. Such a process puts heavy burden on the finances of a company, if the product has already been shipped.

The team, in their day to day activities, were able to isolate key areas and noticed that plugging these holes led to a considerable upgrade in the system’s security. The company makes and sells a “a suite of hardware design tools to identify security vulnerabilities throughout the design of a semiconductor” and already have customers in aerospace and defense.

Oberg states that the key difference between the companies that operate in the cybersecurity business space and Tortuga Logic is that their company focuses on the underlying chips rather than focusing and cursing the software. He also states that unlike the bigger corporations that generally create or form an internal team to try and identify the problem or spot holes in the system, his company Tortuga Logic relies on specialized technology that makes it possible for them to automate this very process of vulnerability identification. 

He states that this is what gives them an edge over them as most companies do not have AI based automation infused in their internal teams.

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