There seems to be applications today for just about every task you can think of and over the last few weeks I have come to appreciate a simple app and piece of gear that is essential to cycling. A bike pump is an essential piece of kit for bikers and when you are traveling 15 to 20 miles an hour on a bike it is important to have proper inflation on your tires.
I didn’t think much about using a connected bike pump, but then the folks at Echos Communications sent along a Silca Viaggio travel pump and it is clear that a high quality pump can provide a safe and efficient cycling experience. I’ve also struggled with very small portable pumps, but this model is less portable while offering the stability and capability to pump up your tires faster in a sleeker profile than most standing floor pumps.
My daily commute consists of biking just over three miles to the train station, riding the train to Seattle, and then walking a mile to the office. Cycling six and half miles is pretty quick and easy thanks to the RadCity electric bike I’ve been riding for almost two years. It took a while, but I’ve experienced three flat tires over the last month. I was able to use a bit of tech and my phone to help fix those.
Also: RadCity electric commuter bike review: Affordable, urban, green, and just plain fun
- iGauge compatible Bluetooth® enabled pressure sensor
- Premium 731 leather gasket
- Brass check valve assembly
- Detachable handle + folding feet support
- Schrader chuck + HIRO locking Presta chuck with a magnetic dock
- Weight: 2.95lbs/1.34kg, Length: 57cm, Max PSI: 220
The Silca Viaggio Travel Pump comes in a cylindrical cardboard container and is wrapped in a waxed-canvas tool roll. I was expecting a much more portable pump, but the pump and tool roll is still small enough to travel with you on an extended trip. I could fit into my pannier on my RadCity and it works so well, I may just carry it on my daily commute.
The barrel of the pump is shiny silver made of 6061 aluminum material. In order to manipulate the pump, you first slide off the thick aluminum handle mounted along one side and the slide it onto the piston at the top of the pump. It is very well constructed and should last you for years.
Two feet fold down and lock into place so you can stand on the pump feet and keep it secure to the ground. There is a twist lock plastic cover at the bottom of the pump that houses a coin cell battery to power the Bluetooth radio.
The rubber air hose extends the length of the pump and then back down for a total hose length of greater than three feet. This means you can easily route the hose and chuck to your bike and stand back to pump the tire with your connected phone.
A very high quality HIRO locking Presta chuck is installed at the end of the hose with a Schrader end that secures to your tube. Everything about this pump is well designed and built to last.
The iGauge software is available for iOS and Android. It is a universal piece of software that works with a variety of compatible pumps. The gauge numbers are huge and take up about a quarter of my phone display.
Hook up the pump and start adding air to the tire to activate the Bluetooth transceiver. Once more than 6 psi is in the tire, data will be transmitted to iGauge. The default is psi, but you can also tap to view the pressure in bars if you desire.
Silca states that the software gauge is accurate to within 0.5 psi, which is much better than the 5+ psi I usually accept with my manual gauges. There are some other settings in the software, but I haven’t found details on how to use those features and just rely on iGauge for the pressure reading.
Also: RadCity electric commuter bike review: Affordable, urban, green, and just plain fun
Experiences and conclusions
The Viaggio Travel Pump is available now for $275, but if biking in an essential part of your daily commute or exercise routine then it may be worth the price. Having one at the office to help your employees keep their bike tires properly inflated is also something to consider. We have 50 percent of our engineering office biking to work during the summer months.
After my first tire went flat, I searched inside it and found a couple of blackberry thorns in the side wall. I removed them, replaced the tube, and then put some green Slime tube sealant inside it. I inflated the tube using a floor bike pump that has a gauge on the pump. I was watching the pressure on the pump and had plenty of capacity, or so I thought, when the tube blew up and green Slime went all over me and the garage. It just happened that my wife was in the garage at the time and was not impressed with my bike repair skills.
Thankfully, I had another spare tube so I put that on and went through the same routine, but checked the pressure with my dedicated gauge. This worked fine, but I had to bounce back and forth between the gauge and the pump to achieve proper tire pressure and have been satisfied with a 5-10 psi range. That tire also went flat about a week later with a sharp rock embedded into the tube and tire. The Slime worked, but the rock kept opening up the hole and slowly leaking air.
The Viaggio Travel Pump arrived after the second flat so I put it to the test. The Viaggio pump has a Schrader valve, which is what I have on the tubes of my electric and standard bikes. I installed the iGauge software and tried using the pump with nothing appearing on my phone. I deflated the tire and tried again, with no progress. I tried an Android phone and that didn’t work either. I pulled things apart and realized there was a clear plastic insert in the coin cell battery found at the bottom of the pump so I removed that and was off and running.
The iGauge software has a large, easily readable electronic gauge so you can easily see the level of what you are pumping. At first I had a bit of air leaking out when I attached the chuck. I watched the video and adjusted the preload of the gasket and no more air came out when I used the pump. I confidently inflated my new tube and then checked the tire pressure in the three other bikes in the family.
The Silca Viaggio Travel Pump is a very high quality product that helps you inflate your tire to the correct pressure. It folds up well and fits nicely in the included waxed-canvas tool roll. There are plenty of open slots for your other bike tools too.
Cymulate snaps up $70M to help cybersecurity teams stress test their networks with attack simulations – TechCrunch
The cost of cybercrime has been growing at an alarming rate of 15% per year, projected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. To cope with the challenges that this poses, organizations are turning to a growing range of AI-powered tools to supplement their existing security software and the work of their security teams. Today, a startup called Cymulate — which has built a platform to help those teams automatically and continuously stress test their networks against potential attacks with simulations, and provide guidance on how to improve their systems to ward off real attacks — is announcing a significant round of growth funding after seeing strong demand for its tools.
The startup — founded in Tel Aviv, with a second base in New York — has raised $70 million, a Series D that it will be using to continue expanding globally and investing in expanding its technology (both organically and potentially through acquisitions).
Today, Cymulate’s platform covers both on-premise and cloud networks, providing breach and attack simulations for endpoints, email and web gateways and more; automated “red teaming”; and a “purple teaming” facility to create and launch different security breach scenarios for organizations that lack the resources to dedicate people to a live red team — in all, a “holistic” solution for companies looking to make sure they are getting the most out of the network security architecture that they already have in place, in the worlds of Eyal Wachsman, Cymulate’s CEO.
“We are providing our customers with a different approach for how to do cybersecurity and get insights [on] all the products already implemented in a network,” he said in an interview. The resulting platform has found particular traction in the current market climate. Although companies continue to invest in their security architecture, security teams are also feeling the market squeeze, which is impacting IT budgets, and sometimes headcount in an industry that was already facing a shortage of expertise. (Cymulate cites figures from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology that estimate a shortfall of 2.72 million security professionals in the workforce globally.)
The idea with Cymulate is that it’s built something that helps organizations get the most out of what they already have. “And at the end, we provide our customers the ability to prioritize where they need to invest, in terms of closing gaps in their environment,” Wachsman said.
The round is being led by One Peak, with Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE), Vertex Ventures Israel, Vertex Growth and strategic backer Dell Technologies Capital also participating. (All five also backed Cymulate in its $45 million Series C last year.) Relatively speaking, this is a big round for Cymulate, doubling its total raised to $141 million, and while the startup is not disclosing its valuation, I understand from sources that it is around the $500 million mark.
Wachsman noted that the funding is coming on the heels of a big year for the startup (the irony being that the constantly escalating issue of cybersecurity and growing threat landscape spells good news for companies built to combat that). Revenues have doubled, although it’s not disclosing any numbers today, and the company is now at over 200 employees and works with some 500 paying customers across the enterprise and mid-market, including NTT, Telit, and Euronext, up from 300 customers a year ago.
Wachsman, who co-founded the company with Avihai Ben-Yossef and Eyal Gruner, said he first thought of the idea of building a platform to continuously test an organization’s threat posture in 2016, after years of working in cybersecurity consulting for other companies. He found that no matter how much effort his customers and outside consultants put into architecting security solutions annually or semi-annually, those gains were potentially lost each time a malicious hacker made an unexpected move.
“If the bad guys decided to penetrate the organization, they could, so we needed to find a different approach,” he said. He looked to AI and machine learning for the solution, a complement to everything already in the organization, to build “a machine that allows you to test your security controls and security posture, continuously and on demand, and to get the results immediately… one step before the hackers.”
Last year, Wachsman described Cymulate’s approach to me as “the largest cybersecurity consulting firm without consultants,” but in reality the company does have its own large in-house team of cybersecurity researchers, white-hat hackers who are trying to find new holes — new bugs, zero days and other vulnerabilities — to develop the intelligence that powers Cymulate’s platform.
These insights are then combined with other assets, for example the MITRE ATT&CK framework, a knowledge base of threats, tactics and techniques used by a number of other cybersecurity services, including others building continuous validation services that compete with Cymulate. (Competitors include the likes of FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Randori, AttackIQ and many more.)
Cymulate’s work comes in the form of network maps that detail a company’s threat profile, with technical recommendations for remediation and mitigations, as well as an executive summary that can be presented to financial teams and management who might be auditing security spend. It also has built tools for running security checks when integrating any services or IT with third parties, for instance in the event of an M&A process or when working in a supply chain.
Today the company focuses on network security, which is big enough in itself but also leaves the door open for Cymulate to acquire companies in other areas like application security — or to build that for itself. “This is something on our roadmap,” said Wachsman.
If potential M&A leads to more fundraising for Cymulate, it helps that the startup is in one of the handful of categories that are going to continue to see a lot of attention from investors.
“Cybersecurity is clearly an area that we think will benefit from the current macroeconomic environment, versus maybe some of the more capital-intensive businesses like consumer internet or food delivery,” said David Klein, a managing partner at One Peak. Within that, he added, “The best companies [are those] that are mission critical for their customers… Those will continue to attract very good multiples.”
Open-source password manager Bitwarden raises $100M – TechCrunch
Bitwarden, an open-source password manager for enterprises and consumers, has raised $100 million in a round of funding led by PSG, with participation form Battery Ventures.
Founded initially back in 2015, Santa Barbara, California-based Bitwarden operates in a space that includes well-known incumbents including 1Password, which recently hit a $6.8 billion valuation off the back of a $620 million fundraise, and Lastpass, which was recently spun out as an independent company again two years after landing in the hands of private equity firms.
In a nutshell, Bitwarden and its ilk make it easier for people to generate secure passwords automatically, and store all their unique passwords and sensitive information such as credit card data in a secure digital vault, saving them from reusing the same insecure password across all their online accounts.
Bitwarden’s big differentiator, of course, lies in the fact that it’s built atop an open-source codebase, which for super security-conscious individuals and businesses is a good thing — they can fully inspect the inner-workings of the platform. Moreover, people can contribute back to the codebase and expedite development of new features.
On top of a basic free service, Bitwarden ships a bunch of paid-for premium features and services, including advanced enterprise features like single sign-on (SSO) integrations and identity management.
It’s worth noting that today’s “minority growth investment” represents Bitwarden’s first substantial external funding in its seven year history, though we’re told that it did raise a small undisclosed series A round back in 2019. Its latest cash injection is indicative of how the world has changed in the intervening years. The rise of remote work, with people increasingly meshing personal and work accounts on the same devices, means the same password is used across different services. And such poor password and credential hygiene puts businesses at great risk.
Additionally, growing competition and investments in the management space means that Bitwarden can’t rest on its laurels — it needs to expand, and that is what its funds will be used for. Indeed, Bitwarden has confirmed plans to extend its offering into several aligned security and privacy verticals, including secrets management — something that 1Password expanded into last year via its SecretHub acquisition.
“The timing of the investment is ideal, as we expand into opportunities in developer secrets, passwordless technologies, and authentication,” Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell noted in a press release. “Most importantly, we aim to continue to serve all Bitwarden users for the long haul.”
downgrade the ‘middle-men’ resellers – TechCrunch
As well as the traditional carbon offset resellers and exchanges such as Climate Partner or Climate Impact X the tech space has also produced a few, including Patch (US-based, raised $26.5M) and Lune (UK-based, raised $4M).
Now, Ceezer, a B2B marketplace for carbon credits, has closed a €4.2M round, led by Carbon Removal Partners with participation of impact-VC Norrsken VC and with existing investor Picus Capital.
Ceezer ’s pitch is that companies have to deal with a lot of complexity when considering how they address carbon removal and reduction associated with their businesses. Whie they can buy offsetting credits, the market remains pretty ‘wild-west’, and has multiple competing standards running in parallel. For instance, the price range of $5 to $500 per ton is clearly all over the place, and sometimes carbon offset resellers make buyers pay high prices for low-quality carbon credits, pulling in extra revenues from a very opaque market.
The startup’s offering is for corporates to integrate both carbon removal and avoidance credits in one package. It does this by mining the offsetting market for lots of data points, enabling carbon offset sellers to reach buyers without having to use these middle-men resellers.
The startup claims that sellers no longer waste time and money on bespoke contracts with corporates but instead use Ceezer’s legal framework for all transactions. Simultaneously, buyers can access credits at a primary market level, maximizing the effect of the dollars they spend on carbon offsets.
Ceezer says it now has over 50 corporate customers and has 200,000 tons of carbon credits to sell across a variety of categories. and will use the funds to expand its impact and sourcing team, the idea being to make carbon removal technologies more accessible to corporate buyers, plus widen the product offering for credit sellers and buyers.
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