February 23, 2017 | Israeli DIY website company Wix.com announced today that it acquired DeviantArt, an online community for artists and designers, for $36 million in cash. Wix, which helps small businesses build and operate websites, will have access to Los Angeles-based DeviantArt’s more than 40 million registered members and over 325 million pieces of original art. As a result of the deal, Wix raised its 2017 revenue outlook by $8 million to $417-$419 million. Investments in DeviantArt’s platform will raise headcount and decrease 2017 free cash flow by $8 million to $63-$64 million. This is the first overseas acquisition for Wix, which saw revenue grow 48 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $84.2 million as it beat expectations. The company has over 100 million registered users. As of Dec. 31, Wix had $172 million in cash. Wix was founded in 2006 by Giora Kaplan, Avishai Abrahami, and Nadav Abrahami.
February 23, 2017 | Israeli startups GetmeIns and Seegnature have won the top prize in the Insurtech Israel competition, which focuses on startups in the field of insurance technology. Israeli venture capital firm JVP will invest over $2 million in the winners. The startups will share the top award and the finds. GetmeIns operates in the field of fraud prevention, and has developed a unique platform to lower Loss Ratio for insurance companies. Seegnature empowers consumer-facing enterprises to close transactions remotely by verifying clients’ identity and getting their signatures on documents in real-time. [Photo: Seegnature]
February 22, 2017 | TestCraft, an Israeli provider of a continuous testing SaaS-based solution that allows manual business testers to create test automation without coding, announced today that it has closed a seed funding round of $1 million from a number of serial software entrepreneurs and industry veterans. The Tel Aviv based company was started in 2015 by Yarin Podoler and Daniel Levin who were joined by Dr. Ron Rymon as Executive Chairman, and Dror Todress as CEO. Dr. Rymon. The company will use the proceeds of this round to work with customers to further enhance its solution and to expand its core development team with top talent.
February 21, 2017 | Israeli VAT recovery company VATBox has announced the completion of a $20 million financing round led by Target Global Fund and with the participation of existing investors Viola Private Equity and other private investors. This brings the total equity raised by the company since founding to $50 million. The financing will accelerate VATBox’s international expansion and the rollout of its innovative VAT solutions. VATBox was founded in 2013 by CEO Isaac Saft and President Noam Guzman. The company has offices in Herzliya, Paris, Frankfurt, and New York.
February 20, 2017 | Apple Inc. has acquired Israeli startup RealFace, a cybersecurity and machine learning firm specializing in facial recognition authentication technology. According to Israeli financial news website Calcalist, the deal was worth “a couple of million dollars”. Founded in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, the Tel Aviv-based startup had developed a unique facial recognition technology that integrates artificial intelligence and “brings back human perception to digital processes”. RealFace’s software is said to use proprietary IP in the field of “frictionless face recognition” that allows for rapid learning from facial features. RealFace’s first product, the Pickeez app, created a new way to enjoy photos, with its recognition software automatically choosing the user’s best photos from every platform they’re on.
RealFace is the fourth Israel-based firm Apple is known to have acquired. In 2011 it bought flash memory maker Anobit for a reported $400 million, then in November 2013 it acquired 3D sensor company PrimeSense for an estimated $345 million. Most recently in 2015, Apple bought LinX for around $20 million.
February 19, 2017 | Israel’s IDC Herzliya has received the approval of the Council for Higher Education to open enrollment for an undergraduate double major in entrepreneurship, to be taught in English, the first of its kind in Israel. The program will provide young entrepreneurs the knowledge and the tools to realize their ideas and entrepreneurial ambitions. The IDC was the first to develop a training program for entrepreneurship 16 years ago. The Adelson School of Entrepreneurship, headed by Prof. Yair Tauman, offers academic courses to all IDC students as part of joint academic programs, or as elective courses. The new BA program in Entrepreneurship is based on the unprecedented success of two other special programs at IDC: The ZELL program for entrepreneurship and Media Innovation Lab (MiLab). The IDC was founded in 1994 by Prof. Uriel Reichman as a private, nonprofit institution for higher education that doesn’t rely on government subsidies. [Photo: Ofer Amram]
| February 16, 2017 | OurCrowd, a leading equity crowdfunding platform, made history today by hosting the biggest investment event in Israel, the 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit. Some 6,000 guests from 82 countries, including startups, venture capitalists and strategic investors, attended the event at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. Also in attendance were over 200 multinational corporations including Honda, Innogy, GE, Shell, Intuit, Microsoft, and Samsung Ventures. The theme of the summit was “The Future is Here” and it included over 60 booths demonstrating a variety of frontier technologies already changing the world, including industrial drones, companion care robots, miniature spectrometers to “google” everything, tracking devices with centimeter accuracy, phone based glucose monitors, and much more. “This is by far the largest equity crowdfunding conference in the world, and Israel’s largest investor event ever,” Jon Medved, OurCrowd founder and CEO said in a statement. “We have twice the number of attendees that we had last year, giving proof to the tremendous vitality and dynamism in the global equity crowdfunding market.”
February 16, 2017 | Israeli educational games developer TinyTap has closed a $1.5 million financing round. The Tel Aviv based startup, which helps parents and teachers create educational games and other interactive apps, raised the funds from Hong Kong based Animoca, Israeli micro-venture capital fund Inimiti VC and New York Angels. Founded in 2012, the startup claims more than 100,000 titles have been created by teachers. The proceeds will be used to develop an online marketplace through which teachers can earn money from games that they’ve developed on the TinyTap platform.
February 16, 2017 | Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd is expanding in Asia with a new Taipei office, the firm announced today during its 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, one of the largest technology and investment conferences in the Middle East. “We see Taiwan as one of the major technology and innovation centers in the world,” Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd, said in a statement. OurCrowd community boasts 17,000 investors from 110 countries, who have invested some $400 million in 110 portfolio companies and funds.
February 15, 2017 | Sapiens International Corporation, an Israeli provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, with a growing presence in the financial services sector, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held StoneRiver Inc., for approximately $102 million in cash. StoneRiver delivers a wide range of solutions and services for the insurance industry in North America. Founded in 1982 by Tsvi Misinai, Sapiens is headed by Roni Al-Dor and is traded both on NASDAQ and on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
February 15, 2017| Israeli startup Intuition Robotics, which is developing social companion technologies, today announced funding from strategic investor iRobot Corp. and equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd. This investment brings the total funding in the company to $6 million across various funding instruments. Ramat Gan based Intuition Robotics will participate in the world’s largest equity crowdfunding conference, the 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit on February 16th in Jerusalem, where the company will conduct the first live demonstration of Elli•Q, an autonomous active aging companion aimed at keeping older adults active and engaged.
February 14, 2017 | Minute Media, parent company of 90min and 12up, a leading contributor-driven sports media platform, announced today the closing of a $15 million investment round, bringing its total funding since inception to $60 million. The funding will serve to further boost Minute Media’s global expansion into new markets, introduce new sports brands, and expand the teams across the company’s London, New York, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Singapore, Manila and São Paulo offices. The round was led by Qumra Capital, with participation from Minute Media’s existing investors: Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and ProSieben. Minute Media allows fans to share their passion for the game with millions of other fans by creating articles, quizzes, slideshows, videos, listicles and other multimedia content to tell the stories behind the game, further integrating sports in to pop culture.
February 14, 2017 | Israeli employee services cloud based IT company Samanage today announced that it has received $20 million in new capital funding, including investments from Carmel Ventures, Gemini Israel Ventures, Marker LLC, Salesforce Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners. Samanage was founded by Doron Gordon in 2007 and is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina with a development center is in Netanya, Israel. Samanage also announced that it has recently launched the new Service Desk, Enterprise Edition, on the Salesforce AppExchange, empowering businesses to connect with their customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways.
February 14, 2017 | Israeli cyber security company IntSights today announced the completion of a $15 million Series B financing round. This latest investment comes only four months after IntSights’ Series A round. The Series B round included investments by Glilot Capital Partners, Blackstone, Blumberg Capital, Wipro, Vintage Investment Partners, and other strategic investors. The Herzliya-based company is an intelligence-driven security provider for cyber threats from the dark, deep and open web. IntSights was founded by CEO Guy Nizan, CPO Alon Arvatz and CTO Gal Ben-David, all of whom are veterans of elite intelligence and cybersecurity units in the Israeli Defense Forces.
February 13, 2017 | CrediFi Corp., a leading source for data and analytics for commercial real estate finance, announced today that it closed a Series B funding round of $13 million. The round was led by Liberty Interactive’s Liberty Israel Venture Fund, and joined by 31 VENTURES Global Innovation Fund, a CVC fund managed by Global Brain for Mitsui Fudosan, Japan’s leading real estate developer, along with substantial participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, Carmel Ventures, OurCrowd and Stax. Founded in 2014, CrediFi Corp. is a SaaS big data platform serving the Commercial Real Estate Finance market. CrediFi is the commercial real estate leader in the Fintech space, focused on greater transparency in understanding borrowers, lenders and transactions, enabling better real estate investment decisions. CrediFi currently has 75 employees, dual headquartered in New York City and Tel Aviv.
| February 13, 2017 | After a successful Super Bowl Week, which showcased some of the latest Sports Technology, OurCrowd, a global leader in equity crowdfunding is partnering with the Adi Dassler International Family Office (ADIFO) backed sports accelerator LeAD, to discover high potential innovation in sports-related products and services on a worldwide scale. OurCrowd is also gearing up for the 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, the largest tech investment conference in the Middle East, which will take place this Thursday, February 16th, in Jerusalem. The event is expected to attract over 5000 people from all over the world.
February 13, 2017 | Israeli augmented reality (AR) company TIPIT has raised $2.5 million in a seed financing round. With investment from Atooro Fund, TIPIT has developed a cross-platform engine aimed at innovating in the space of augmented reality (AR), which provides developers, cameras, and brands with a software development kit (SDK) of computer vision and AR technologies that increases platform users’ retention, engagement and boosts revenues at an affordable price. Founded in 2014 and run by CEO Jonathan Rimon, TIPIT has offices in San Francisco and Ra’anana.
February 12, 2017 | JOY Ventures, a new investment firm, has recently inaugurated its office in Herzliya Pituach, and earmarked $50 million for the first stages of its operations. JOY Ventures was founded by the Israeli-Japanese Corundum Open Innovation Fund. Joy Ventures will focus on startup companies, technological incubators for entrepreneurs and grants for academic research in the emerging field of Neuro Wellness, related to consumer products and technologies developed based on neuro research as anti-stress and mood alteration solutions. Avi Yaron, a serial entrepreneur, founder of Visionsense and the inventor of a state-of-the-art instrument for complex brain surgery, will head the company.
February 9, 2017 | Israeli cyber security company Demisto Inc. today announced that it has closed its $20 million Series B financing round. The company also announced the appointment of ClearSky managing director Jay Leek to its board of directors. Round participants also included Accel, Slack Fund and other strategic investors. Today’s funding brings the company’s total funding to $26 million. With offices in Tel Aviv and Cupertino, California, Demisto was founded in July 2015 by CEO Slavik Markovich, Rishi Bhargava (VP marketing), Dan Sarel (VP products) , and Guy Rinat (VP engineering). Demisto also unveiled the industry’s first comprehensive incident management platform to offer integrated threat intelligence.
February 9, 2017 | Israeli big data healthcare company Intensix has completed an $8.3 million Series A financing round. The investment was led by Pitango Venture Capital with the participation of German firm Rhon-Klinikum, which also recently invested in Israeli startup Inovytec. The funds will be used to boost the company’s sales and marketing operations in North America and to expand and accelerate the development of its predictive analytics platform. Based in Netanya, Intensix was founded by CEO Gal Salomon. Intensix has developed a real-time predictive analytics platform for early detection of patient deterioration in the ICU and high acuity departments of hospitals.
February 8, 2017 | Israeli company Chorus.ai completed a $16 million financing round led by the Redpoint Ventures fund. The company uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyze sales conversations. Emergence Capital, which has advised the company from the beginning and invested in it previously, also took part in the round. CEO Roy Raanani and president and R&D manager Micha Breakstone founded Chorus.ai in 2015. The company has raised over $20 million since it was founded, including the current round. Chorus.ai has 25 employees in Israel and San Francisco.
February 7, 2017 | In 2016, Israeli and foreign private equity funds invested a record $3.5 billion in 68 deals, the highest amount ever invested by private equity entities, according to a new report released today by IVC Research Center and Israeli law firm Shibolet. The amount was 14 percent up from 2015, and 29 percent above the $2.73 billion invested in 2014. The number of deals, however, dropped 17 percent in 2016, down from 103 deals in 2015, and 17 percent below the five-year average of 82 private equity transactions.
February 7, 2017 | Israeli bio-medical start-up Laminate Medical Technologies, which is developing a blood vessel support device implanted in patients needing dialysis, has announced it has raised $8 million in a B round of capital raising. This round brings the total investment in the company to $13 million. A number of European funds took part in the current round, as well as the Chinese pharma giant Haisco. The company’s existing investors are private investors, including Nava and Yehuda Zisapel, Zohar Gilon, Eri Steimatzky, Henit Vitos, Ari Raved, and a grant from the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of the Economy. Laminate was founded in 2012 by Tammy Gilon, who is the company’s CEO, and Dr. Eyal Orion, and started out in the Rad-Biomed incubator.
February 7, 2017 | Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced last night that CEO Erez Vigodman has resigned. He will be replaced as interim president and CEO by Dr. Yitzhak Peterburg, who has served as Chairman of the Teva Board of Directors since January 2015. Vigodman’s sudden departure is unexpected but not entirely surprising. The world’s largest generic pharmaceutical company has suffered a string of setbacks over the past year, which has seen it lose 40% of its share price. Some of the problems are shared by its generic rivals as the US government presses for lower drug prices. Others are specific to Teva including complaints that the company overpaid in the $40 billion acquisition of Actavis, and was duped in the $2.3 billion acquisition of Mexican company Rimsa. Teva has also been forced to pay antitrust fines in the US and last week lost a crucial patent case in the US on 40mg Copaxone, its flagship branded product.
February 7, 2017 | Trax Image Recognition completed a $ 19.5 million financing round led by Investec Bank. Trax will use this investment to expand its global operations with a focus in products and services for top tier retailers. Founded in 2010 by CEO Joel Bar-El and chief commercial officer Dror Feldheim, Trax has raised nearly $100 million since its founding. Headquartered in Singapore, more than half the company’s employees are in its Tel Aviv development center. Trax has developed a computer vision platform that turns retail shelf images into real-time actionable insights. Analyzing over 8 million images every month (representing a quarter of a billion products captured and analyzed monthly), Trax provides high accuracy data, intelligence, insights and recommendations to consumer good companies and retailers in over 45 countries.