June 27, 2017 | Awz HLS Fund, a Canadian venture capital firm focused on security and intelligence technologies, has invested $5.25 million in Israeli startup Octopus Systems. Founded in 2013 by Tal Bar Or and Baruch Tagori, Octopus has developed a cloud-based security platform that identifies, prevents, and neutralizes physical and cyber-attacks from within and outside an organization. The company integrates and analyzes data from an organization’s technology to provide real-time alerts and tools for immediate response. To date, Octopus has raised a total of $10.25 million.
June 27, 2017 | Israeli retail tech startup Trax has raised $64 million in its fourth financing round. Warburg Pincus was the lead investor, providing $50 million. To date, the company has raised $167 million. Last week, Trax partnered with Nielsen International to market a product line together. Trax founders Yoel Bar-El and Dror Feldheim hope to use the money raised to acquire a competitor and fund the Nielsen partnership. Founded in 2010, Trax developed technology to create business intelligence and improve retail performance.
June 27, 2017 | Mitoconix Bio, a budding Israeli biopharmaceutical startup focused on therapies for neurological diseases, has secured $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Remiges Ventures. Founded in 2016 at the FutuRx biotechnology incubator, Mitoconix Bio has developed a unique method of slowing neuro-degenerative diseases using drugs which improve mitochondrial functioning. The company has an exclusive license for the technology behind its lead drug, which was developed by founder Daria Mochly-Rosen at Stanford University. The funding will be used to advance Mitoconix’s treatment of Huntington’s disease.
June 27, 2017 | Israeli personalized diets startup DayTwo has raised $12 million in a Series A round of financing led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation. This investment brings the company’s total funding to $17 million. Founded in 2015 and led by CEO Lihi Segal, DayTwo uses individuals’ gut bacteria to create personalized nutrition. The new funds will help expand the company’s product, engineering, and data science teams in Tel Aviv and San Francisco while also supporting its research with the Mayo Clinic and other clinical partners.
June 26, 2017 | Thomas Bossert, Homeland Security Adviser for US President Donald Trump, announced today that Israel and the US had signed a cyber-security collaboration agreement. He spoke at the CyberWeek Conference, held at Tel Aviv University. According to Bossert, teams from both countries will “focus on finding and stopping cyber adversaries before they’re in your networks, before they’re in your critical infrastructure.” He added: “We believe that the agility Israel has in developing solutions will result in innovative cyber solutions that we can test here and take back to America.”
June 26, 2017 | “Israeli is under three to five cyber-attacks at any given moment,” Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu said today at the CyberWeek Conference, held at Tel Aviv University. Despite Israel’s leading position in cyber-security, “it’s a constant challenge,” he said. “As we enter the world of Internet of Things, the need for cyber-security is growing exponentially,” Netanyahu said. “This is a problem for all governments.” In Israel, “our national cyber-security center not only responds to attacks, but also prevents them.” With 600-700 cyber-security startups, “it’s a great advantage for a company today to be Israeli,” he said. “A few years ago, I decided to establish Israel as one of the leading cyber countries in the world, and by all accounts, we’re there.”
June 25, 2017 | Augury, an Israeli industrial Internet of Things (IIot) company, has raised $17 million in a Series B financing round. Founded in 2011 by Gal Shaul and Saar Yoskovitz, Augury provides mechanical diagnostics, combining artificial intelligence and IIoT technology to help industrial companies monitor and maintain their machinery in real-time. The round was co-led by Eclipse Ventures and Munich Re/HSB Ventures, and also included Sound Ventures, First Round Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. To date, the startup has raised $26 million in three funding rounds.
June 25, 2017 | Israel’s Innovation Authority has created a visa program in which foreign entrepreneurs can choose among 12 approved “landing pads” to establish entrepreneurship initiatives. Of the approved organizations are various investment funds, incubators, and nonprofits, such as: Tel Aviv Global, TechForGood, Lighthouse, and TheHive. If an entrepreneur’s initiative matures into a company within the first 24 months, they are then qualified to receive an expert’s visa for up to five years.
June 25, 2017 | Furniture giant IKEA is scouting for six to 10 Israeli startups for its upcoming IKEA Bootcamp, starting September 18. The Swedish company will hold an event in Tel Aviv, Israel, on June 29 at WeWork, where startups will pitch their solutions to everyday challenges to key decisions makers from the IKEA Bootcamp team, in an attempt to earn a spot in the boot camp. Ultimately, 10 startups from all over the world will be chosen. [Photo: Courtesy]
June 25, 2017 | Israeli flavor and fine ingredient company Frutarom Industries has acquired 80 percent Brasil Indústria E Comércio (SDFLC), a Brazilian producer of flavors for ice creams and desserts, for $33 million. This is Frutarom’s fourth acquisition in 2017, and will bolster the company’s presence in Brazil and Latin America. Founded in 1933, Frutarom is led by president and CEO Ori Yehudai. [Photo: Taura]
June 22, 2017 | Israeli startup Codota has raised $2 million in seed investment from Khosla Ventures, bringing the company’s total equity funding to $2.55 million. Codota has developed a pair-programmer for Java. Using artificial intelligence (AI), the program learns open-source code from the web, studies the augmentation of the code over time, suggests code for developers based on the open source knowledge, and predicts new code. This allows developers to save time by negating the need to skim through the web for code or recode, something that has already been developed. Codota was founded by Dror Weiss and Prof. Eran Tahav in 2013.
June 22, 2017 | Israeli biomed company Gamida Cell has raised $40 million in a financing round led by Israeli venture capital firm Shavit Capital. Also participating in this round were VMS Investment Group, Israeli Biotech Fund, Novartis, Clal Biotechnology Industries (CBI) and Israel HealthCare Ventures (IHCV). Through this new support, Gamida will be able to push the commercialization of its flagship product NiCord, which facilitates in-bone marrow transplants. Founded in 1998 by Tony Peled, the company has so far raised $90 million.
June 22, 2017 | Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd has launched OurNetwork, a global investment community designed to help multinational corporations support, collaborate and invest in Israeli startups. Founded in 2012 by CEO Jon Medved, OurCrowd already boasts 17,000 individual investors from 110 countries, who have invested some $400 million in 110 portfolio companies and funds.
June 21, 2017 | Technology giant Intel is teaming up with Israeli think-tank and venture capital firm Team8, to foster cyber-security innovation. The chip maker, which already employs thousands in the Startup Nation, joins current Team8 cyber syndicate members Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, AT&T, Citigroup, Accenture, Nokia, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, and others. Intel will work with Team8 to secure future computing, IoT, mobile, automotive and cloud technologies. In other news, Israeli startup Illusive Networks said it would collaborate with Intel on cyber-security.
June 20, 2017 | Israeli medical marijuana startup iCAN has announced a joint venture with Australian company LeafCann Research and Advisory. The new venture will take advantage of Israel’s leadership position in the research and development of medical marijuana, in combination with Australia’s lax regulations. Founded in 2015, iCAN is a leading Israeli developer of cannabis-based formulations, clinical trials and cannabis testing. The firm is headed by Saul Kaye.
June 19, 2017 | Kaspersky Lab has opened a research and development center in Israel called the Future Tech Lab. Located in Jerusalem, the center will research cyber threats targeted at new technologies such as Internet of Things and automotives. Kaspersky Lab is a Russian cyber-security and anti-virus provider that has a presence in cyber-security hubs around the world. Researchers at the Future Tech Lab will work with other Kaspersky labs around the globe, providing organizations with information to protect against cyber-criminals.
June 19, 2017 | Mobileye’s shareholders approved their company’s sale to giant chip maker Intel for $15.3 billion. Mobileye was founded in Jerusalem, Israel, by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 1999 and went public 2014. It developed a warning system that alerts drivers of road hazards using software, cameras, and sensors.
June 19, 2017 | Israel’s CompuLab has filed for a $24 million IPO (initial public offering) on Nasdaq. Founded in 1992, the company is considered one of the world’s leading manufacturers of computer boards for embedded systems and miniature, fanless PCs.
June 15, 2017 | WhiteSource, an Israeli provider of continuous open source software security and compliance management, has secured $10 million in Series B financing. The round was led by 83North with additional participation from Microsoft Ventures and David Strohm of Greylock Partners. Founded in 2011 by Azi Cohen, Rami Sass and Ron Rymon, WhiteSource allows engineering, security and compliance officers to secure and manage the use of open-source components in their software.
June 15, 2017 | Israeli bio-pharmaceutical company Eloxx has raised $24 million from Catalyst CEL Fund, Israeli venture capital fund for life sciences Pontifax, and others. The company develops treatments for patients with rare genetic diseases triggered by mutations like Cystic Fibrosis and Cystinosis. Founded in 2013 by Dr. Silvia Noiman, Eloxx recently merged with Sevion Therapeutics and became a Sevion subsidiary. Sevion will use the name Eloxx and attempt to list its shares on Nasdaq. [Photo: GeneG]
June 14, 2017 | The Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF) has partnered with UG Capital Management Ltd (UCG) to establish a $200 million venture capital fund. The fund will focus on technology and science companies associated with the Technion-Israel Institute of technology, and its alumni. UCG is a Chinese venture capital firm, part of the larger United Gain Investment. The partnership will support the Technion’s efforts to commercialize its faculty’s inventions.
June 14, 2017 | Bancor, an Israeli startup that has developed a virtual currency conversion platform, yesterday raised $153 million in just three hours. This Initial Coin Offering is the second-largest fundraising campaign in the blockchain industry, according to Bancor. Founded in 2016 by Guy Benartzi, Eyal Hertzog, Yehuda Levi and Galia Benartzi, Bancor enables its users to instantly convert or trade their money.
June 13, 2017 | Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) have announced that Canada’s leading equity markets have expanded into Israel. Yossi Boker, who has more than 25 years’ experience in entrepreneurship and high-tech in Israel, has been appointed to lead the expansion as the Head of Business Development. The move will give Israeli companies access to North American investors who can support companies at all stages of growth. It will also encourage Israeli companies to conduct initial public offerings (IPOs) on TSX. TMX Group, which operates the TSX and TSXV markets, has labeled Israel as a key market going forward. [Photo: Raysonho]
June 13, 2017 | Israeli company Frutarom, one of the world’s largest companies in the field of flavors and specialty ingredients, has acquired 21 percent of the shares of Spanish natural ingredients company Nutrafur for $2.36 million, and is now the sole owner of Nutrafur. In September 2015, Frutarom – which was founded in 1933 by Yehuda Araten and Maurice Gerzon – purchased 79 percent of the shares of Nutrafur. [Photo: Courtesy of Taura]
June 11, 2017 | Telecom giant Motorola Solutions, Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd, Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries and the Hebrew University’s technology transfer arm Yissum have launched an early-stage startup incubator in Jerusalem, Israel. The incubator will focus on big data; analytics; artificial intelligence; fintech; storage; Internet of Things (IoT); and computer vision. [Photo: Gila Brand)