July 26, 2017 | The Israel Innovation Authority has tapped $2.8 million for a new coding bootcamp program to rapidly train high-tech employees. The goal is to create an alternative route to joining the hi-tech workforce, focused on market needs, in a maximum 12-month training track, aimed at college graduates in the sciences who are interested in a career shift to computer programming. As of April 2017, market demand for programmers exceeded those available by 2.5 times. Therefore, the program aims to prepare 250 ready-to-work employees at the end of the first year, and 450 new employees by the end of the third year.
July 26, 2017 | Nyotron, an Israeli cybersecurity startup, has completed a $21 million financing round led by DGB Investments. Founded in 2008 by Nir and Ofer Gaist, the company has developed innovative technology that protects against known and unknown cyber attacks by securing endpoints. The technology offers protection regardless of the type of threat or the attack vector, making it one of the most advanced solutions available. Nyotron is being used by organizations such as El Al Airlines and the Israeli military, and has raised a total of $33 million to date.
July 26, 2017 | SimilarWeb, an Israeli digital market intelligence company, has raised $47 million in a Series F financing round. Founded in 2007 by Or Offer and Nir Cohen, the company monitors web and mobile app traffic like competitor Nielson. Companies use the analytics from SimilarWeb to increase their business growth. Viola Growth led the round with participation from CE Ventures, Saban Ventures, and other unnamed investors. To date, SimilarWeb has raised $112.2 million, performed three acquisitions, and is now valued at $753 million, bringing it closer to the $1 billion “unicorn” status.
July 25, 2017 | Prospera, an Israeli AgTech startup, has raised $15 million in a Series B funding round, which brought the company’s total investment to $22 million. Using advanced data analytics, computer vision, and artificial intelligence, Prospera analyzes vast amounts of farm data and optimizes all aspects of production. Qualcomm Ventures led the investment round, which was joined by Cisco Investments, ICV, and Bessemer Venture Partners. Prospera was founded in 2014 by Daniel Koppel, Raviv Itzhaky, andShimon Shpiz.
July 25, 2017 | Booking.com, the world’s largest hotel booking site, is opening a research and development center in Tel Aviv. It is projected that the company will recruit dozens of local employees by year’s end. Founded in 1996 by Geert-Jan Bruisma in Holland, Booking.com was sold to Priceline in 2005 for $135 million. Today, the corporation employs more than 15,000 people and books approximately 1.2 million room nights per day.
July 24, 2017 | Israeli company Checkmarx, a leader in application security testing solutions, acquired Codebashing, a British application security education company, for $5-$10 million. This acquisition allows Checkmarx to introduce continuous, in-context, bit-sized secure coding training, which will allow its customers to grow their in-house security skills and have fewer initial code vulnerabilities. Founded in 2006 by Maty Siman, Checkmarx has so far raised $92 million in three funding rounds from investors such as Insight Venture Partners, XT Investments, and Ofer Hi-Tech. Checkmarx’s users include five of the world’s top 10 software vendors, four top American banks, and many Fortune 500 and government organizations.
July 23, 2017 | Israeli fashion startup Syte.ai has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by NHN Ventures. This new funding will allow the company to market and grow in the US. Founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv by Helge Voss, Idan Pinto, CEO Ofer Fryman and Lihi Pinto Fryman, Syte.ai uses deep-learning technology to make images shoppable. So far, the visual search engine has raised $10.1 million.
July 23, 2017 | The Blackstone Investment Fund is in negotiations to acquire 40 percent of Israeli mobile surveillance company NSO Group for $400 million, which would put NSO’s valuation at $1 billion, acoording to a Calcalist report. NSO’s spokesman Zamir Dahbash tells NoCamels that the company can’t confirm the story. Founded in 2009 by Omri Lavi, Niv Carmi, and Shilo Julio, NSO is known for developing the “Pegasus” malware programs that were said to be responsible for a sophisticated smartphone attack against UAE human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor. It has raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Blackstone (along with the Clear Sky Fund, which will acquire 10 percent of NSO) will purchase the shares from Francisco Partners, who acquired the startup in 2014 for $130 million.
July 23, 2017 | Accelerator Frankfurt, a German startup hub that helps startups with investment and business development, completed its second wave with seven companies – two of which are Israeli: Adjesty, a startup that uses cloud-based machine learning to detect and stop undesirable ads; and AeroPlan, a company that provides travel and medical assistance from service providers. They recently pitched their businesses to 200 investors and potential stakeholders along with five international companies. Accelerator Frankfurt provides an acceleration program that condenses two years into four months full of mentoring, coaching, office space, and professional services. It focuses on fields like cyber-security, Blockchain, InsureTech, and FinTech. [photo: Thomas Babut]
July 23, 2017 | Camtek, an Israeli company that manufactures inspection systems to improve manufacturing of semiconductors, circuit substrates, and printed circuit boards, has signed an agreement with an affiliate of the Shanghai-based private equity fund Principle Capital. Under the agreement, Camtek will sell its printed circuit board (PCB) business for $35 million, shifting to focus solely on semiconductor inspection. The PCB business will remain intact, and is expected to continue to run its R&D operations in Israel. Founded in 1987 by Iris Hirsch, Camtek has been listed on the NASDAQ since 2000, and on the TASE since 2005.
July 20, 2017 | DataRails, an Israeli startup that is upgrading Excel into a smart organizational tool for businesses, has completed a $6 million series A funding round, led by Vertex Ventures. Founded in 2015 by Didi Gurfinkel, Eyal Cohen, and Oded Har-Tal, DataRails is a cloud platform that allows businesses to more efficiently manage, organize, and share data on Excel. The company plans to use the investment to improve product development, develop a worldwide customer portfolio, and establish offices in New York. The latest round brings DataRails’ total funding up to $7 million.
July 20, 2017 | Israeli startup and high-tech companies raised $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2017 – the second largest amount in five years, according to a report by IVC Research Center and ZAG S&W International Law Firm. Similarly, the average financing round hit $8 million which is second only to the exceptional second quarter of 2016, when the average was $8.8 million. These record-setting numbers were attained because deals above $20 million rose in 2017’s second quarter with 21 deals accounting for 55 percent of the total amount. The life sciences sector is responsible for raising the most capital during the first half of 2017, with a whopping $622 million. Venture capital-based deals attracted more capital than usual, up 12 percent from the quarterly three-year average.
July 20, 2017 | The British Council and British Embassy in Israel have announced the achievements of the multi-million-pound program BIRAX (Britain-Israel Research Academic Exchange), which develops scientific collaboration between Israel and the UK. Launched by the prime ministers of the UK and Israel in 2011, BIRAX has brought together more than 1,000 scientists from 120 institutions, and resulted in breakthrough research published in 30 leading scientific publications. The report on the five-year program shows that the fund has invested £7 million in 15 joint research projects in the field of regenerative medicine.
July 20, 2017 | Qumra Capital, an Israeli capital growth fund, has raised $115 million for a new fund called Qumra Capital II. Founded in 2012 by Boaz Dinte, Sivan Shamri, and Erez Shachar, Qumra Capital provides venture funding for late-stage technology companies that are seeking to boost sales and marketing. The funds were derived from Qumra I investors, and they will be used to provide investments in Israeli companies to come. So far, Qumra Capital has raised $215 million.
July 19, 2017 | Israeli venture capital firm Pitango Venture Capital is set to profit significantly from Symantec’s $250 million acquisition of Israeli mobile security startup Skycure. One of Israel’s leading venture capital firms, Pitango has a 31 percent stake in Skycure and has been an investor in the company since its seed stage. Pitango was founded by Rami Kalish, Aharon Dovrat, Chemi Peres and Habib Hazzan. It has raised $1.97 billion since its inception in 1993. The acquired startup, Skycure, is an Israeli company that protects against mobile cyber-attacks; it was acquired by Symantec earlier this month.
July 18, 2017 | Algomizer, an Israeli startup that creates online marketing tools for small to midsize companies to advertise efficiently, has raised more than $11 million. Founded in 2013 by Aviv Berkovich, the company began to be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in 2014. Forbes recently ranked Berkovich as one of Israel’s most promising young people. The influx of funds from various investors will be used to acquire a private Internet advertising company.
July 18, 2017 | Israel’s Therapix Biosciences, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of medicinal marijuana, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CURE Pharmaceutical to enter a research collaboration with Assuta Medical Center, Israel’s largest private medical services center. The companies will collaborate to advance, research, develop and commercialize potential therapeutic products in the fields of personalized medicine and cannabinoids. Therapix Biosciences is a publicly traded company founded in 2004 and is headed by CEO Elran Haber.
July 17, 2017 | The multinational cyber security company Symantec is acquiring Israeli startup, Skycure, which predicts and protects against mobile cyber-attacks without jeopardizing user privacy. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Using crowd intelligence and machine learning, the startup’s technology defends against malware, network-based threats, and external and internal attacks. Founded in 2012 by Unit 8200 veterans Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, the startup has raised $27.5 million in three funding rounds to date.
July 17, 2017 | Rapid Medical, an Israeli company that develops neurovascular interventional devices, raised $9 million in a Series B financing round. Founded in 2008 by CEO Ronen Eckhouse and Chairman of the Board Shimon Eckhouse, Rapid Medical is seeking to further commercialize TIGERTRIEVER Revascularization Device and the COMANECI Adjustable Remodeling Mesh, products which provide prevention and minimally invasive stroke treatment. Israel’s BRM and China’s Shanghai-Israel Investment Fund led the round, while Winnovation and Gefen Capital participated. [Photo: Courtesy]
July 17, 2017 | Vroom, an Israeli online platform for automobile retail, announced a $76 million series F funding round led by T. Rowe Price Associates, L Catterton, General Catalyst Partners and PICO Venture Partners. Since its founding in 2013, Vroom has raised $295 million. It is currently led by CEO Paul Hennessey, with R&D operations in Israel. [photo by Emilio Labrador]
July 16, 2017 | Israeli robotics company Intuition Robotics has raised $14 million in a Series A round led by Toyota Research Institute. Founded in 2015 by Itai Mendelsohn, Dor Skuler, and Roy Amir, Intuition Robotics has developed a robot companion that uses artificial intelligence to improve the lives of the aging population. Named ElliQ, the small tabletop robot can suggest content to watch, give reminders about appointments, and set up chats with friends, among other functions. In total, the company has raised $22 million in three funding rounds.
July 16, 2017| Genoox, an Israeli genetic data analysis startup, has raised $6 million from Inimiti Capital Partners and Glilot Capital Partners. Founded in 2014 by CEO Amir Trabelsi and CTO Moshe Einhorn, Genoox created software that uses machine learning to analyze genetics and predict diagnoses. The software thus accelerates data interpretation, allowing clinicians to develop actionable insights more quickly. The company already has a strong presence in Israel and the UK; the funding will be used to expand in the US.
July 16, 2017 | A program launched by the Israeli Innovation Authority will invest$20 million in high-risk research and development projects conducted by Israeli companies that have an annual turnover of over $100 million. The initiative will offer grants of up to 50 percent of the costs of R&D projects that have a high chance of failure, termed ‘crazy R&D’ by IIA growth division acting director Sagi Dagan. In doing so, the IIA hopes to facilitate the development of technologies for the future that will give the companies a competitive edge. Companies that are eligible for the R&D grants include Check Point Technologies ltd., Mobileye, and Wix.com.
July 16, 2017 | Waycare, an Israeli startup that uses deep learning technology to create safer roads, has teamed up with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to launch a pilot program that helps prevent crashes and improve traffic. Waycare has raised $515,000 since its founding in 2015 and is led by CEO Noam Maital.
July 13, 2017 | Israeli cloud workload management startup Spotinst has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Intel Capital and Vertex Ventures. The funding will help Spotinst grow and get closer to its vision of becoming “a cloud of clouds.” The company was founded in 2015 by CEO Amiram Shachar, Chief Architect Liran Polak, and CTO Aharon Twizer. This financing round brings the company’s total equity funding to $17.6 million.