Healthcare investment firm OrbiMed has announced the closing of its second Israel-focused venture capital fund, OrbiMed Israel Partners II, LP, with approximately $307 million in capital commitments. Investors in the fund include several of the world’s largest healthcare companies, in addition to dozens of institutional investors and family offices. Like its predecessor fund, OrbiMed Israel Partners II will target all stages and sectors of the healthcare industry, with a focus on biopharmaceuticals, digital health, medical devices, and diagnostics companies in Israel. The fund is targeting to invest in approximately 20 portfolio companies. OrbiMed’s Israel office, located in Herzliya, was opened in 2010, and is led by Dr. Nissim Darvish, Erez Chimovits, and Anat Naschitz. OrbiMed has offices in New York, San Francisco, Mumbai, and Shanghai.
May 24, 2016 | Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced yesterday that it has entered into a research agreement with Aurum Ventures MKI, the technology investment arm of Morris Kahn, for the development of a new diagnostic approach for early detection of multiple diseases by analyzing circulating DNA released from dying cells. Under the current agreement, Yissum is expected to receive $1.2 million funding. The novel technology will be presented at Yissum’s booth during the IATI-BIOMED 2016 Conference, to be held on May 24-26, in Tel Aviv.
May 24, 2016 | Israeli Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) pioneer Saguna Networks has closed a $5 million financing round led by CE Ventures and supported by the company’s existing shareholders. Saguna will use the funding to expand the company’s MEC offering and global market presence. Based in Yokneam, Saguna Networks MEC systems make mobile broadband faster, simpler and more agile. Saguna helps mobile operators improve user experience, network economics and monetization by bringing distributed cloud-computing into the Radio Access Network (RAN); as close as possible to mobile users. With Saguna’s solution, mobile operators can deploy new revenue generating services for content delivery, Internet of Things (IoT), retail and enterprise applications.
May 24, 2016 | Israeli cancer detection company Nucleix has raised $3 million from Morris Kahn’s Aurum Ventures MKI, OrbiMed Israel Partners, and Zohar Zisapel, OrbiMed and Zohar Zisapel invested in the startup’s first $5.5 million financing round and the company has also raised $3 million from private investors. Nucleix is involved in the relatively new research field of epigenetics (a situation in which identical genes express themselves in different ways) in order to detect different types of cancers. The company’s first test for the detection of bladder cancer could be available in Europe within a couple of months. Nucleix was founded in 2008 by CEO Elon Ganor a former CEO of voice-over-IP pioneer VocalTec, and Weizmann Institute graduates VR research Dr. Danny Frumkin, and VP development Dr. Danny Wasserstrom. Dr Opher Shapira is president and COO.
May 23, 2016 | Siris Capital has acquired Comverse, formerly Israel’s flagship high-tech company, which last year changed its name to XURA Inc. for $643 million. Siris is paying $25 per share, a 19.2% discount on the shares closing price on Nasdaq yesterday. Last year Comverse also sold its billing division to Amdocs Ltd. for $272 million and transferred other operations to Indian company Tech-Mahindra while acquiring UK company Acision for $402 million. XURA today focuses on digital services. Comverse, once one of Israel’s largest high-tech employers, only has 300 employees in the country today. Siris Capital is a New York based investment fund founded in 2011, which invests in ICT. XURA’s share price rose 17.7% in premarket trading on Nasdaq.
May 23, 2016 |The MassChallenge startup accelerator has accepted 48 new startups for a special program in Jerusalem, which launched yesterday at an event in the Mahane Yehuda open air market, where the accelerator will operate. The accelerator’s 500 projects have been incorporated, 150 of which are from countries other than Israel including Turkey, Nigeria, South Korea, Cameroon, and the US. The companies accepted to the accelerator are from the high-tech industry, life sciences, social initiatives, and other fields. The entrepreneurs and companies taking part in the program will benefit from the accelerator’s work environment, training, and access to the chain’s professional partners in Israel and throughout the world. In Israel, the program will finish on October 27 with a ceremony at which prizes of up to NIS 1 million will be given to the outstanding companies.
May 12, 2016 | Israeli content recommendation company Outbrain has raised $45 million. Outbrain co-founder and CEO Yaron Galai revealed the closing of the latest financing round in a blog on the company’s website but did not disclose details about investors in the fund raising other than to say that he was personally participating. Outbrain was founded in 2006 by Galai and General Manager Ori Lahav. The company has reportedly raised close to $200 million including the latest financing round. Outbrain provides Internet content and article recommendations, sometimes called native ads, which usually appear at the bottom of websites. Outbrain has 11 offices worldwide including its development center in Netanya.
May 10, 2016 |US cloud computing company Salesforce.com is acquiring Israeli data-entry automation startup Implisit Insights, the “Wall Street Journal” reports, “according to people familiar with the matter.” No financial details concerning the deal have been disclosed but “two people familiar with the deal described it as worth tens of millions of dollars.” The “Wall Street Journal” added that a spokeswoman for Salesforce.com declined to comment and Implisit was not available to comment. Founded in 2012 and based in Tel Aviv, Implisit helps customers analyze data among sales teams and claims it can increase revenue 30% using algorithms. The company was founded by CEO Gilad Raichshtain and CTO Elad Donsky and raised $3.3 million in 2014 in a financing round led by Gemini Israel Ventures. Salesforce.com has previously bought two Israeli startups: SaaS encryption services company Navajo Systems in 2011; and data-mining startup Bluetail in 2012.
May 10, 2016 | Israeli healthcare expenses startup Simplee has announced the raising of $20 million in a Series C financing round led by Social Capital, with participation from existing investors 83North and Heritage Group, and new investor American Express Ventures. Simplee is part of the growing fintech movement in healthcare and the $330 billion in annual out of pocket medical spending, a total that eclipses online retail spending. Simplee was founded in 2011 by CEO Tomer Shoval, COO Roberto Rabinovich, and CTO Tom Tsarfati. Headquartered in Palo Alto, it has a development center in Tel Aviv. The Simplee Financial Engagement software platform is healthcare’s first patient engagement solution unifying hospital and physician estimates, statements, payments, and credit. Since launching its enterprise platform in 2013, Simplee now works with nearly 900 hospitals and physician groups, and 5 million patients across the US representing over $1 billion in annual payments.
May 10, 2016 | Israeli early-stage enterprise storage company E8 Storage has closed a $12 million Series B financing round led by Accel, with participation from existing investors Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures. The investment will help the company to launch its next-generation flash storage with rack-scale architecture for the enterprise and software-defined cloud. E8 Storage’s rack-scale flash architecture has been designed to maximise the performance of its shared, software-defined NVMe solution for high-performance enterprise applications. The solution performs ten times faster than existing all-flash arrays with lower total costs. The company was founded in 2014 by CEO Zivan Ori and VP R&D Alex Friedman. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California E8 Storage’s development center is in Tel Aviv.
May 9, 2016 | Israeli cross-border e-commerce specialist Global-e has raised a $20 million financing round led by Red Dot Capital Partners, an investment fund for growth-stage technology companies funded by Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government-owned investment company. The capital will be used to support and accelerate Global-e’s growth and expansion in Europe and other target markets. Established in 2013 by CEO Amir Schlahet, COO Shahar Tamari and CMO Nir Debbi, the company is headquartered in London and has its development center in Petah Tikva. Global-e is a European provider of cross-border solutions for e-commerce retailers, enabling them to provide a localised e-commerce offering in more than 200 destinations worldwide. Global-e works with a growing number of leading retailers, including Crabtree and Evelyn, Astley Clarke, Illamasqua, and Griffin Technology.
May 9, 2016 | Winners of the 36-hour student hackathon called HackIDC, which was held at Israel’s IDC Herzliya last week, were announced. Some 250 students competed to create a web, mobile, or hardware product. The panel of judges included some of Israel’s most renowned entrepreneurs: Dov Moran, Gil Shwed and Prof. Amnon Shashua. The first place 15,000 NIS prize went to the BetYOURwish project, and app hoping to change the way internet shopping works. The app allows users to acquire products from the ‘wishlist’ at an affordable price by providing a variety of ebay products and amadeus flights in partial prices by participating in raffles. The second place 7,00 NIS prize went to the H-Ball project, an interactive catching game for children. With every pass of a smart ball the player gets to answer a question, by rattling the ball different directions. The questions pool can be altered by the parents and is meant to encourage an outdoor game with an intellectual challenge. The third place 3,000 NIS prize went to the FeelMybrand project, which predicts the success of internet products by analysis of the user’s different physiological measurements. The analysis is done by identification micro-movements which are filmed by a laptop webcam and are processed by an algorithm.
May 9, 2016 | Pluristem Therapeutics, an Israeli company developing placenta-based therapy products, announced that it was awarded a NIS 12.7 million (approx. $3.3 million) grant from the Israel Innovation Authority (previously the Office of the Chief Scientist ‘OCS’) of the Israeli Ministry of Economy & Industry. The grant will support Clinical trials and R&D activities for calendar year 2016. Pluristem was founded in 2001 by Shai Meretzki.
May 9, 2016 |The Israel Venture Capital Research Center (IVC) has published its IVC-Shibolet Israeli Private Equity Market Survey for the first quarter of 2016. The survey showed that Israeli private equity activity dropped in the first quarter of 2016: $265 million invested in 15 deals. In additon, the survey reported a 69% decrease in private equity deal making in in the first quarter of 2016 from the previous quarter. Regarding technology sector leads, it was found that software dominated PE market with 64% of all dollar proceeds. Also, straight equity continued as the favored investment mechanism – 80% of deals in the quarter.
May 9, 2016 | New Israeli mobile application Earny has launched and announced it has raised $1 million in seed round funding from Sweet Capital Ltd. and Science Inc., with participation from Jeff Bonforte, SVP, Communications Products at Yahoo, and Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash. The app connects with users email and Amazon accounts in order to track their online purchases, find e-receipts, then price check those items to see if users got the best deal. If it finds a lower price, Earny will request a refund on the user’s behalf and the difference (minus the company’s 25 percent cut), will be credited back to the user’s payment card. Founded in 2015 by Israelis Oded Vakrat, Ilan Zerbib, and Dori Yona the team has also relocated to Santa Monica to work out of Science’s offices there.
May 8, 2016 | Israeli walking navigation app Sidekix has raised $1 million in seed round funding from Israeli and Australian investors. Sidekix aims to help users find new places that might interest them when out walking. First available in London, its launch city, the company has expanded to Paris, Berlin, and New York too. Sidekix was c0-founded in 2015 by Miron Perel, who serves as the CEO, CTO Eli Baram, and Marketing VP Jenny Drezin. The company has six employees and has its offices at the Tel Aviv port.
May 8, 2016 | Pagaya, a data-driven online investment manager in the online lending market, announced today a $1.25 million seed investment led by Carmel Ventures, a member of the Viola Group. Avi Zeevi, Co-Founder and General Partner at Carmel, led the investment and joined the Pagaya board of directors. Pagaya’s advanced technology solution serves as a comprehensive online investment house for financial institutions investing in the online lending market. Based on its innovative machine learning algorithms, Pagaya serves as a manager of assets, advising large institutions as they invest in the rapidly growing multi-billion dollar online credit market. The company signed a distribution agreement for its products to selected Israeli institutions. Additionally, the company has signed agreements towards establishing a private $100 million fund to be managed by the company based on its technology. Pagaya was founded by Gal Krubiner (CEO), Avital Pardo (CTO) and Yahav Yulzari (VP Sales).
May 8, 2016 | Israeli cancer treatment company Galil Medical has been acquired by UK healthcare company BTG plc for $110 million. Galil Medical, which has its development operations in Yokneam near Haifa, has developed cryoablation systems and needles for treating kidney, prostate and other types of cancer. BTG, traded on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq specializes in cancer treatments and medical devices and has a market cap of $2.2 billion. Galil Medical is a veteran company, which in the 1990s developed a minimally invasive medical device to burn tissues through needles used for freezing. Its first target was prostate cancer. In 2003, Galil Medical merged with UK company Amersham, which took a 75% stake, while Amersham in its turn was acquired by GE. Over the years Galil Medical raised $48 million from Investor Growth Capital, Thomas McNerney Partners and Vertical Group.
May 5, 2016 | Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will attend a ceremony in Israel to honor three Israeli community activists on Sunday. He will be in Israel with attorney William Wachtel, son of the late attorney Harry Wachtel, King’s legal counsel during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The pair will honor singer and songwriter Idan Raichel, former Yesh Atid MK Pnina Tamano-Shata and journalist Anat Saragusti for their work on behalf of the Ethiopian community, to advance equal opportunities between communities, and to bring about understanding between Arabs and Jews. The three will receive the 2016 Unsung Hero Award from the Drum Major Institute (DMI) for Public Policy, originally founded as a civil rights organization by Harry Wachtel in 1961 and revived by William Wachtel in 1999. King III serves as an ambassador for the organization. DMI’s stated mission is “to eradicate poverty, racism and militarism/violence, through advocacy, empowerment and education.” It will be the first time the organization grants the award outside the United States and to non-U.S. citizens.
May 5, 2016 | Israeli startup Via, which develops an on-demand transportation solution, has raised $100 million in Series C funding. The company has already closed $70 million in financing with a further $30 million in strategic investment to close in the coming weeks. This is the largest amount raised by an Israeli startup this year. The funding was led by Pitango Growth, along with leading venture capital firms and strategic investors from North America, Europe, and Asia, including Poalim Capital Markets and C4 Ventures. Previous investors Ervington Investments (representing Roman Abramovich), Hearst Ventures, and 83North (formerly Greylock IL) also participated in the round. The latest funds bring Via’s total investment to $137 million. Headquartered in New York City, the company’s development center is in Tel Aviv. Founded by Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, Via operates in New York City and Chicago and enables tens of thousands of passengers each day to seamlessly share their ride with others headed the same way. The financing will be used to drive growth in those two cities,expand into new ones, and aid municipalities and transit authorities seeking to improve their public transit services by using Via’s technology.
May 5, 2016 | Israeli startup TravelersBox announced a new partnership with Viber allowing travelers to deposit leftover currency to Viber accounts. With TravelersBox, an ATM-like machine at airports, travelers can now credit their Viber Out accounts directly via TravelersBox kiosks by depositing their leftover foreign coins and bills into various eWallets and online accounts, now including Viber, before departing for their home country. Founded in 2013 by Tomer Zussman and Idan Deshe, TravelersBox already operates more than 75 kiosks in eight countries and plans to expand even further throughout Asia, expecting to add more than 150 more kiosks this year. Currently, TravelersBox kiosks operate in Manila (Philippines), Tokyo (Japan), Milan (Italy), Toronto (Canada), Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara (Turkey), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Tbilisi (Georgia), and very soon will be launching in India and other airports throughout Asia. Viber is an instant messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) app for smartphones developed by Viber Media which was founded in 2010 by four Israeli and Belarussian partners: Talmon Marco, Igor Magazinnik, Sani Maroli and Ofer Smocha, with Marco as its CEO.
May 4, 2016 | Israeli gesture recognition company eyesight Technologies has raised $20 million from Shenzhen-based technology group Kuang-Chi. This is the first Israeli investment by the new $300 million technology investment fund announced by Kuang-Chi earlier this week. Part of the investment reportedly will be used to fund joint initiatives in Hong Kong and China. eyeSight is developing touch-free interfaces for digital devices, such as televisions, tablets, and smartphones. The software does not require special hardware, but uses a smartphone or network camera and the company’s eyeCan technology is used by the Windows user interface. Based in Herzliya, the company was founded in 2005 by CTO Itay Katz.
May 4, 2016 | Israeli recruitment startup Woo (formerly Highr.io) announced it has raised $2 million, bringing Woo’s total funding to $4.35 million. This funding from current investors comes on the heels of the company’s $2.35 million seed round in February and will be used to accelerate growth and R&D, as Woo moves to expand its footprint into key technology-focused regional markets across the US. Woo lets employees anonymously contact top tech companies to see what jobs are available and how much they pay. With offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco, Woo was founded in 2015 by CEO Liran Kotzer and CTO Ami Dudu.
May 4, 2016 | Public transportation app Moovit has announced it will be integrated with the ride-sharing app Uber in 131 cities in 22 countries. Moovit uses official transit data plus crowdsourced data to give riders the best information about potential routes. With Uber integration, ride sharing becomes yet another option for managing local trips, in addition to public transportation. Moovit’s Uber integration will be rolling out gradually over the next few weeks across the U.S., U.K., Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Uruguay, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Greece. Moovit is already available in over 800 cities and more than 60 countries. Founded in Israel in 2011, and run by Co-Founder and CEO Nir Erez, Moovit has already raised $81.5 million in funding from the likes of BRM Capital, Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners and Gemini Israel.
May 3, 2016 | Israel’s Azrieli Group Ltd. is entering the e-commerce field by acquiring the business of the Buy2 Networks Ltd. e-commerce website for $16.5 million (62 million NIS). According to Azrieli, it is acquiring Buy2 Networks subsidiary Netex New Media as part of its strategy aimed at building a new digital growth engine in Israel. Buy2 Networks has 60 employees, and operates a broad range of e-commerce websites and services, such as home and garden products, electrical and consumer electronics products, fashion and cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, products for parents and children, sports and camping, etc. The company’s e-commerce platform contains over 20,000 different items available for online purchase. Azrieli Group, one of Israel`s prominent investments companies, is comprised of Israel’s leading nationwide chain of income-producing properties (shopping malls and offices).
May 3, 2016 | Israeli flavors and food ingredients company Frutarom Industries Ltd. has acquired 100% of German partnership Extrakt Chemie Dr. Bruno Stellmach GmbH &Co. KG, together with the property on which Extrakt Chemie’s plant is situated, for approximately $6 million in cash plus the assumption of debt (net) amounting to approximately $2.2 million. For the fiscal year ended February 2016, Extrakt Chemie’s revenue was some $10 million. The purchase agreement includes a mechanism for future consideration conditional on the business performance of Extrakt Chemie during 2016 and 2017. The transaction was independently financed. Extrakt Chemie was established in 1969. It develops, produces and markets specialty solutions of natural extracts, some that include plant-sourced enzymes for use mainly as raw material (API) in the pharmaceutical market, with proven benefits in, among other things, the treatment of liver diseases, digestive problems and the prevention of infections. Besides Germany, it is also active in Denmark, Switzerland, France and Austria and in Australia. It has about 35 employees. Frutarom was founded in 1933 by Yehuda Araten and Maurice Gerzon.
May 3, 2016 | Israeli payment technology provider Zooz has closed a $24 million financing round led by Target Global Ventures and including Fang Fund, iAngels, Kreos Capital and existing investors Blumberg Capital, lool ventures, Rhodium, Claltech (Access Industries’ Israeli tech vehicle), XSeed Capital, CampOne Ventures and angel Eilon Tirosh. Zooz will use the funding to accelerate its growth, develop new products, open new markets, and increase its presence in existing markets. ZooZ CEO Oren Levy and CTO Ronen Morecki founded the Ra’anana based company in 2010. Zooz has grown considerably since its last round in July 2014 and has opened offices in London, Berlin and San Francisco.
May 3, 2016| Israeli startup Sensiya has been bought up by the musician will.i.iam’s consumer tech label i.am+ for an unknown sum. Sensiya is a mobile SDK that allows application developers to serve a personal, tailor made experience for every user. Users will soon be able play music without their phones, via wearables made by i.am+. Founded in May 2014 by Noam Fine and Yossi Marouani and located in Bnei Brak, Sensiya currently has 25 employees. The startup’s investors include Yossi Vardi, Shlomo Nehama, Avi Shechter, and Stav Shacham.
May 2, 2016 | The Danish Ministry for Higher Education and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have announced the establishment of a new innovation center in Israel. The new center brings the total number of Danish innovation hubs around the world to seven; Munich, New Delhi, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley and now Tel Aviv. The center will give Danish research and education institutions and Danish companies easier access to leading knowledge environments and relevant partners in Israel .The innovation center will be located at the Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv and is expected to open in fall 2016.
May 2, 2016 | A 36-hour student hackathon called HackIDC will be held at Israel’s IDC Herzliya this week (May 6-7), where 250 students will compete to create an innovative technology. Students will work in teams of up to five people for thirty-six hours to create a web, mobile, or hardware product. The panel of judges is excepted to include some of Israel’s most renowned entrepreneurs: Dov Moran, Gil Shwed and Prof. Amnon Shashua. As Israel’s leading student hackathon, the annual event provides participants a unique opportunity to build something new and exciting, together with coding and design enthusiasts.
May 2, 2016 | Israeli cancer treatment drug developer Biocancell announced a $6 million financing round from US investors. Biocancell also announced the recruitment of a US CEO: former Ariad senior VP and chief medical officer Frank Haluska. The company also intends to register for trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange and raise tens of millions of dollars there. The company was founded in 2004 by Prof. Avraham Hochberg, a professor of molecular biology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
May 1, 2016 | Israeli-American company JFrog, which provides software developers with a binary repository management solution, is hiring 100 new employees. Based in Israel and California, 50 of the new hires are for its Israel office in Netanya and the rest for its Silicon Valley office. JFrog’s clients include Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, The Gap and more.
May 1, 2016 |China’s Hainan Airlines has launched its first ever direct flight to Israel, linking Beijing with Tel Aviv. The new service will now run three times a week, departing the Chinese capital every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 0155 and arriving at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport at 0810. The return flights will leave Tel Aviv at 1535 and arrive in Beijing at 0555 the next morning. Hainan Airlines will deploy an Airbus A330 aircraft on the new route, configured with 36 flat-bed seats in business class and 178 seats in economy. Hainan Airlines becomes the first Chinese carrier flying direct to Israel, and a second airline operating the Beijing-Tel Aviv route, following El Al, Israel’s national carrier.
May 1, 2016 |Chinese corporation Kuang-Chi is launching an international innovation fund based in Israel to invest in companies worldwide. The “Kuang-Chi GCI Fund & Incubator” will be the first Chinese fund of its kind, combining investment in early to mid-stage Israeli and global companies with incubation by Kuang-Chi. The newly established fund has an initial $50 million and is planned to grow to $300 million within the next three years. Founded in 2010 by five distinguished Chinese scientists who returned to China after earning advanced degrees at Duke, Oxford, and Cambridge universities, Kuang-Chi is a global innovation group with operations from China to North America, Europe, Africa and Oceania. Acting through public companies, private holdings and research institutes, the group’s value exceeds $10 billion.
April 27, 2016 | Israeli FinTech startup BlueVine, an online provider of financing to small businesses, announced it has received a strategic investment from Citigroup’s venture capital arm Citi Ventures. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. This investment comes on the heels of a $40 million financing round led by Menlo Ventures, which closed three months ago. BlueVine was founded in 2013 by Nir Klar and Eyal Lifshitz.
April 26, 2016 | Israeli parking app Polly has launched in Paris, France, potentially helping 4.5 million Parisian drivers daily to find a parking spot. “Polly The Parking Fairy” aims to eliminate the frustration associated with finding a parking spot in the big city. The free mobile app emulates driver behavior and guarantees a parking space – whether in a lot or on the street – within 11 minutes of cruising. Polly comes into action as drivers approach their destination, displaying a personalized map and turn-by-turn navigation directions through nearby streets with the greatest chance of finding on-street parking. The route is based on statistical information about streets with the highest parking turnover. The app was created by Israeli startup sPARK, which was founded in 2012 by Zohar Bali and Eran Balter.
April 25, 2016 |Cyber security company Preempt Security has closed $8 million in Series A funding. General Catalyst Partners led the round with participation from well-known security leaders and innovators, including Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar, the founders of Trusteer, and Paul Sagan, the former CEO of Akamai Technologies. The financing will be used to expand marketing and sales efforts, and accelerate product development. With offices in San Francisco and Ramat Gan, Preempt Security was founded in 2014 by global security and networking experts. The team has deep roots in security with a large component of the team from Unit 8200, the elite intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces.
April 25, 2016 | Sirin Labs, a new high-end smartphone manufacturer, has raised a $72 million seed round from Israeli Singulariteam founder Moshe Hogeg, Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev, and the Chinese social networking service Renren to launch a new, secure smartphone. The phone will be revealed in May at Sirin Labs’ flagship store in London. Sirin, a stealth startup almost three years in the making, aspires to combine both the safety of a military-grade device and the features of an everyday phone. Headquartered in Switzerland, most of Sirin’s day to day operations are managed from the company’s offices in Tel Aviv (R&D and operations) and in the Swedish city of Lund where they are assembled by Sigma Connectivity.
April 25, 2016 | Israeli venture capital fund LionBird II will soon make an initial closure of $40 million in funding. The fund is the second by the LionBird group, which invests in digital health and financial services companies. The company is led by brothers Chaim and Itschak Friedman, who founded STARLIMS and sold it to Abbot in 2010 for $123 million. Another partner in the fund is former Abbot executive VP diagnostic products Ed Michael of the US. The first LionBird fund raised $20 million in 2013, and invested in companies like Tyto, Sweetch, Fundbox, Telesofia, and Genome Compiler. The Friedman brothers and Michael will invest 15-20% of the amount, as they did in the first fund.
April 24, 2016 | Four Hebrew University faculty members are among the 213 new members to have been elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS). The academy includes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business, and philanthropic leaders. The Hebrew University faculty selected are Prof. Robert Benny Gerber, The Saerree K. and Louis P. Fiedler Chair in Chemistry, in the Institute Of Chemistry; Prof. Sergiu Hart, The Alice Kusiel and Kurt Vorreuter University Professor, and Professor of Mathematics and Economics, in the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality; Prof. Menachem Magidor, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, in the Einstein Institute of Mathematics, and a Former President of the Hebrew University; and Prof. Zeev Sternhell, The Leon Blum Professor Emeritus of Political Science, in the Department of Political Science. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 8, 2016, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of America’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current Academy research focuses on higher education, the humanities, and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good.
April 24, 2016 | Israeli startup Brayola, a new online service that helps women find bras that fit, has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from HDS Capital and FirstTime Capital. The company is also unveiling its own marketplace, leveraging inventory from brand partners to help women not only find the right bra, but take action on that item directly from the Brayola website. Founded in 2013 by Orit Hashay, the company reports that their conversion rate is around 5.5 percent and their return rate is lower than 8 percent.
April 21, 2016 | Israeli online fraud prevention company Forter has closed $32 million in Series C funding led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from Series B investors Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Headquartered in San Francisco, the company maintains its development center in Tel Aviv. Forter helps retailers prevent identity fraud, internet fraud and phone fraud and offers an automated, real-time Decision as a Service solution for online merchants. The company, which was founded in 2014 by CEO Michael Reitblat, COO Liron Damri and Chief Analyst Alon Shemesh, has raised $50 million with this latest financing round and has tripled in size since its founding.
April 21, 2016 | Every year since 1996, the innovation magazine and news service Red Herring chooses the 100 most promising tech companies, with separate contests for the United States, Europe and Asia. This year 13 Israeli startups from a variety of fields (Life Sciences/Biotech, Cloud, Medical Devices, Big Data/Storage, Venture Capital/Investing, Web/Internet) made the the 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Europe list: Accellta Ltd, CloudEndure, CropX, HeadSense Medical, ICS2, Leverate, moblin, Optimal Plus, OurCrowd, Privatequity.biz, Shadow Technologies, Stratoscale, and Zebra Medical Vision. Over the past five years, more than 200 Red Herring winners from around the world have achieved exits, including the Israeli navigation app Waze, which made the Red Herring 100 in 2010.
April 21, 2016 | Inno-Negev, Ben-Gurion University’s technology accelerator, has successfully concluded its first cycle. Eleven new start-ups were unveiled at the concluding event held at WeWork in the Advanced Technologies Park in Beer-Sheva late last week. The accelerator has demonstrated its importance in promoting cutting-edge innovation and the strength of Beer-Sheva’s entrepreneurial community. Demo Day showcased the fruits of Inno-Negev’s first cycle – 11 new startups in the fields of communication and information. These 11 initiatives were chosen from 130 teams, which included more than 300 entrepreneurs, most from Beer-Sheva and its environs. The entrepreneurs accepted included BGU students and alumni, alumni of elite IDF technology units and others.
April 21, 2016 |The Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, arrived in Israel this week on the first prime ministerial visit since Singapore’s independence 51 years ago and diplomatic relations were established in 1969. The Prime Minister’s first official stop was the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he witnessed the signing of three agreements with the Hebrew University, and where the university conferred upon him an honorary doctorate. The agreements that were signed call for the Hebrew University and the Government of the Republic of Singapore, represented by the National Research Foundation, to continue existing collaborations on joint research and development and educational activities of mutual interest, together with Singapore’s universities and research institutions; and for the Hebrew University, together with National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), to pursue and promote collaboration on joint research and development and educational activities of mutual interest.
April 21, 2016 | Motorola Solutions has announced it is establishing a new Innovation Center in Israel. The new center will seek out startup investments in cyber security, mobile technologies, Internet-of-Things, big data analytics and more. Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown made the announcement during a meeting in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Motorola Solutions Israel Ltd. is based in Airport City near Tel Aviv. The firm develops, manufactures and markets communications infrastructure, devices and solutions for public, private and other environments. Motorola has had a marketing presence in the country since 1948 and was one of the first multinational companies to set up an R&D center in Israel way back in 1964.
April 20, 2016 | Major layoffs are expected at Intel Israel, after the global chip giant Intel Corp. announced that it is cutting 12,000 jobs worldwide, 11% of its workforce. The downsizing comes on the back of a downturn in PC chip sales due to increased use of clouds and smartphones for computer purposes. Intel is Israel’s largest high-tech employer with a staff of 10,000. The company exported $4.1 billion of goods in 2015, 11% of Israel’s high-tech exports, slightly down from $4.25 billion in 2014. Intel in Israel released an official statement saying, “This is a global announcement and we’re studying its implications on the operation in Israel. One thing is certain: Intel will meet the obligations it gave to the Israeli Government.”
April 20, 2016 | Israeli online contract review platform LawGeex announced today $2.5 million in funding from Lool Ventures and LionBird and angel investors Eilon Tirosh and Rami Lipman. The startup has also launched its online contract review solution free of charge for consumers. Using machine learning, the Israeli startup sets out to “out-lawyer” the lawyers. LawGeex allows consumers to upload any type of contract to its platform and receive, within 24 hours, an in-depth report of what’s good, bad and even missing from their contract. Currently reviewing over 20 types of contracts, the free solution begins with employment agreements, with more contract types to be offered for free in the near future.
April 20, 2016 | Israeli cyber security startup TrapX has closed a $14 million Series B financing round. The company raised $9 million of this amount last year led by investors Intel Capital and Liberty Israel Venture Fund together with investors BRM Group and Opus Capital. It has now expanded this round with an additional $5 million investment from Strategic Cyber Ventures. The company was founded by VP services and research Moshe Ben-Simon and CTO Yuval Malachi. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, the company’s development center is in Tel Aviv.
April 20, 2016 | Israeli real-time application repair company Takipi has closed its $15 million Series B round of financing to scale its efforts in the enterprise IT operations market. The round was led by Lightspeed Ventures with participation from existing Series A investors Menlo Ventures, and will accelerate the company’s investments in sales, marketing and R&D. To date, the company has raised $22 million. Takipi was founded by Tal Weiss and Iris Shoor, who previously founded VisualTao, a startup that was acquired by Autodesk for $20-$30 million in 2009. The company has moved its headquarters to San Francisco and maintains its development center in Tel Aviv.