September 27, 2016 | Israeli venture capital firm Aleph has raised $180 million for its second fund, Aleph II. Founded in 2013 by Michael Eisenberg and Eden Shochat, Aleph has invested in startups such as WeWork, Meerkat and JoyTunes.
September 26, 2016 | Samsung GIC, the Global Innovation Center, part of Samsung Electronics, announced the opening of Samsung NEXT Tel Aviv, It’s first branch outside of the US. The announcement was made by Eyal Miller, Managing Director and CEO of Samsung NEXT Tel Aviv, during a press event at the organization’s new offices in Sarona, Tel Aviv. Samsung GIC empowers entrepreneurs and startups to build, grow and scale advanced software and services. Headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley with additional locations in New York, South Korea and now Tel Aviv, Samsung GIC works with startups at every stage of development through incubation, investment from Seed to Series B, acquisition and partnership. The organization is spearheaded by David Eun, formerly President of AOL’s media division and Global Head of Content Partnerships at Google.
September 26, 2016 | Team Israel has won the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Brooklyn, crushing Great Britain 9-1 on Sunday night. Five Israel pitchers combined to limit Britain to four hits, and three members of the blue and white hit the first home runs of the tournament over the wall to lead Israel to victory, and a place in the WBC main tournament for the first time. Israel was a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, having beaten the British side 5-2 last Thursday then beat Brazil 1-0 on Friday in a pitcher’s duel, to move into the final. The team now moves on the 16-team tournament, which will begin in South Korea in March.
September 26, 2016 | According to a report in Israel’s Calcalist, after leading five funds in Israel and exits of hundreds of millions of dollars, Sequoia Israel will make new investments only through their American fund, Sequoia Capital. A similar step was taken from Benchmark and Greylock Partners who are no longer active in Israel. According to estimates, the reason for the decision to close the Israeli fund is primarily the desire of the partners to work through the American fund to give Israeli companies better access to the American fund.
September 25, 2016 | Israeli anomaly detection and real time business analytics company Anodot announced an $8 million financing round led by Aleph Venture Capital and with participation by Disruptive Technologies L.P., bringing Anodot’s total funding to $12.5 million. In the nine months since Anodot’s launch, dozens of customers, including several Fortune 500 companies, have already implemented the product to prevent crises and drive revenues. Ra’anana based Anodot was founded in 2014 by CEO David Drai, VP R&D Shay Lang, and Chief Data Scientist Dr. Ira Cohen.
September 22, 2016 | Israeli network relationship management platform developer Mobilize announced it has closed a $6.5 million Series A financing round and launched the self-service version of its product. The investment was led by Trinity Ventures with the participation of Floodgate Ventures, Hillsven Capital, Array Ventures, Upwest Labs in addition to SaaS angels such as Eoghan McCabe, CEO of Intercom.io, and Sanjay Subhedar. Mobilize was founded by Sharon Savariego and Arthur Vainer and has offices in San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
September 21, 2016 | American-Israeli online used-car marketplace Vroom has raised $50 million in a funding round from existing and new investors, bringing their total funding to $218 million. Founded in 2013 and headed by CEO Allon Bloch, VRoom will use the funding to help expand its operations in the United States and increase inventory. The company currently has an inventory of more than 2,300 vehicles, according to its website. Vroom expects to generate more than $1 billion of revenue in 2016, up from $900 million last year. The latest round was led by existing investor T Rowe Price Associates Inc, and added technology-focused investment firm Altimeter Capital and Foxhaven Asset Management as investors.
September 21, 2016 | Israeli company BlazeMeter, which produces performance testing tools for DevOps, has been acquired by CA Technologies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed although media reports suggest the acquisition was for about $100 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. CA Technologies said that the acquisition of BlazeMeter, which has offices in Tel Aviv and Palo Alto, would enable it to extend its DevOps portfolio. BlazeMeter will integrate with CA’s continuous delivery solutions to improve testing efficiency and accelerate the deployment of applications. BlazeMeter, which was founded in 2011 by CEO Alon Girmonsky, raised $6.5 million in a series A financing round in 2014 from Glilot Capital Partners and YL Ventures GP Ltd.
September 21, 2016 | Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd raised $72 million from financial institutions and private investors from around the globe. So far, the crowdfunding platform has invested $300 million in 100 portfolio companies and funds. Some of its portfolio startups were sold or went public, including: ReWalk, which is traded on Nasdaq; Crosswise (bought by Oracle); Replay Technologies (bought by Intel); and NextPeer (bought by Viber). Founded in 2013 by Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s community includes nearly 15,000 investors from 110 countries.
September 21, 2016 | Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceutical and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced an agreement to develop and commercialize pain drug fasinumab. This is Regeneron’s investigational NGF antibody in Phase III clinical development for osteoarthritis pain and in Phase II development for chronic lower back pain. Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will pay Regeneron $250 million upfront and share equally in the global commercial value (excluding Japan, Korea and other Asian countries covered by a previous collaboration), as well as ongoing R&D costs of about $1 billion.
September 20, 2016 | FinTech startup Curve has raised $3 million, bringing its total funds to $5 million. Founded in 2015 by Israeli Shachar Bialick, along with Tom Foster-Carter and Anna Mostyn-Williams, the startup develops a credit card that aggregates all your bank cards and will be synced with a mobile app.
September 18, 2016 | Israeli FinTech startup Tipalti has raised $14 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm SGVC. A provider of payments automation solutions, Tipalti was founded in 2011 by Chen Amit and Oren Zeev. It has so far raised $27 million.
September 15, 2016 | Chinese corporation Kuang-Chi Group has announced it will invest $4.3 million in Agent Video Intelligence (Agent Vi), an Israeli video analytics company, as part of the startup’s $6 million financing round. Founded in 2008 by Gadi Talmon and Zvi Ashani, the company has so far raised $20 million.
September 14, 2016 | Digital testing company Applause has raised $35 million in a Series F financing round, led by Direct Equity Partners, an investment program managed by Credit Suisse, with the participation of Accenture. This round brings Applause’s total funding-to-date to more than $115 million. The round had full participation from all of Applause’s previous investors, including Goldman Sachs’s Merchant Banking Division, QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mesco Ltd and MassVentures. The company’s most recent funding was a $43 million Series E round in January, 2014. Applause is an Israeli company, with global headquarters near Boston, Massachusetts and its development center in Herzliya that was originally launched in 2008 as uTest.
September 14, 2016 | Car maker Volkswagen is partnering with former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin to form a new cyber-security company called CyMotive Technologies. Other former Shin Bet executives involved in the joint venture, which will be based in Herzliya, Israel, are Tsafrir Kats and Dr. Tamir Bechor. The new company will develop products and solutions for the next generation of cars. “We see CyMotive as a long-term investment, with the purpose of making the vehicle and its surroundings safer,” Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger of Volkswagen said in a statement.
September 14, 2016 | Israeli startup Optimove has raised $20 million from Israeli venture capital firm IGP – Israeli Growth Partners. Optimove provides online marketing technologies to some 200 companies. Founded by Pini Yakuel in 2009, this is the company’s first financing round.
September 13, 2015 | Israeli network security startup Cato Networks has raised $30 million in a series B funding round. The financing was led by Greylock Partners with participation from Singtel Innov8 and existing investors U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), Aspect Ventures and the company’s founders, Shlomo Kramer and Gur Shatz. The funding will allow Cato Networks to offer its cloud-based network security as a service solution, the Cato Cloud, to the global market, bringing the cloud’s transformative power to networking and security. Today’s financing is the Tel Aviv-based company’s second after closing a $20 million series A round in June 2015, shortly after it was founded.
September 13, 2016 | Israeli cyber security company Claroty has come out of stealth mode and announced it has completed a financing round of $32 million. The startup also announced that it is launching its protection platform for industrial networks. Established in 2014 as part of Israeli cyber security foundry Team8, Claroty’s backers include Bessemer Venture Partners, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Marker, ICV, Red Dot Capital Partners, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. The company enters the market as the most substantially funded cyber security startup focused on protecting industrial control systems, and with one of the deepest teams in OT security from organizations including Siemens, IBM, Waterfall Security, Palo Alto, iSIGHT Partners (FireEye), ICS2, and Industrial Defender. With offices in Tel Aviv and New York, Claroty was founded by CEO Amir Zilberstein, chief business development officer Galina Antova, and CTO Benny Porat.
Septemeber 13, 2016 | Israeli cloud company CTERA Networks announced a $25 million investment round led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Cisco, and new investor Vintage Investment Partners. Based in Petach Tikva and New York, CTERA, which was founded in 2008 by CEO Liran Eshel and VP R&D Zohar Kaufman, has raised $70 million to date including the latest financing round. The funds will be used to fuel sales and marketing initiatives and accelerate global customer acquisition as the CTERA Enterprise File Services Platform becomes a gold standard for file storage, collaboration and data protection among secure and distributed enterprise organizations.
September 13, 2016 | Israeli marketing analytics startup Datorama has raised $32 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Marker LLC and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors also participated in the round. This series brings Datorama’s total funding to $50 million. Datorama was founded in 2012 by Ran Sarig, Efi Cohen and Katrin Ribant.
September 12, 2016 | Israeli investment platform Creditplace has raised $6 million, according to a Globes report. The startup enables investors to buy invoices of vendors awaiting payment. Headed by CEO Yaron Saban, the Tel Aviv-based company was founded by Dekel Golan and Serge Aziza.
September 11, 2016 | Columbia University’s top honor for achievement in biological and biochemical research has been awarded to two researchers from the Hebrew University for their research, which led to the new field of Epigenetics, and yielded insights into how cells and embryos develop. The 2016 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize was presented to Prof. Howard Cedar and Prof. Aharon Razin of the Hebrew University, and their American colleague Dr. Gary Felsenfeld.
September 11, 2016 | Israeli startup Proov has raised $7 million from Mangrove Capital Partners and Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd. Proov, a Pilot-as-a-Service (PaaS) platform, simplifies the way new technology is evaluated and adopted. Founded in 2015 by Alexey Sapozhnikov and Toby Olshanetsky, this is the company’s first series of funding.
September 8, 2016 | Israeli startup Celeno Communications completed a $38 million financing round. Founded in 2005 by president and CEO Gilad Rozen, the company supplies chips and software technology for managed WiFi apps. Red Dot Capital Partners, which focuses on investments in growth companies, led the round. New investors participated in the current round, including Poalim Capital Markets, and the OurCrowd investment fund. Previous investors also took part, including Liberty Global, Cisco, Pitango Venture Capital, 83North (formerly Greylock Israel), Vintage Investment Partners, and Miven. According to figures from the IVC databse, including the current round, Celeno has raised $107 million since it was founded. Celeno has 120 employees, including 85 in its Ra’anana headquarters. The company also has representatives in the US, Europe, and Asia. Among other things, Celeno plans to use the funding to recruit 20 new employees in a variety of areas.among other things.
September 8, 2016 | Israeli startup WSC Sports Technologies has closed a $12 million Series B financing round led by Intel Capital, with participation from existing and new investors including the Wilf family (owners of the Minnesota Vikings), the ownership of the LA Dodgers, and Dan Gilbert (majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers). The company also announced that Intel Capital Director Uri Arazy will join the WSC Sports board. The investment brings WSC Sports’ total funding to $16 million and will help the company significantly accelerate growth and international expansion. Based in Ramat Gan, the company has developed an automatic, real-time, customized video creation platform for sports broadcasts designed for amplifying sports content and value. WSC Sports was founded by CEO Daniel Shichman, VP business development Aviv Arnon, CTO Shmuel Yoffe, and COO Hy Gal. Their customers, including the NBA, Turner Sports, Big East Conference, British Telecom the ELeague and others.
September 6, 2016 | Israeli startup FairFly, which notifies travelers when the price of their airline ticket drops, has announced it will no longer serve individual clients, and is shifting focus to serve the enterprise sector. In a letter to clients, CEO Aviel Siman-Tov, writes: “We’ve decided to put all of our focus on our enterprise product and discontinue our mobile app.” Starting Sept. 15, the company will no longer provide services to individual clients through its mobile and web platforms. FairFly was founded in 2013 by Uri Levine (the co-founder of popular navigation app Waze), along with Siman-Tov, Gili Lichtman, and Ami Goldenberg.
September 6, 2016 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem retained its leading position in a list of the best colleges published today by British higher education data provider Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The 2016-2017 rankings place Hebrew University first in Israel and 148th in the world. The other Israeli institutions on the list include: Tel Aviv University, at No. 212, The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, at No. 213; and Ben-Gurion University, at No. 320. Topping the list are MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. First compiled in 2004, the QS World University Rankings rate the world’s best-performing higher education institutions, considering over 4,000 for inclusion and evaluating over 900. The ranking considers universities’ performance across six indicators, selected to reflect research impact, commitment to high-quality teaching, internationalization, and global reputation amongst both academics and employers.
September 5, 2016 | Israeli cyber security startup Cronus Cyber Technology announced that it raised $3.5 million. According to figures from the IVC database, the company has raised $6.2 million since it was founded, including the current round. CEO Doron Sivan and CTO Matan Azugi founded Cronus in 2014. Cronus’s product uses an algorithm to try to imitate a human hacker’s way of thinking. Former Israeli Air Force chief Eitan Ben Eliyahu is the company’s chairman. Cronus’s financing round included US fund Janvest Capital Partners, a European investor, and a strategic investor from Hong Kong. The company previously received funding from the Ministry of the Economy and Industry Chief Scientist. The company’s headquarters are in Haifa, and it also does business in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong. The money raised is expected to enable Cronus to expand its business to the US.
September 5, 2016 | Hargol FoodTech, the Israeli company developing Steak TzarTzar — high-protein grasshoppers — emerged victorious among 30 finalists chosen to present their budding food technologies at the recent Agro Innovation Lab startup competition held in Vienna, Austria. The competition attracted 160 applications from 49 countries. Agro Innovation Lab, a new accelerator for startups and entrepreneurs, is a subsidiary of Austrian agriculture multinational corporation RWA. As the winner, Hargol FoodTech will receive initial investment from RWA, which will become a shareholder and will join Israel’s Trendlines Group, an Israeli innovation commercialization company, as an investor. (Earlier this year, Bayer and Trendlines announced their $10 million, five-year Bayer Trendlines Ag Innovation Fund.)
September 4, 2016 | Co-working space WeWork has announced that it will double its presence in Tel Aviv with the opening of two new Tel Aviv locations – Ibn Gabirol and Hazerem – and the expansion of the Herzliya Pituach location. WeWork Ibn Gabirol and WeWork Hazerem are expected to be open by the end of 2016, marking the 5th and 6th locations launched in Israel of the US-based firm, since entering the Israeli market two years ago. Herzliya Pitucah, the 2nd location to open in Israel, is also expanding due to high demand. The new locations in Israel come at a time of global expansion for WeWork. In 2016, the company has opened its first locations in Montréal, Mexico City, Berlin, Shanghai and Seoul, with plans to come to Paris in 2017. Founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork runs 77 sites in 23 cities around the world, including Berlin, London, Boston, New York and San Francisco, providing professionally designed workspace, as well as other services (insurance, consultancy, etc) that startups need in order to scale up. The company has achieved a valuation of $5-10 billion, after raising over $1 billion from institutional investors, including Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan and the Harvard Management Company.
September 4, 2o16 | Maya Sarfaty, a Tel Aviv University graduate has won a top Student Academy Award and her documentary will be automatically entered in the Academy Awards competition. Sarfaty will also receive a gold medal for her film, “The Most Beautiful Woman,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced. Beneath the appealing title lies the true story of a love affair between an SS guard and a young Jewish woman at the Auschwitz death camp. Among the list of nominees, Sarfaty’s film was the only one to make the cut in the foreign documentary category and is therefore guaranteed a gold medal when the final winners are announced on Sept. 22. A Netanya native, Sarfaty earned an undergraduate and master’s degree at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University and also graduated from the Nissan Nativ Acting School, which conducts classes in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. She now lists herself as an independent filmmaker who has earned credits as director, writer and/or editor for such films as “Still Waters” and “Overtime.”
September 1, 2016 | Israeli startup Beyond Verbal, which offers emotion analytics based on vocal intonations, has raised $3 million in a financing round led by Chinese technology giant Kuang-Chi. Beyond Verbal focuses on raw vocal modulations – probably the most expressive output our body produces. This non-intrusive technology enables wearables and digital health applications to better understand consumer interactions. Founded in 2012 by Yoav Hoshen, Yuval Mor, and Yuval Rabin (son of the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin), Beyond Verbal has so far raised $10.1 million.
August 30, 2016 | The 16th annual GoForIsrael conference will be held for the first time outside of Israel, on September 20th, at the Grand Hyatt, in Shanghai, China and continuing in Wuhan. The Shanghai portion of the conference is expected to welcome some 1000 Chinese investors and 100 innovative Israeli companies, including Mobileye, Xjet, Tufin Zerto, Wework Emefcy, ReWalk Robotics and many more. Many major Chinese investor groups such as Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Lenovo and leading financial enteties such as Fosun, PingAn, China Everbright, SAIF Partners, Sinopec, CYND, Sailing Capital, GTJA, GF Xinde are expected to join the event. The Wuhan portion of the event will feature the participation of the Israeli companies and 800 additional investors. Organized by Cukierman & Co. Investment House and Catalyst Fund, GoforIsrael is one of the most influential business conferences in Israel. This year’s conference focuses mainly on the opportunities between Israel and China as well as on the Chinese desire for investment. The event is jointly organized with Yafo Capital, an Investment House in Shanghai, China.
August 31, 2016 | Israeli company Freightos, an International online freight network, has as acquired WebCargoNet, a Barcelona based air-cargo rate management provider. WebCargoNet helps bring air cargo companies online with automated freight routing and pricing, and will complement Freightos’ efforts to do the same for air, ocean and trucking, the company said in a statement. The result, said Eytan Buchman, the marketing director of the Israeli company, will create the “world’s largest freight Big Data database of over 200 million data points,” helping more companies take part in the online freight marketplace offered by the Jerusalem-based company.
August 30, 2016 | The EastMakers Program, a new incubator focusing on the Internet of Things and hardware, launched Monday night in Tel Aviv at and event at the Google Campus. The program is a collaboration between StartupEast, a three-year old incubator that helps Israeli companies expand into Asian markets, and MakeMountain, a Shenzen-based incubator that helps companies in the field of manufacturing. It is the first such program focused on IOT and Hardware. The joint venture will choose three start-ups for its first round, which will receive pre-seed investment and free services equivalent to $100,000, a one-month preparation program, and an incubation period in Shenzen to help them get their China operations up and running.
August 30, 2016 | Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia, the Israeli directors of a popular music video for British rock band Coldplay’s song “Up&Up” won an MTV Video Music award for best visual effects on Sunday night in New York. The song from Coldplay’s “A Head Full Of Dreams” album has amassed over 75 million views on YouTube since being posted on May 16. The “Up&Up” video, with its turtle swimming through a New York City subway station and a baby crawling across the wing of small airplane, was described by the Metro UK as “brilliantly weird.” Chris Martin, front-man for Coldplay, told the Radio station Beats 1, “I think it’s one of the best videos people have made.”Heymann and Muggia were also nominated for best director, but lost out on that award to the artist of the night, Beyonce, who took home seven awards, including video of the year.
August 29, 2016 | The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has opened Israel’s first academic degree program in wine: the International MSc in Viticulture and Enology. The four-semester MSc program begins on March 2, 2017. Students will gain knowledge and skills at an academic level, consistent with leading programs in other wine-producing countries such as France, the United States and Australia, with special emphasis on the Israeli industry. Upon completion, the students will earn a world-recognized MSc degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This is the first MSc level degree in viticulture and enology to be approved by the National Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Israel.
August 25, 2016 | The Israeli enterprise mobility developer SkyGiraffe announced that it closed a $6 million funding round. The round was led by SGVC with participation from Trilogy Equity Partners, Heroku Founder and CEO James Lindenbaum, Parse Founder and CEO Ilya Sukhar, and Lookout Founder and CTO Kevin Mahaffey. The company, which had previously raised $4.5m from 500 Startups, Microsoft Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners and angels, intends to use the funds to continue expanding its platform among other growth initiatives. Founded by CEO Boaz Hecht and VP of R&D Itay Braun in 2012, and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with a research and development center in Ramat Gan, Israel.
July 10, 2016 | Israel’s Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd., a global fixed satellites operator of the advanced AMOS satellite fleet, is to be fully acquired by Luxembourg Space Telecommunications, which is owned by Chinese communications company Beijing Xinwei Technology, for $285 million. Spacecom, which was founded in 1995 and is based in Ramat Gan, is owned by Eurocom Group, which is controlled by Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch.
August 24, 2016 | Israeli company Mobileye, which develops vision-based driver assistance systems that help prevent collisions, said Tuesday that it is developing a self-driving system with Delphi Automotive that will be ready for production by 2019. Mobileye cut its ties with Tesla Motors last month after the electric carmaker’s autopilot system faced scrutiny from regulators following a fatal accident in early May. Tesla’s autopilot system uses EyeQ chips from Mobileye to help with image analysis for steering and staying in lanes. Mobileye and Delphi said their technology would cater to automakers that may not necessarily want to develop their own self-driving systems. Mobileye, which was founded by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 1999, recently teamed up with BMW and Intel to manufacture a driverless car by 2021.
August 9, 2016 | Taiwan’s General Mobile Corporation (GMobi) has acquired Israeli mobile ad company MassiveImpact. No financial details were disclosed, but market sources believe the acquisition was for several tens of millions of dollars. Founded in 2005, MassiveImpact is a leading performance advertising platform specializing in social media promotion of mobile applications, which has raised $9.3 million and has 80 employees. MassiveImpact reaches over 1 billion users in 190 countries, with blue chip clientele including leading tech, retail and gaming brands Gameloft, Citibank, AIA, Tencent, and Baidu, among others. The acquisition of MassiveImpact will complement existing mobile technology services provided by GMobi such as Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) updates, secure mobile payments, and mobile advertising. For GMobi customers, the MassiveImpact acquisition means greater value via optimized targeting, content delivery, and end user experiences through the company’s Real Time Performance (RTP) platform.
August 24, 2016 | Olympic bronze medalist judoka Yarden Gerbi has put her name tag up for auction on eBay, saying she will use the money to support the Pediatric Cancer Unit at a Tel Aviv hospital. As of now, the top bid stands at $13,100 or NIS 49,421.09, though with five days left to the auction it will likely rise. Gerbi, whose bronze during the Rio 2016 Games made her just the second Israeli woman to win a medal at the Olympics, says donating the proceeds from the ID tag to the Children’s Cancer Ward at Sourasky Hospital will make it “more special for society.” She says she will dedicate the tag to the winning bidder and sign it for them.
August 23, 2016 | Experts from The Mayo Clinic, an American medical practice and research center which is the largest integrated nonprofit medical practice in the world, will lead the teaching of medical challenges within IDCBeyond, the new entrepreneurship program at IDC Herzliya. The cooperation will be led by Amir Lerman, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, director of the cardiovascular research center, who was recently appointed as head of Mayo Clinic’s new initiative of discovery, investment and cooperation with Israeli companies and technologies. According to Nava Swersky Sofer, Managing Director of IDCBeyond at IDC Herzliya, “The new program is designed to train and qualify participants in developing and establishing innovative ventures by implementing technologies to address global challenges which characterize the 21st century. The cooperation with Mayo Clinic will expose students to the forefront of technology and innovation, and pinpoint the issues facing health systems worldwide. This cooperation opens a number of possibilities for entrepreneurship students, from exploring new horizons to establishing innovative ventures.”
August 22, 2016 | Israeli DIY-website platform company Wix.com announced a sponsorship deal with major league baseball’s New York Yankees. As part of the cooperation package, Wix will be the team’s official website design sponsor and partner for 2016. The partnership will include a campaign to find the New York Yankee’s number one fan. The winner will build a site together with Wix at the TheBiggestYankeeFan.com domain. Wix, founded in 2006 by CEO Avishai Abrahami, CTO Giora Kaplan and VP Client Development Nadav Abrahami, has developed a platform enabling users to easily set up and design their own website. This is not Wix’s first involvement in sport. Six months ago, Wix announced a sponsorship deal with top English soccer team Manchester City and before that the company twice advertised during the Superbowl, the biggest sporting event in the US.
August 22, 2016 | Israeli startup CellSavers, which provides an on-demand repair platform for smartphones and other mobile devices, has completed a $15 million financing round, led by Carmel Ventures, with participation of Sequoia Capital Israel. The current funding follows the company’s $3 million round in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital in December 2015. CellSavers’ platform is based on an end-to-end technological and operational solution, which enables the company to match consumers and skilled professionals in real time. CellSavers was founded in 2015 by CEO Eyal Ronen and president Itai Hirsch.
August 22, 2016 | Indian software company Wipro has invested $1.5 million in Israeli startup cyber security company Intsights. In a filing to the Bombay stock exchange, Wipro said it was acquiring a minority stake in the startup. Founded in 2015 by CEO Guy Nizan, VP Intelligence Alon Arvatz and CTO Gal Ben David, the Herzliya based company infiltrates the cyber-threat underworld to detect and analyze planned or potential attacks and threats. The company also provides advance warning and customized insight concerning potential cyber attacks, including recommended steps to avoid or withstand the attacks and delivers in-depth analysis of cyber threats originating from in-house sources, third-party sources or threat actors. Intsights raised $1.8 million in October 2015 from Glilot Capital Partners. Wipro made the investment through Israel venture capital firm TLV Partners.
August 21, 2016 | Israeli biotech startup Nutrinia has closed $30 million Series D financing to fund two pivotal trials for registration. TPG Biotech led the investment, joined by H.I.G. BioHealth Partners and WuXi Healthcare Ventures, as well as existing investors including OrbiMed, Pontifax and others. The Ramat Gan based company is developing a proprietary oral formulation of insulin for intestinal malabsorption in preterm newborns and Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) in infants. Nutrinia will use the proceeds to initiate two pivotal trials for registration in separate indications related to acceleration of gut maturation and adaptation: intestinal malabsorption in preterm newborns born between 26 and 32 weeks’ gestational age, and infants with SBS who are under 12 months old. Nutrinia was founded by Professor Naim Shehadeh head of Pediatric Diabetes Clinic at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, at the NGT incubator in Nazareth, which was supported by the Jacobs family, who invested in the company’s earlier investment round along with Maabarot.
August 21, 2016 | The Technion’s fourth Student Formula team finished twice in the top ten in the Formula Student competitions held this summer in Europe. In the competition in Hungary, the team finished in 9th place (out of 34 universities) and in the Czech Republic in 8th place (out of 42). Ranking was based on a number of criteria, including business plan presentation, circling the track, a 22 km heat (endurance), driving in figure eights, fuel efficiency and acceleration to a distance of 75 meters. Technion’s Formula car, which competed in the combustion engine category, achieved especially good results in the acceleration heat, the 22 km heat and driving in figure eights – heats that were held on a wet course in the Czech competition. According to the team leader, student Evgeny Guy, “In both competitions the car performed as planned with no unusual problems. All in all, this was our most successful season to date, and we received warm compliments not only from the judges but also from other teams.”
August 18, 2016 | Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing network, announced today it has acquired Otto, a 90-person startup co-founded by Israeli Lior Ron, which is focused on developing self-driving truck technology. Uber would not comment on the terms of the acquisition, but according to reports, Uber will pay roughly 1 percent of its most current valuation — a sum worth about $680 million after the inclusion of its most recent fund-raising — if certain internal benchmarks are met by the Otto team. Otto’s current shareholders will also be entitled to 20 percent of the profits of any self-driving trucking business the company is able to build over time. With the acquisition of Otto, Uber gets a fast infusion of self-driving expertise, including Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski, one of the founding fathers of autonomous technology.
August 18, 2016 | Car manufacturing giant Ford has acquired Israeli computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS. The acquisition of the Rehovot-based company is part of Ford’s pledge to develop a driverless car by 2021. No financial details of the acquisition were disclosed but media reports say Ford will pay several tens of millions of dollars. This is Ford’s first acquisition in Israel. Founded in 2013 by CEO Udy Danino, CTO Rotem Littman and US Branch Manager Noga Zieber Bullkich, SAIPS provides algorithmic solutions. The company has not raised any funds to date and after the acquisition will continue operating as an independent entity within the Ford corporation.